Some state lawmakers have some very serious questions, legitimate questions about combining Eastern and Central District courts.
State Sen. Capri Cafaro says she wants to know how Central District Court Judge Tom Campbell, who has been pushing for consolidation, arrived at the number he claims would be saved if the courts in Cortland and Brookfield were merged.
Cafaro, D-Hubbard, did say that at this point, ''there may be some merit because of limited resources,'' but until Campbell can prove what he's saying is a savings of $150,000 a year, she's not drawing a conclusion.
State Rep. Tom Letson has questions about the figures - how much could this cost or save - and how to marry two very different court computer systems. Also, the Warren Democrat wants a firm answer on if consolidating the courts creates a new court, which in turn necessitates a new election.
He believes it would.
Letson also has concerns about timing.
''I am not so hard and fast in opposition as I am hard and fast in opposition to speed because the available time to vet this in committee is diminishing and that is one of my problems,'' said Letson, D-Warren. ''If we introduce a bill about it, it is not going to get heard. We only have about two more weeks left in committee.''
Letson said he and Campbell agreed to continue talk of consolidation, according to the state representative.
State Rep. Sean O'Brien, who isn't opposed to the idea, shares similar concerns. In addition, they question location.
''Where are we going to put them, where is the location?'' said O'Brien, D-Brookfield and a former county prosecutor in the two courts.
It's important state lawmakers who represent Trumbull County are on board, because ultimately the decision to consolidate is with them in Columbus. A two-thirds majority vote in both houses of the General Assembly is needed to make the consolidation happen.
Campbell, a Republican, said he has a commitment from Republican state Rep. Casey Kozlowski of Pierpont to introduce the legislation needed to make the merger happen.
Kozlowski represents a portion of northern Trumbull County that is in the court's jurisdiction. New district boundaries will have him outside of Trumbull County though.
Campbell also has been in touch with legislative liaisons at the Ohio Supreme Court, which also supports the consolidation effort, and conversations with leaders in the Ohio House and Senate.
The Eastern District Court seat in Brookfield will be open because Judge Ron Rice is leaving to seek a seat as Trumbull County Common Pleas judge. He does not have an opponent in the fall.
Run, Tim Ryan, run!
The Democrat congressman from Niles will run the Cleveland marathon May 20 to support Project Welcome Home Troops, a stress relief workshop for returning soldiers.
He's been training for weeks, according to a news release from his campaign, and is running to raise money to support the mental and physical health of Ohio soldiers coming home.
Over a six-day course, Project Welcome Home Troops uses breathing techniques to reduce anxiety, deal with emotions and increase resiliency and energy.