SB5 won’t save you- revisit the Northwest Ordinance first

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.”

via Public asked to help decide how region will look in 30 years.

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.

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6 Responses

  1. Greg Hunter March 31, 2011 / 11:14 am
    Canada Oh Canada!

    The Toronto solution!

  2. Bruce Kettelle March 31, 2011 / 12:57 pm
    Greg – great refrence. I especially liked reading about the issue of the different combined entities causing a problem with duplicate street names. I wonder how many “Main Streets” exist in Montgomery County?

    These small issues should not get in the way of solving broader problems and the desire to be more cost efficient. For instance the Dayton region needs some kind of urban growth boundary like Portland uses. And is 17 school districts in our county enough? My vote is for far fewer, if not just 1.

     Lets keep the regional government discussion alive. Where have our leaders been on this issue. It seems we had a flurry of active discussion two years ago but nothing recently. Is there anything stiill going on?

  3. David Sparks March 31, 2011 / 1:33 pm
    Unions already cannot use dues for political funding. Unions can have political funds that their members voluntarily contribute to.
  4. Bob from the Boro April 1, 2011 / 7:18 am
    Death to the public sector unions!

    Long live freedom.

  5. Jeff Dziwulski April 2, 2011 / 3:54 pm
    THe MVRPC land use planning effort is a colossal waste of time and money.  Regionalism happens here as pragmatic, ad-hoc cooperative efforts, or via that clearinghouse function that MVRPC peforms. 

    I think the recent issue about RTA rerouting their #1 line to loop down Pentagon Boulevard to serve that new edge city out on I-675 should disabuse anyone of thinking about regionalism, what a political non-starter this is.  Something as simple as a bus line loop (and one that the suburb in question was not going to even pay for) is too difficult and too controversial.  Same with the flap about regional dispatch.  

    So I see more of trend to fragmentation and “circling the wagons” against being part of a larger whole, out  in suburbia, certain types of suburbia, then the other way around.

    Though this is way off-topic when it comes to SB5.  I can see both sides of that issue. 

  6. David Lauri April 24, 2011 / 10:02 am
    A fun article that speaks to Ohio’s having too many political jurisdictions appeared recently on HuffPost, “Municipal M&A: Budget Woes May Force Cities Like Detroit, Hamtramck To Combine:”
     

    Local officials in Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey, California and other states are considering municipal mergers, which some see as the only way to preserve services amid a historic economic downturn. Zionsville, Ind., combined with two townships last year, and political and economic pressures are pushing other communities in that direction. In California, some cities are outsourcing services to their counties. In Michigan, politicians in Detroit and neighboring Hamtramck say merging the two governments might save the dollars needed to stay afloat.Local officials in Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey, California and other states are considering municipal mergers, which some see as the only way to preserve services amid a historic economic downturn. Zionsville, Ind., combined with two townships last year, and political and economic pressures are pushing other communities in that direction. In California, some cities are outsourcing services to their counties. In Michigan, politicians in Detroit and neighboring Hamtramck say merging the two governments might save the dollars needed to stay afloat.

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