Elected officials are the link between the citizens and their government in a system built to best serve our community. Office holders may be elected to one of three levels of government: federal, state or local. Our elected officials have dedicated themselves to representing their constituents and value the opinions and concerns of the people in their district. Please visit the links at the left to learn more about the Democratic officials serving you. Looking to contact your representative? Click here for their information.
The Federal Government consists of three branches. The first branch, the Executive branch, is headed by the President of the United States. The President is elected every four years and has a two-term limit. The second is the Legislative branch. The legislature is composed of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate and is often referred to as Congress. The Representatives, or the people's body, are elected every two years. The quantity per state is determined by population and they serve without term limits. Two Senators from each state serve staggered six year terms allowing for deliberative action. The third branch of the Federal Government, the United States Supreme Court, is appointed by the President with confirmation by Congress. This body consists of nine Justices who serve until death or retirement.
Similar to the federal layer, the state government is also composed of three branches. The Executive branch in Ohio is led by the office of Governor with support from the Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Auditor of State, Treasurer of State and the State School Board. All of these offices serve four year terms. The second layer of State Government is the legislative branch. Ohio has 33 State Senators and 99 State House Representatives who are elected to four and two year terms respectively. As with the federal government, Ohio also has a Supreme Court system; however, this body consists of seven persons who, rather than appointed, are elected by the people every six years. Before a case comes before the Supreme Court, Appellate Court Judges will hear appeals stemming from the county and municipal courts. They are also elected to six year terms and Summit County sits in the 9th Appellate Court District.
The local layer of government most closely affects our everyday lives. It is also the most complex. In Ohio, local government is organized at the county and municipal (city, township or village) layers of activity. These bodies perform services such as trash removal, police and fire protections as well as assist in economic development. It is the leadership of these communities that often works together to collaborate on efficiencies and opportunities to further our community progress.
THE COUNTY: Summit County is one of two counties in the state that functions under a County Executive system. Rather than utilizing the role of commissioner, Summit County charter mandates the elected roles of Executive, Fiscal Officer, Clerk of Courts, Engineer, Prosecutor and Sheriff. There are also Summit County Council Members, three who serve at-large, or the entire county, and eight who serve in districts which subdivide the county by population. Three layers of judicial offices function within the county: Juvenile Court, Common Pleas Court which houses the Probate Division and the Domestic Relations Court.
MUNICIPALITIES: Every community has office holders who represent them at the local level. Oftentimes these cities, townships or villages are served by Mayors and Councilpersons. Occasionally, trustees serve in place of a council. There are three major municipal court districts in Summit County including Akron, Barberton and Stow. Each of these has Judges and Clerks who deal with the most prevalent legal situations including traffic infringements and minor civil cases. It is important to note that Law Directors, Finance Directors, School Board Members, Water District Members and Park Board Members are also elected to support local municipal activities. The decisions on the terminology of office holders, what their role may be and how many years they serve are based on the local municipality's ordinances (laws) and population size, all in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code.