Medina County commissioners face backlash for plans to replace historic courthouse

Only facade of older buildings would remain.

Medina County commissioners face backlash for plans to replace historic courthouse

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Thursday meeting of the Medina County Board of Commissioners was the first chance people had to express their thoughts on a $38 million courthouse replacement project.

The plan will mean tearing down large portions of the current structures.

The Medina Municipal Courthouse would share space at the new facility. It was a plan that was met with resistance.

“There’s nothing in the law that says that the people of the county could not vote. They don’t want you to vote,” said a man in the audience to applause.

On the side of the courthouse facing public square, it’s easy to see what will stay and what will go. The facade of the original courthouse will stay. Everything else will go. That includes the white-columned building added in 1969.

The pros and the cons of the project can be debated. But that is the problem, there was no debate.

Commissioners made decisions in a near vacuum. It set off a petition drive to put the issue on the ballot.

Kathie Jones circulated some of them.

“It bothers me that the people who live in this entire county have not been asked their opinion,” she told 19 News.

“I don’t think it helps representative government to have $38 or $40 million worth of bonds imposed on the taxpayers without more input,” said Rev. Keith Rasey.

“There’s overwhelming concern by people in the community. They don’t want their courthouse destroyed unless they have a chance to vote,” added Ralph Jocke.

Folks circulating petitions to stop the plan until a vote say they got earfuls from people they contacted in just six days, but people, like Dan Maynard, on the inside feel left out too.

“We weren’t brought into any planning whatsoever until late in the process,” said the Domestic Relations Court employee.

19 News left messages for each of the Medina County Commissioners and is awaiting responses.

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