Our View: New courthouse needs a home

DKS Editors

It’s no secret the Kent courthouse could use an upgrade. And despite the fact that plans for a new one have been in the works for about four years, the location of said facility has yet to be determined.

In the meantime, the court must go on. Kevin Poland, Portage County Municipal Court judge, has said in the past that conditions at the courthouse are less than desirable. Victims and defendants sit on the same bench, there is no secure place for domestic violence victims and the roof leaks, among a laundry list of other functional problems.

So why haven’t county officials moved into an updated courthouse? After a failed attempt to create a joint project to include both the courthouse and city police department, which is badly in need of a new building as well, the location and cost of a new courthouse is still under debate.

Portage County Commissioner Tommie Jo Marsilio suggested moving the courthouse out of Kent earlier this year, which State Rep. Kathleen Clyde and Poland oppose. As Clyde said, the reason for taking a courthouse from the most populous city in the district makes no sense, not to mention the courthouse’s convenient location near Kent State. Many students don’t have transportation out of the city, and having a courthouse in another location would increase operating costs.

So, surely, there is someone out of all the city and county officials who can take charge, compromise and make a decision. Portage County, the city of Kent and certainly the current courthouse can’t wait forever.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.