Improving Transparency for Portage County Ohio Records

Transparency in Portage County Ohio Records

Without transparency, government officials operate in the dark. Without transparency, we can’t hold our public officials responsible for their actions. And when those officials don’t have to be accountable to anyone, they just serve themselves. For Portage County Ohio records, we can do better. 

This self-dealing behind closed doors means higher taxes but fewer services. It means regular people stretching their wallets further. And it means our democracy isn’t working the way it’s supposed to. 

This is why public records need to truly be public. And we must start here at home. Keeping high standards of openness and honesty is vital at the local level. Portage County Ohio records should be available for residents to find from the comfort of their living rooms.

Portage County Ohio Records

Fixing Inefficiencies

Right now, if a Portage County resident wants to find public records, there are several different forms for different departments. This is inefficient. If a citizen of Portage County wants to find out what their leaders are doing with their tax dollars, that process should be 

  • Simple 
  • Straightforward 
  • Easy to access

As soon as he takes office, Lis Kenneth Regula wants to install a user friendly online search function for Portage County Ohio records. It would be a quick, cost-effective way to vastly improve transparency. 

Traveling Auditor’s Office: Bringing Services to the People

When elected, Lis Kenneth Regula will start a traveling Auditor’s office. He will bring the Auditor’s office to the people of Portage County.

If public services are only open weekdays 9-5, that’s inconvenient. Regula’s Traveling Auditor’s Office will go to local libraries and town halls across Portage County. People will be able to file paperwork, ask questions, and do business with the Auditor’s office in their own neighborhoods, after work.

Especially when people’s property values have suddenly gone up, Portage County residents need a public records request system that works. Lis Kenneth Regula knows this problem needs fixed. It’s time. 

Traveling Auditor’s Office: Bringing Services to Your Neighborhood

If elected as Portage County Auditor, Lis Kenneth Regula will start a Traveling Auditor’s Office. He will bring Auditor’s services to local libraries, town halls, and community centers across Portage County.

If people need to do business with the Auditor’s office, they shouldn’t have to drive to the county building. Instead, the Auditor should come to them. That’s what the Traveling Auditor’s Office does. 

Traveling Auditor's Office

Why a Traveling Auditor’s Office?

  • Convenience
  • Efficiency
  • Safety

Convenience: These days, people are working harder for less money. Our public services should be open when working people have time to use them. Regula’s Traveling Auditor’s Office will be open during regular business hours AND evenings/weekends. Working people need services they can use without taking time off work.

Efficiency: When public offices aren’t being proactive, they aren’t being efficient. Bringing the Auditor’s office to the folks who need it means less wasted time. It means more work with less time and effort. It’s working smarter, not harder.

Safety: This is Northeast Ohio. Sometimes, the roads are a little icy in the winter. Why dust off your car and drive a long way in dangerous conditions, when you could just drive down the road in your own neighborhood?

Will This Cost More Money?

No. The Traveling Auditor’s Office will just rearrange the schedule. The Auditor is paid salary, not hourly, so even adding hours would not cost taxpayers any more. Lis Kenneth Regula will coordinate with local officials and hold office hours when buildings are already open.

What About the Townships and Rural Areas?

Too often, townships and rural areas are forgotten. Lis Kenneth Regula lives in Kent now, but he grew up in a small Ohio town called Elida, where his grandparents were farmers.

The township hall might still be a far drive for a lot of people. To make sure those folks can still access the Traveling Auditor’s Office, Lis Kenneth Regula will reach out to township residents to ask where office hours would be convenient.

Do Other Elected Officials Do This?

Usually, politicians only reach out to people when they’re up for re-election. But this isn’t a campaign ploy. It’s just a common sense idea.

Lis Kenneth Regula is a college professor. He also ran his own small business. So, he’s used to working around people’s schedules. If the people of Portage County elect him, he will resign from teaching and bring the same hard work and innovation to the Auditor’s office.

Portage Property Values Rise but Wages Stay the Same

After the latest property appraisal, many Portage County home owners saw their property values rise.

The Auditor’s office held informal meetings for residents to voice their concerns. Over 900 residents showed up. At one meeting, many people were turned away because of the crowd size. 

On Oct. 20, the Akron Beacon Journal reported on a Ravenna resident’s concerns about the property appraisals.

Between the City and Township of Ravenna, about 9,000 parcels of land were appraised. Of those, 56 percent increased in value, 23 decreased, and 21 percent stayed the same, wrote Steve Raffa in an email. Raffa works for Integrity Appraisal Services, which conducted the appraisals for the Auditor’s office.

“The great majority” of the parcels with no change were “small vacant lots,” explained Raffa. 

Raffa said appraisal data for the whole county is not public yet. However, many home owners in Aurora and Brimfield said their property values also went up. 

After the Appraisal: Higher Property Taxes, Stagnant Wages

Finance data puts the appraisal in context. When property taxes go up but wages stay the same, the economy can slow down. The appraisal may hurt Portage County’s economic growth.

Appraisal Economy Facts

Last year, the average Portage County yearly wage was $41,780. This is nearly $3,000 below the national average. In 2016, the Portage County average yearly wage was $39,834.

Plus, 15 percent of Portage County households are in poverty. The Ohio average is 14 percent. Of the Portage County residents living in poverty, 17 percent are families with kids.

Most people’s homes are their biggest expense. Their homes are also their biggest investment. When property values suddenly rise, this can throw off a middle class family’s whole budget.

When property values soar, people don’t want to move to Portage County. As people leave, our economy struggles. This means lost jobs and higher costs of living.

Next time there’s a property appraisal, we must plan for the future of Portage County. Lis Kenneth Regula built a career in statistics and data analysis. He wants to get to the bottom of why so many property values increased so dramatically. And he wants to conduct property appraisals with honesty, transparency, and consideration of working families.

Have you voted yet? Here’s where, when & how

Election Day, which is November 6th, isn’t your only chance to vote. You can also vote with an absentee ballot. Or you may vote early. Here’s how:

Early voting takes place at the Portage County Board of Elections. The address is 449 South Meridian St. in Ravenna. It’s the administration building, across from the BMV. Early voting happens on the first floor, in room 101. There are signs directing people to the early voting location.

Here are the hours for early voting:

Oct. 15-19 (M-F) 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Oct. 22-26 (M-F) 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Oct. 27 (Sat) 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Oct. 29-Nov. 2 (M-F) 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Nov. 3 (Sat) 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Nov. 4 (Sun) 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Nov. 5 (Mon) 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Early voting ends at 2 p.m. on Monday, November 5th.

To early vote, you must have registered to vote by October 9th.

If you don’t want to vote early in person, you may also vote by mail. Here is the absentee ballot request application:

Then, Election Day is November, 6th. Start thinking about how and when you plan on getting to the polls. Ride share companies, Uber and Lyft, are offering free transportation to the polls. If you don’t know your polling location, you can find it here:

Lis Kenneth Regula Endorsed by Congressman Tim Ryan

Congressman Tim Ryan Endorses Lis Kenneth Regula for Portage County Auditor

Tim Ryan Lis Kenneth Regula

Ravenna, OH — Congressman Ryan today proudly announced his endorsement of Lis Kenneth Regula to be the next Portage County Auditor.

“I’m proud to endorse Lis Kenneth Regula for Portage County Auditor,” said Rep. Tim Ryan. “After sitting down with him several times, I’ve seen for myself that he has the skills and experience to help the county thrive. I hope you’ll consider giving him your vote in November.”

“Lis Kenneth Regula’s experience in public service and financial management make him the strongest choice for Portage County auditor. His plan to modernize the office will provide a convenient and efficient process of conducting county business. And as a father, educator, and nonprofit leader, Mr. Regula can be trusted to assess property values with integrity and fairness towards all,” said Rep. Tim Ryan.

Mr. Regula’s plan for Portage County would:

  • Modernize the Auditor’s office. We’re way past the days of pencil and paper. Updating the office would be an efficient way to conduct business more conveniently.
  • Start a traveling Auditor’s office, so people can submit paperwork, file business licenses, and ask questions at their local city hall or library, instead of driving to the county building in Ravenna.
  • Conduct property evaluations with scientific precision, fairness, and honesty.

Lis Kenneth Regula has a statistics background. He teaches biology at University of Akron.

As a scientist, Regula has the statistics, data, and analytic background to succeed as auditor. From professor to auditor, the common thread is serving the public. Teaching offers an important public service, and so does managing our county’s finances.

Previously, he owned a small business which offered natural parenting products. He also founded Edible Kent, a community gardening nonprofit. His hobbies also include beekeeping and woodworking. Regula lives in Kent with his 12-year-old son, Kenny.