Gavel may pound again in Walbridge Mayor’s Court


WALBRIDGE — Getting a speeding ticket in the village or a citation for stealing a candy bar at 7-11 means
a trip to Perrysburg Municipal Court — for both the offender and the police officer.
To keep low offenders local and to reduce police costs, mayor’s court may be revived in Walbridge.
“It’s very preliminary right now. There hasn’t been a lot of work done yet. It’s just a thought,” said
Police Chief Kenneth Campbell.
He said that the timeline to bring the local court back was originally this summer, but now may be later
in the year.
The advantages of having a mayor’s court include keeping everyone local. A trip to Perrysburg Municipal
Court takes an officer out the village and inconveniences residents who may just want to pay a fine and
be done with the situation, Campbell said.
“A lot of the people who get citations in this area are local to begin with,” he said. “Keeping that
local feel, they feel like justice is dispensed a little bit better that way.”
Campbell, a former Northwood police officer, said that the city still has a mayor’s court.
Some offenses that could be handled in mayor’s court include a first offense OVI, disorderly conduct,
property maintenance and traffic citations, Campbell said. All felonies, domestic violence offenses and
second OVI’s would still go to municipal court of Wood County Common Pleas Court.
Walbridge Mayor Ed Kolanko said he is open to restarting the local court.
“When you look at a lot of the factors, it may make sense to bring it back,” he said.
Campbell could run it efficiently and it would be a service to village residents, Kolanko said.
Walbridge officials eliminated mayor’s court in 2015, with Kolanko saying it wasn’t making money and was
becoming cumbersome to run. It had been handling around 250 cases annually.
Back in 2007, the court was bringing in about $40,000 annually. In 2015, that amount was approximately
The Walbridge court was one of several to close around that time. Some were considered a way to generate
revenue from “speed traps” in villages.
Campbell said the goal of mayor’s court is not to make money.
“In any court situation, the goal should not be revenue,” he said. “When you do a speeding violation or
stop sign, the goal isn’t to make money. The goal is education and penalty for doing something wrong.”

He and Kolanko will continue to research it, along with James Bishop, the village administrator who was
also the magistrate for Walbridge Mayor’s Court when it was in session.
“Nothing’s a done deal with this, it’s just something I’m looking at and would like to see come back,”
Campbell said.

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