CANFIELD Trustee files objection over road-repair flap
A court ruling orders trustees to restore the road 'in good repair.'
CANFIELD -- Township Trustee Judy Bayus has filed a legal objection to a magistrate's decision not to hear her arguments before ordering the township to improve Gibson Road.
Bayus, through her attorney, Frank Bodor of Warren, states that Magistrate Eugene Fehr had a responsibility to hear her evidence that the road does not need to be repaired.
She says that Gibson Road has been properly maintained; the plans to improve the road are flawed and will create a safety hazard; and that her two fellow trustees agreed to improve the road to please a developer.
Fehr issued a ruling in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court last week stating that trustees must "restore Gibson Road to a state of good repair." The Cardinal Joint Fire District, which covers Canfield, had asked the magistrate to issue the ruling.
Bayus also states in her objection that the fire district does not have the ability to take legal action against the township.
The fire district argued that trustees had a legal responsibility to maintain the road, which is off state Route 46 just north of Canfield. The road is between 10 feet and 12 feet wide and marked in places by potholes and asphalt patches.
County Engineer Richard Marsico and Canfield school officials also have expressed concern about the road's condition.
Bayus had filed a motion to intervene in the fire district's case and present her evidence. Fehr denied the motion, stating that Bayus had the ability to express her opinions when she voted on the Gibson Road project as a trustee. He also said Bayus did not present enough proof stating that she should be allowed to intervene.
Bodor, however, said Bayus was intervening as a township resident, and not just as a trustee. He also said that Ohio court procedure allows Bayus to intervene without presenting additional proof.
Bayus also argued that Fehr should have allowed her to appeal his decision to dismiss her motion before he ordered the township to improve the road.
Bodor added that if Bayus' objection is not upheld, he will recommend that she take her case to the 7th District Court of Appeals.