The News-Herald

Election Questionnaire

Date questionnaire completed: February 10, 2012

Office sought: Treasurer, Lake County Political party: Democrat Name: John M. Rogers, Esq. Gender: Male Age: 54 Home address: 5428 Pinehill Drive, Mentor-on-the-Lake, OH 44060 Length of residence in that community: 25 years Campaign Web site: johnrogersforlakecountytreasurer.com Occupation: Deputy Treasurer Employer: Lake County Treasurer’s Office Occupation: Mayor/Safety Director Employer: City of Mentor-on-the-Lake Occupation: Attorney and Counselor at Law Employer: Self-employed Marital status: Married Name of spouse: Rosemarie D. Rogers (nee: Dougherty) Name and age of any children: Timothy David, 30 years, John Patrick, 23 years, Caitlin Frances, 20 years and Micheal Fitzgerald,16 years. Public office experience: Currently I am working in the Office of the Lake County Treasurer as a Deputy Treasurer where my principal duties currently involve collecting delinquent taxes. Other responsibilities are discussed at length below. More recently, I was the Supervising Attorney of the Delinquent Real Estate Tax and Collections Division in the Lake County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. My responsibilities included representing the Treasurer in foreclosure and bankruptcy litigation. Additionally, in the first seven months of 2011, my collections resolved and/or recovered delinquent taxes in excess of amounts collected in any of the Division’s prior 15 years. Additional duties included collections on behalf of the Clerk of Courts, County Engineer, Department of Utilities, MRDD Board (Mentally Retarded and Developmentally Disabled) and also representing the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services in guardianship proceedings in Probate Court. Non-elected experience (committees, boards, etc.): Prior to being appointed to City Council in 1988, I served on the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals and briefly on the City’s Civil Service Commission. I am a member of the following: St. John Vianney Parish, the Lake County Blue Coats, the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks, Painesville Lodge, the American Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, the National District Attorneys Association, the Ohio State Prosecuting Attorneys Association, Sons of AMVET’s with Mentor-on-the-Lake’s Post 109, the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the Lake County Bar Association. With respect to the Lake County Bar Association, I am a member of the Executive Board, formerly a Trustee, and currently serve as Secretary. I am the Editor of the “Lake Legal Views,” which is the Association’s monthly publication and I volunteer as a member of the Bar’s Grievance Committee. Other Bar Association related activities have included my working on the Time Capsule Committee which oversaw the celebration of the Lake County Court House’s 100th anniversary. During both the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years, I have volunteered as a legal advisor/coach to the Lake Catholic High School Mock Trial Team. And I am presently serving my second year as the Vice-President of the Lake County Mayors and City Managers Association.
Political office held 1. Mayor/Safety Director Municipality City of Mentor-on-the-Lake Years served Now serving my 18 year
th

Elected or appointed? Initially appointed & then elected to five terms, three times without opposition. Initially appointed & then elected to two terms.

2.

Member of Council

City of Mentor-on-the-Lake

Five years

Education:
School city/state Years Degree-Subject or Certificate High School Cathedral Latin School Cleveland, OH 1975 College Prep, Diploma College Hiram College Hiram, OH 1982 Bachelor of Arts, Chemistry major Graduate John Carroll University University Heights, OH 1993 Master of Business Administration Other Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Cleveland, OH 2002 Juris Doctor Other University of Alabama School of Law Tuscaloosa, AL Class of 2013 Master of Law in Tax ( currently attending) Should you be elected, what are three specific areas you’d like to change, address, improve or further research, and how specifically would you go about it?

There are actually three activities that I am involved in now that should see positive results in the operations of the Treasurer’s Office and the Lake County Community as a whole. The first area is with respect to my role as a Deputy Treasurer - identifying delinquent properties and contacting owners in an effort to collect or at least address outstanding taxes owed the County. This intervention, much like the method used while I was an assistant prosecuting attorney, is a means of intervention with the goal of getting people and business owners back on track, paying taxes and avoiding the necessity of certifying these properties to the Prosecutor’s Office for actions in foreclosure. Doing so avoids the additional costs associated with litigation, reduces the burden on the Prosecutors Office and the Court’s and keeps families in their homes and businesses open. The second initiative is our Office’s efforts to foster the creation of a countywide Land Bank here in Lake County. Working together with the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, we are in the process of reaching out to the individual communities for support with this endeavor. Just recently, we were able to address community representatives with the Lake County Townships who wholeheartedly gave a resolution of support. In addition, formal responses received to date have been positive. A Land Bank for those not familiar with the concept is basically a community improvement incorporation authorized by the Ohio Revised Code. Its operation is quasi-governmental meaning it is not more government but includes representatives from the various governmental entities because those individuals should be aware of the needs of their respective communities. The purpose of a land bank is to promote economic and housing development within the county while facilitating the reclamation, rehabilitation and reutilization of vacant, abandoned, tax-foreclosed or other real property. This is done by the Land Bank acquiring, holding and managing properties pending their reclamation rehabilitation and reuse and where necessary, demolish dilapidated eyesores as well. Ultimately, the goal is to stop speculative buying and flipping, stabilizing the housing and tax base, and protecting neighborhood value. While Lake County does not have as severe an issue as neighboring counties, one in every 466 housing units in Lake County was subject to a foreclosure filing through November 2011. A countywide Land Bank is a proactive approach that can be of benefit to everyone and its operational costs are not at the taxpayers’ expense. More information can be found on Land Banks and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy at www.wrlandconservancy.org. Finally, another initiative being examined is the collection of property taxes through the sale of tax certificates. There are many benefits that can be immediately realized through this process. Statistically, tax lien sales motivate taxpayers to pay their taxes timely and redemption rates improve tremendously in those counties that utilize such sales. Revenue is immediate, at no cost to the county, and provides financial support for our public services. It provides taxpayers who have fallen behind additional options to resolve their tax delinquencies with costs that are typically lower than the penalties and interest that is currently imposed by law. Properly administered, tax certificates can be a win-win situation for everyone.
Whether for past accomplishments or future goals, why should voters elect you? The Lake County Treasurer is a most important position. In 2011 the Office collected in excess of 344 million dollars in property taxes and it handles upwards of 600 million dollars annually in county funds. These monies are hard earned tax dollars that we have designated to fund services within our communities. These tax dollars are the lifeblood of are our police and fire departments, our road departments, our recreation programs, our various senior centers, our libraries, our metropark system, our municipal and county courts and a variety of agencies providing a host of other services including helping those in need. These funds are also managed by the Treasurer, who must ensure that your money is accounted for, that it is in safe and secure investments, that funds are liquid and available when needed and that a realistic yield or rate of return is obtained, consistent with Ohio’s statutory requirements. I truly believe that voters, who look at my credentials, who consider my training and experience and who compare me with the other candidates will find that as the current Lake County Treasurer, John Crocker has stated, “I am the best qualified and best person for the job.”

Throughout my entire career, I have considered my role in government as one of public service. It is challenging, it is rewarding and it is something I enjoy. And I would very much appreciate the opportunity to continue this service as the Lake County Treasurer and respectfully ask the voters for their vote.

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