NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio – This Cleveland suburb profited to the tune of $1.2 million from its mayor’s courtroom operations from 2013 to 2016 and stands to internet in extra of $200,000 from its courtroom charges in 2017.
That is some huge cash for a metropolis with an annual common-fund price range of about $20 million and little discretionary cash with which to purchase an additional police automotive, maybe, or to enhance a street.
It is also income North Olmsted by no means would have acquired had it not made the controversial choice 5 years in the past to create a mayor’s courtroom to cope with visitors violators and minor criminals.
At present, cleveland.com and The Plain Supplier check out the North Olmsted Mayor’s Courtroom as a part of Justice For All, a collection that advocates for felony justice reform. The collection already has sparked broad-based mostly reform efforts in Cuyahoga County, together with some requires consolidation of municipal courts.
By creating the mayor’s courtroom, North Olmsted Mayor Kevin Kennedy fulfilled a marketing campaign pledge to look at all the town’s operations from a enterprise perspective. In any case, he is a businessman, having began a profitable pc firm in Cleveland.
However good-authorities advocates would argue that courts usually are not companies, or no less than shouldn’t be within the enterprise of creating wealth. The obligation of the courtroom and its judges is to dispense justice in a style that’s truthful, equitable and never prejudiced by a mayor’s have to stability the town finances.
The transfer additionally aggravated officers at Rocky River Municipal Courtroom, which previous to 2013 dealt with all of North Olmsted’s visitors violations and felony misdemeanors and acquired all the associated courtroom charges that now go to the town.
Kennedy makes no apologies for his choice to create the courtroom, nevertheless. He did his homework, he stated, analyzing the price construction on the Rocky River Municipal Courtroom. He concluded that a mayor’s courtroom might present swifter justice with far fewer individuals. Moreover, why ought to Rocky River profit from the ticket-writing efforts of North Olmsted cops, he stated.
“It is cheaper and its approach quicker,” Kennedy stated in an interview with cleveland.com. “We get them out and in of right here at night time.”
Whereas Kennedy is proud of the efficiency of his courtroom, the parents over in Rocky River are troubled.
Since its inception, the North Olmsted Mayor’s Courtroom has siphoned off hundreds of…