Monday, March 5, 2012

Guest Post From Judge Jason Aslinger

Guest posts are welcome and encouraged. If you have something to say and are able to do it in a respectful, reasonable way, send your piece to darkejournal@gmail.comThe contents of guest posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions of   

To the Publisher of Darke Journal:

My name is Jason Aslinger. I am the Judge of the Darke County Probate/Juvenile Court.

I have been married to my wife Karin (Funderburg) for fourteen years, and we have three children: Audrey, Jacob, and Hallie. We are members of the Ansonia First Church of God.

I was raised in Greenville. My parents are Fred and Bonnie Aslinger. Neither of my parents had a college education when they were married. My dad was a Vietnam veteran and would later use his military credits to put himself through college. I grew up in a small house on Hall Street near East School. My parents struggled to raise my brother and me, often working multiple jobs to get by. Later, after my brother and I graduated from high school, my mother spent several years working at Corning to help pay for our college. I learned a lot from my parents about hard work and sacrifice. But it wasn’t hard work and sacrifice for its own sake – my parents did these things for the purpose of holding a family together through difficult times.

I graduated from Greenville High School, and later attended Bowling Green (earning a business degree) and Toledo Law School. My first job as a lawyer was with a firm in Arcanum. I later moved my practice to Greenville, and I eventually started my own solo law practice.

When I had my own solo practice (2005-2011), I broke the mold for traditional law practices in Darke County. Most law firms have expenses that are 30%-50% of their gross receipts. Mine were closer to 10%. I did this by working by myself, or by having part-time employees. I shopped for cheaper supplies, bought used equipment, and furnished my office with borrowed items. Later on, I bought a building for $16,000 which I rehabbed myself and used as my law office for several years. I was able to create a very profitable business with few expenses.

During this time I also created Darke Journal (this website). I built it entirely by myself, with an investment of nothing more than $10 and my labor and ideas. I had to give up this business when I became Judge, but I am proud of what I have left behind. Again I developed a profitable business - with almost no expenses.

In 2009, my life was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with a potentially deadly illness. It was a great struggle for Karin and me. We spent several months waiting for surgery, knowing that the outcome could change our family forever. It was during this time that a lot of amazing things happened to me, and the entire community rallied around our family. The surgery was a success, and I now count that experience as the greatest blessing I have ever received. I am a much different person – Christian, dad, husband, friend – than I was beforehand.

Last year, I was appointed Darke County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge. I was the first judicial appointee of Governor John Kasich. Governor Kasich is known to say “when you get your chance, swing for the fences.” This is how I have approached my time as Judge.

When I took office, we had only about six weeks to prepare the interim 2012 budget for the Court. We went through the entire budget with an eye on eliminating any unnecessary expenses. We also had a probation officer resign during this time, and instead of hiring a new employee, we reorganized duties of the remaining probation officers to free up more time for them. By eliminating the unused services, and not hiring the new employee (along with other lesser cuts) we reduced the budget by over $130,000 (6.6%).

When the budget was completed, I wanted to take on another big project. My probation officers all agreed that juvenile drug abuse was an issue that deserved some immediate attention. I did some research, and I met with another Judge who started her own drug court. We met with a consultant from the Ohio Supreme Court who gave us a template for starting a drug court. The Supreme Court’s plan involved the formation of a committee and months of planning before getting started. My staff agreed that we couldn’t wait, and so we started our own drug court almost immediately. We are taking kids who are at risk and making them come to Court every two weeks to: 1) face the Judge, 2) give an update on counseling, and 3) get drug tested. After several months, we have achieved great success. We have had two children successfully released from the program after several months of clean drug tests. Others are on the right path, and we are making incredible progress for the community. And we have done it all with our ideas and labor alone. The drug court has improved the community while costing the taxpayers nothing.

We have other projects we are working on right now, and all we need is more time to get them done. I have accomplished a lot in eleven short months, and I have been encouraged by many for a job well done so far.

I am a social conservative and a fiscal conservative, and I’m not embarrassed to say so. These are my values. I have run the Court as a conservative, cutting my budget and demanding more accountability from juveniles and parents alike. I have run my prior businesses as a conservative. And I also run my family as a conservative. Karin and I are raising our children in a loving, Christian home where our children are encouraged but also punished when necessary. I think it’s perfectly appropriate to look at the way I am raising my family and count it as a reason to vote for me as Judge (particularly Juvenile Court Judge).

I have been involved in a contested primary for several months. I am proud of the job my team has done, and I have been overwhelmed by the support of volunteers, contributors, and well-wishers. We have executed our campaign exactly as planned. I will admit disappointment at a series of attack letters against me from people I’ve never met or heard of before. I am also disappointed by the newspaper which repeatedly published these letters knowing many of the claims were false. I have been tempted to respond, but I know the Republican voters in Darke County can separate the truth from nonsense and fiction.

It has been a great honor to serve as Judge. My main focus is to find ways to improve the community. I want to use the office to make Darke County the best it can be. And I will continue to lead my office with conservative principles and values in mind. I would appreciate your vote on Tuesday in the Republican primary.

Judge Jason Aslinger

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Posts

/* Track outbound links in Google Analytics */