Public forum tonight to discuss new courthouse location

Allison Smith

Portage County and city officials will hold a public forum at 6 p.m. tonight at the Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna to discuss the future location of the new Portage County Municipal Court.

At a commissioners’ meeting on March 15, Commissioner Tommie Jo Marsilio suggested, in order to save money, to ask legislators to change the Ohio Revised Code to allow the court to be built outside of Kent. State law currently requires the court to exist in Kent.

Kevin Poland, Portage County municipal court judge, said it would require a bill passed by legislators and signed by the governor. He said Kent city officials and county officials might be at war over the proposal.

At the March 16 Kent City Council meeting, council members voted on a motion to send a letter to the county commissioners expressing their displeasure with the proposition.

Robin Turner, council-at-large, said he thinks the courthouse location is ideal because it is beneficial to the county and also because Kent is the largest political subdivision. He said the council should wait to rally against the decision because it isn’t official and was just one commissioner’s suggestion.

“Let’s not put the cart before the horse, indicating that the commission has made a decision which they, quite frankly, haven’t made yet,” he said.

City Council officials did agree to show concern by making an effort to appear at the public forum.

Contact Allison Smith at [email protected].