The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

November 20, 2012

Cragon seeks funds for longer hours

JEFFERSON — Longer window hours during real-estate tax collection periods would be offered by Treasurer Dawn Cragon if her 2013 budget proposal is approved by commissioners.

Cragon, who was re-elected to the county treasurer post earlier this month, presented the board with a request of $323,054 for 2013. She is on track to spend $259,276 this year.

Most of the proposed increase would be in salaries and wages, $94,800 compared to $36,909 this year. Cragon said she wants to open more windows during the 30 days leading up to the tax due date, plus have a window open during business hours the rest of the year.

Window hours were curtailed when county revenues fell four years ago.

“We operate efficiently that way, but it’s not the best for the customer,” she said.

Cragon also has an employee with 30 years of service who will retire next year and take with her $16,300 in accumulated sick and vacation time. Her budget request reflects that pay out.

Clerk of Courts Carol Mead and Clerk-Elect Tami Pentek also presented a budget request that asks for additional money for personnel in the legal division, which is paid out of general fund.

The request is for $357,707, compared to $320,093 this year.

Mead is in negotiations for a three-year contract with the local that represents her staff, and she expects pay raises to be part of the bargain. She said employees received a 1 percent pay increase in the last year of the expiring contract.

Mead said she needs to add an administrative assistant to her staff in order to handle the increase in case filings. She said her office typically saw no more than 500 criminal case filings annually in the past, but this year the number has already surpassed 700. Foreclosure filings and other court documents are on the rise, as well.

Along that line, Commissioner Dan Claypool asked Mead what can be done to address the backlog of documents being microfilmed. He said the boxes are cluttering up the hallway and a room in that wing of the courthouse.

“We are creating more (documents) than we are getting rid of,” he said.

Mead said hiring temporary staff or paying overtime for weekend work would help address the problem. Claypool said he would like to see a plan for completing the job and an estimate of cost.

Mead said the office is keeping up with the microfilming of current documents, but it’s the older documents that are languishing. Further, some glitches with the software system is making it difficult for the courts that use the information to view the digitized documents.

Auditor Roger Corlett is also seeking an increase in salary money for his staff. Corlett included a 2 percent pay increase in the salary line item, which is about $3,500 more than last year’s.

Overall, Corlett is seeking $322,025 to run a portion of his office from the general fund. He said that budget is still lower than any auditor’s office budget from the period 1995 from 2008. During one three-year period, the budget averaged $422,000.

The auditor’s office depends upon other revenue sources, including a portion of the real estate transfer fee, for funding the real estate division.

“It’s a good budget,” Corlett said the general fund request. “But it leaves us not fully funded in weights and measures, copier, office supplies and printers.”

Text Only
Local News
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
Good Friday Cross Walks and Easter Egg Hunts
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down Rise of the Milkbots TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon Teen hitchhikes in wheel well of flight from California to Hawaii Lindsay Lohan's Jaw-Dropping Secret President Sends Message To Boston And Marathon Runners LA Pastor Attracts Churchgoers with Pot Lauren Stoner Shows Off Her Incredible Bikini Body