Sheriff: 'We need a plan'; Commissioner: 'We have a plan'

Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard says the situation involving cruisers at the sheriff's office is becoming desperate.
Scott Seitz2
Oct 1, 2012


The situation involving cruisers at the sheriff's office is becoming desperate, Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard says.

"Seven times in four years I've made a request for cruisers," Howard said. "I'm drafting a letter now to send to the county commissioners and that will make an eighth request.

"The commissioners need to develop a plan for the cruisers," Howard added. "It's their responsibility. They are the management and control the purse strings. We can only spend the money we are provided with."

Howard said Friday he's tired of hearing the commissioners gave his budget $50,000 earlier in 2012.

"They said I could spend that money on either cars or manpower," Howard said, adding he wasn't about to lay off deputies.

"I chose to keep people employed," he added. "The commissioners need a plan. It's time for action, in fact, it's way past the time for action. The safety of the public and the deputies is on the line."

Howard said the majority of the fleet is in "poor condition."

The sheriff recently spent $3,500 out of the Furtherance of Justice fund to buy a car from a nearby police department that had 114,000 miles on it and hail damage.

County Commissioner Larry Silcox said Friday afternoon there is a plan for cruisers.

"We bought three cruisers last year and we're going to buy another three this year, but the sheriff wanted personnel," Silcox said. "That was his choice.

"We'll look at this again next year and if the money is there, we will buy three more cruisers," he said. "That is the plan. I don't see it as an issue."

Silcox said that was the same plan that worked with retired Sheriff Richard Sutherland.

Howard along with Capt. Ted Patrick also said Friday the sheriff's office can't get any cooperation out of county mechanic Lon Burton.

The mechanic is supervised by the county commissioners.

Burton was hired by the county in 1999 and earns an annual salary of $39,644, according to auditor's office records.

"We have a couple cars with no radios and asked the county mechanic to install the radios and he refused to do that," Patrick said. "He said that wasn't in his job description. The mechanic isn't apparently being supervised because there have been several months of requests."

The sheriff said he's about to hire an outside to mechanic to equip the cruisers.

"That's at a cost of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money," he said.

After hearing this Friday, Silcox directly called the mechanic.

"That's absolutely untrue," Silcox said. "The mechanic has said a couple times in the past that things weren't in his job description when it clearly is. That was well in the past."

Silcox said he's received no complaints recently about the mechanic from the sheriff.

"I talked to the mechanic and told him anything the sheriff wants him to do, he will do," Silcox said.



The Silcox plan. Bang the sheriff as many times as possible in the funding department until his a$$ feels like an underpass.


Really? And did you do your research and talk to the Commissioners or are you just going by what this newspaper and the Sheriff's constant press releases spew?
Please call up your Commissioners and ask them personally. Every time you have a question ask your Commissioners YOURSELF. They work for you and you'd be very surprised at what you are NOT reading in the newspaper

Lillie Chaos

@ An American
Doesn't the sheriff's department work for the county also? Can you get questions answered or assistance.....not hardly. They are too busy with the hotel and doing whatever they do which is not making the voters feel safe or protected. Never see them so have no idea what they are doing except for what public information is available which is NOT enough. I want some facts and figures. Can I get them....NO.


Sad. You adults clearly demonsrtate why America is so messed up. Work together for the people!

former local

No kidding Kurt. I thought these people were supposed to be adults.


If Sheriff Howard is willing to pay "Thousands Of dollars" To put two radios in someone needs to be taking a closer look at his spending. Quit letting the CO's take cars home and put them in the road patrol line up. Sale some of the cars you have impounded and buy a few more used patrol cars. Quit working traffic and turn the crash's back over to the OSP You'll save thousands in overtime. Get back to bassic It's really not that hard. "The safety of the public and the deputies is on the line."


At least the money is being spent on equipment and not hiring his relatives, like the former sheriff or sending his wife on county paid trips. Law enforcment budgets are always the heaviest in the county. Howard, I believe, is leasing out spare cells, applying for available grant money, and taking time to hire qualified candidates that the county will be employing for the next 30 years. This is refreshing and a nice change from the past.

Lillie Chaos

Do you even live in Huron County? Do you know any of the people who work there? You can't be a rural voter with no law enforcement assistance available.


wow you are truly lost; this guy gets rid of quality people to hire in his neighbors and friends, most aren't even out of the academy yet and know they are getting a job which is kinda funny because to bring one in you have to push one out the door so everybody is wondering who is next because he has know loyalty to the former staff; i believe his quote was to the correctional staff was they were the biggest mistake dick sutherland ever done at the dept. thats always great moral


Interesting . . . the "Three Stooges" can afford to take out a $520,000 LOAN for a vestibule on the courthouse, purchase TWO $500 picnic tables, and send $300,000 to OSU, but they cannot equip the Sheriff's office with descent cruisers. Instead, they cut the Sheriff's annual budget IN HALF! Sure, Silcox has a plan . . . to run Huron County into the ground! We need people in the Commissioners' Office who KNOW how to spend our precious tax dollars wisely! Vote for DUNLAP and WARD in November!!

Lillie Chaos

@Windy.....the sheriff's budget was cut or he has the largest budget around? It can not be both ways. You see patrol cars parked but you NEVER see them patrolling....again....can't be both. Have you ever NEEDED a sheriff deputy and waited an hour because they were busy doing other things? Do you agree we need the Huron County Hotel to support the jail and all it's staff? Hard to say without out the specifics being available to the voters.



jack langhals

How do you know that,were they commissioners before?You nuts will be hammering on them after the first meting, if elected?There is no one to please everyone.


@ windy. I agree w all you said but the Ward comment. This lady is not a leader by any means.

Lillie Chaos

@ arn If a popular trend is to NOT vote for incumbents if you feel they are NOT contributing to the solution, will you please advise why you feel Ward should not be elected? This is a serious inquiry from a registered voter who cares about this county.


Its nothing personal at all. I just don't see the experience nor knowledge for her to run for a county seat. I've seen her talk and have been around to listen to her ideas for a few years now. Its just my personal opinion that she isn't for the job. Although, the guys currently serving are pretty pathetic also.


arnmcrmn - I agree with you that the guys currently serving as county commissioners are pathetic. I'm going to give WARD a chance. There is NO way that she could possibly be more deceptive than Bauer!

Bauer twists the facts only to scare the farmers into voting for him. In reality, FFA is funded through the local school districts, NOT thru Ag Extension. Also, local 4-H groups get absolutely NO funding from the local or State Ag Extension offices. The local 4-H group advisors are all volunteers and local parents get NO financial support from Ag Extenion for ANY of the 4-H projects their children take part in. Bauer's idle threats are just to cover up that he has sent $300,000 of OUR tax money each year to The Ohio State University (his former employer) for over 8 years now. I wonder . . . is this a conflict of interest given his pension as an OSU Extension employee?

arnmcrmn dont be surprised if you get some very wild ideas to fix things if she is elected. Like a county bake sale to fix the budget problems. Im not joking either.


I can attest to that, she is way out of her element in seeking this position. She is also one third of the Friends of the Airport founders which greatly reduces her chances.

Lillie Chaos

The I get it. That place where only a select few can enjoy their hobby. If I am wrong someone please tell me. Candidates nights are like the Woodstock cartoon: blah, blah, blah....but people with knowledge of what is going on need to share that knowledge. Many people are sincere in the quest for getting truly good candidates in the proper positions but not aware of the individuals relationships or tendencies.


Lillie - You are wrong.

Unlike the racetrack, which exists only so that those whose hobby is racing vehicles can have a place to drive fast safely, the airport is also a very important piece of the county's infrastructure, just like roads. In addition to visits by pilots passing through our area, almost 100 businesses benefit from the airport in its current location. Several of those businesses are located right on the airport property. Even the racetrack benefits from the airport right where it is. Unfortunately, instead of capitalizing on the numerous benefits of the location of our airport, the County Commissioners have been WASTING OUR TAX MONEY on it.

In 2007, the Commissioners signed an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration to receive grant money to purchase more land for the airport so the runway could be moved to help the racetrack and they used OUR tax money for the matching funds. Unfortunately, the legal agreement with this FEDERAL agency put the county in the unfavorable position of being REQUIRED to keep the airport open in perpetuity (forever). So, instead of applying for another Federal grant this year (at NO COST to the taxpayers) in order to improve the safety and drainage at the airport, the Commissioners decided to WASTE OUR tax money and hire a company from ANOTHER county to remove the safety hazards, especially since they finally realized that their inaction had made the COUNTY liable for any incidents which may occur because of these ODOT-identified hazards.

Even though the Federal Aviation Association came to Norwalk and told the Commissioners IN PERSON that they would NOT allow the airport to be sold, the Commissioners went ahead and WASTED $7500 of OUR tax money to try to find a loophole so they could try to get around the FAA's jurisdiction. The Commissioners' Clark & Winestock report reiterated that the airport CANNOT be sold. PERIOD.

So, instead of maintaining this important piece of county infrastructure, the Commissioners appointed a "civil disobedient" county employee to the airport board to cause an upheaval and to stand in the way of any attempts to make the airport as self-sustaining as possible. Their plan is obviously to devalue the airport, hoping that this will allow its sale to Bader.

Silcox, Bauer and Hintz continue to WASTE OUR TAX MONEY as they maintain the delusion that they are above the law and that they have more authority than the FEDERAL government. Who would pay $500 EACH for TWO picnic tables for a few county employees? Who would take out a $520,000 LOAN for an unnecessary courthouse vestibule or give a GIFT of $300,000 to the Ohio State University when the County's general funds are so low and its health care account is nearly BANKRUPT? Who would waste $7500 to hire a Washington lobbyist group when you cannot even afford to maintain the Sheriff's department at an appropriate level?

It is NOT about the airport OR the racetrack. It IS all about how OUR tax money is being WASTED and how these "Three Stooges" have tried to deceive the public in order to cover-up their personal hidden agendas. And, if you think for one minute that they are going to relocate the airport, you are a gullible moron! If the county's general fund is almost bankrupt, how in the world would the Commissioners ever be able to come up with the $5-6 MILLION that it would cost to move the airport?

The Commissioners have had enough time to prove themselves worthy of another term and THEY HAVE ALL FAILED. It is time to give someone else a chance to try to find a way to make our county more prosperous!


FFA is only for High School students, 4-H begins at Kindergarten level all the way to Senior year of school. Yes we are volunteers, but the program will not work with out a office and the staff. We must match the money OSU puts into the program, our educators do not only do 4-H they also do Senior Citizens,and assist Farmers. If you think this is program can survive with no office and 1 county educator for 2000 children you are WRONG! There is no conflict of interest here by Commissioner Bauer, this has been a program for many years before he was Commissioner. I have been a 4-H member, leader, assistant, advisor and active in 4-H for more than 45 years, and I know this is well worth our tax dollars! Is there conflict of interest for Commissioner Silcox, or Maybe future commissioner Tom Dunlap ?, as they were both deputies, sending Tax money out to the HCSO????? at a tune of 4.1 or 4.7 Million Dollars?????

Brock Lee

bauer lies 4h woent end when he gets the boot dunlap an ward will still fund it


I doubt they cut his budget in half. But they have made some bone headed choices, The sheriff just has to live within his budget

jack langhals

Good point,I can't remember any commissioners going back as far as 30 years,that were not arguing with the Sheriff's Dept.over the budget.No matter what dept.gets cut they all serve the public.JFS,Highway,License,Court,etc.


GIMME DANE MORE $$ is out of control, his budget is 1 Million Dollars more than the surrounding counties! These counties have higher population than Huron Co. and close to the same square miles. This Sheriff has chose to waste money on things that are not necessary, like 6 secretaries! 3 cruisers a year has been the same rotation as the previous sheriff's had, what makes Dane more special? Did he not replace the totaled cruizers and SUV's from the officers who totalled them? Like his buddy Harris that was on a phone, exceeding the speed limit,running a Stop sign, and driving with out due regard for the safety of others? Give us taxpayers a break, the mechanic has the cars up and in running order, and he is not a radio man, that should be left to a FCC licensed radio and emergency equipment person. Do not blame Lon and Commissioners that you wasted the money, on staff, and corrections officers who take cruisers home, they are not the road deputies! This is just another way to rack up unnecessary milage on vehicles, that should be at the department, in case a emergency, and a road deputy could switch cars, until the other car is repaired! Give us a break Windy and all those Blind Dane Supporters, Dunlap is already in his (pocket) control, look at the award he got for being a TEACHER at EHOVE, now that is a joke! Dunlap was the worst Sheriff we have ever had, and cost this county the most in legal fees and law suits in the history of this county! Maybe until we find out how much the law suits agains this county will pay out with GIMME DANE MORE $$ as the Sheriff! notice, I do compare him to the corrrupt Cleveland Jimmy DeMora! Maybe the Attorney General should look into the Sheriff of Huron Co, his actions, deeds, and ? other practices!


This administration has racked up mega bucks in costs with lawsuits and employee injuries. Stop out sometime and look way in the back at all the cruisers sitting there unused not to mention all the confiscated vehicles that have been rotting for years in the weeds. Smoke and mirrors people, smoke and mirrors!


Just a quick comment on the impounded vehicles. You do realize that the county cannot drive these or use these vehicles right? Without the title signed over into their name = no drive.


Of course, my point is some of these vehicles that will not be going back to the owner have been there for YEARS...once the case is closed how about selling them on gov deals? Or scrapping for parts, even a little money would the very least clean the area up and make room for additional vehicles?


You cannot sell them without a title. You cannot scrap it without a title. That was my point. Its not like these people are going to hand it over either.