County right to fight for taxpayersPublished 12:00am Sunday, February 10, 2013
Lawrence County’s government has to stand up for its citizens and fight to recover money owed them, even if it means a potentially nasty legal battle with neighboring counties.
That is the scenario when it comes to the ongoing dispute over who owes whom and how much in regards to the now defunct Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Services. The dispute has been ongoing for months with Jackson and Athens counties filing lawsuits against Lawrence County and our county countersuing.
State audit reports seem to paint clearly the picture that we long believed to be true — that Lawrence County taxpayers were subsidizing ambulance service in the other two member counties.
It certainly appears that Athens and Jackson counties owe Lawrence more than $300,000.
Lawrence County has a strong case and should seek not only reimbursement but also attorney’s fees and repayment of all other fees associated with the suit that could have been resolved if all three parties would have amicably agreed to sit down and handle this dispute in a reasonable manner.
But that didn’t happen. Now there is no recourse other than asking a judge to decide who is right.
In the end, we believe it will be Lawrence County taxpayers who win this case.