YOUNGSTOWN - City councils in Campbell and Struthers are opposing any effort to consolidate the lower courts of Mahoning County.
Councils in both cities have passed resolutions opposing plans to merge the county court system and municipal court systems, citing cost of a new facility in the eastern part of the county and lost revenue.
Campbell Mayor William VanSuch said he has met with representatives of the county Bar Association, who are studying consolidation efforts, and he was unsure of the idea because his city would lose the revenue they currently collect now from their municipal court.
VanSuch said he could be persuaded to support a plan if the city could be recompensated for the revenue lost from not having their own court system.
Struthers Mayor Terry Stocker did not return a message seeking comment.
The resolutions that both councils almost mirror each other exactly. They each said that with the construction of a court in downtown Youngstown for residents of the city along with Boardman, Canfield and Austintown, an additional building would have to be built for residents of eastern Mahoning County.
Mahoning Municipal Courts are located in Campbell, Struthers and Youngstown.
County courts are based in Austintown, Boardman, Canfield and Sebring.
Viewpoints on the consolidation are being sought by the Mahoning Bar Association and may be forwarded to attorney Scott Cochran at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-743-6300.
Bar Association member Scott Cochran, who heads up a committee studying consolidation, said he has met with officials in both cities and is aware of their concerns.
Cochran said there have been several ideas discussed on where new facilities will be built but no final answer has been reached yet.
''It is an ongoing process. We don't have a final plan yet. We are still meeting.''
Cochran said his committee is trying to get as many viewpoints and he urged anyone with an opinion to contact him.
Just Wednesday, Cochran's committee recommended that the Youngstown Municipal Court stay with the two judges it has now and not replace Judge Robert Douglas, who retired this summer.
State Rep. Bob Hagan, D-Youngstown, has proposed a consolidation of the county courts, saying that shrinking resources, population and caseload no longer justify the need for so many courts.
Trumbull County commissioners in late April approved consolidating their two courts, but the decision rests with lawmakers in Columbus, where the competing Republican and Democrat-sponsored bills are waiting.