The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 30, 2014

Jefferson seniors get look at county government

JEFFERSON —

Jefferson Area High School seniors got an inside look at how county government operates, Monday, as Ashtabula County Commissioners moved their meeting to the school.
Commissioners Dan Claypool, Peggy Carlo and Joe Moroski as well as Ashtabula County Auditor Roger Corlett, Ashtabula County Common Pleas Judge Gary Yost, Ashtabula County Prosecutor Nick Iarocci and State Rep. John Patterson all spoke to students about their various roles in county, and state government.
Each student was also given a “goody” bag of sorts that included a voter registration form. Elected officials urged the students to register to vote.
“You should become familiar with who represents you because it really does affect you,” Claypool said. “I don’t care who you vote for, but I think it’s your responsibility to vote.”
Carlo told the students a key to being a public official is you have to be willing to listen to people and you have to be willing to agree to disagree.
Claypool also explained the role the commissioners play in governing the county.
“We hold ownership of all property in the county,” he said. “We are also the appropriating authority of every county agency.”
Patterson invited the students to come to Columbus and spend the day with him to see how things work at the state level.
“I think it will be interesting and challenging for you,” he said.
Patterson, a former Jefferson Area High School teacher, told the students how much he missed them.
“You need to know how much I miss you guys,” he said. “Thanks for raising me.”
Corlett walked the students through the two divisions of the auditor’s office: The accounting division and the real estate division.
“Why the two are together is beyond me,” he said.
Corlett said on the accounting side, the main thing his office does is work with the general fund. In order to expend money, every county office has to request a certificate that the money is available to be expended. His office prepares the bills and submits them to the commissioners for approval, he said.

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