Portage County – As always, the office of the Portage County Board of Commissioners remains hopping with activity. The tax budget awaits public review as well as the slashing of fiscal reality. Of course the final budget will not take shape until December. The Board has recently made appointments of individuals to serve as volunteers on various boards. These include the Geauga Ashtabula Portage Partnership (which administers Workforce Investment money), the Portage County Airport, and PARTA. Although these votes are often unanimous, the PARTA appointment was quite controversial and was not unanimous. As always, the Board invites new applicants for these positions. A complete list is available on the official Portage County website or by contacting the office. I encourage everyone to do so, as it is a great way to participate in government.The discussions about a new Kent Court House continue. Obviously no discussions of blueprint or other details can meaningfully move forward without this decision. Commissioner Smeiles supports a land swap to acquire a $980,000 parcel. I believe we should build it on the land that the county already owns. We anxiously await Commissioner Frederick’s decision so that discussions can proceed with a new site or that we can choose one of these and continue the planning process.Finally, the Board has considered implementing a project that would make us the first county in Ohio to do so. The idea is to video record our meetings and stream them live to the internet. Many of our citizens have work or other obligations during the day and are unable to see what is happening in their government. This project, if we can find an appropriate funding source, would bring our meetings directly to people.