In their infinite wisdom and pursuit of non-problems, the Ohio House and Senate have now used draconian measures, SB5, to do something that could have been quite simple: all they had to do was outlaw union dues going to political efforts. Of course, maybe if they outlawed corporations from political efforts too- we’d really get somewhere.
But, in the rush to “cut costs” for the people of Ohio- they missed our biggest overhead issue: too many jurisdictions. End of story. One of the reasons Kansas City won the Google Fiber test- was that there was only one government bureaucracy to deal with. On the other hand- we’ve got the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission working on our “strategy for a future”- “Going Places” and coming up with seven different strategies- none including elimination of jurisdictions:
In addition, he said, the regional plan has put together data that the local jurisdictions can use when they update their land use plans.
“The bottom line is the databases and background material is going to be there for them to use and save money ultimately,” Spang said. “They don’t have to go out and hire an consultant to do work we’ve already done.”
It will be up to the 77 voting members of the commission’s board whether the plan is given teeth by steering federal dollars to transportation projects that comply with it.
In the end, Spang said, the power of the plan will be in how it’s incorporated into the planning of the 82 political jurisdictions that are members of the regional planning commission.
“That’s ultimately where the enforcement of the regional land use plan will be,” Spang said. “It will be at the local level.”
82 political jurisdictions are the problem people- not the unions, not the “heartbeat bill” – and not texting while driving (although good advice- enforcement is hard). Let’s go to 88 local governments in Ohio and 88 school boards- and start there. A good case could be made that we have too many counties as well.
Unfortunately, SB5 has passed- and now it’s up to the voters to decide in what is going to be an expensive and nasty process of trying to sort the good parts of it- and the bad parts of it- and fix what the legislature broke- further sidetracking us from what we really should be doing.
Note- there is one part of SB5 that makes the Dayton Charter issues that I’m fighting to repeal an issue:
Voters also can petition for a referendum on local employment agreements if the new contract leads to a tax increase, according to the legislation. (ibid)
Good luck with that one Dayton- you’ll have to try to get more signatures than is possible to get it on the local ballot (you can contribute to the legal fund to overturn our draconian petition process now, please)
Rules written in 1784 need to be revisited. As do City Charters written in 1913. Then we can start dealing with ones written in 1983- and maybe, Ohio can stop making the news for all the wrong reasons.