Friday, October 17, 2008
DISCUSSION: A CASE IN POINT - WHY INCREASING NUMBERS OF CITIZENS DISDAIN PUBLIC OFFICIALS & CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE?
The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) sees public officials/candidates for office "wring their hands" and hears their bitter complaints about the generally accepted reality that the general public has a low opinion of them.
Right now the public's approval of Congress in about 10%, the president in the 20s and like numbers for politicians generally.
Is the public's view any better in Stark County?
Not if you soak in the cynicism expressed at the PUCO (Public Utilities Commission of Ohio) hearing last night on American Electric Power's (AEP) request for an electric rate increase of 52% (15% per annum compounded over 3 years).
The Report did not see one single elected official (only a few appointed officials) at the meeting held at Glenwood Middle School located in Plain Township. Not one single Plain Township trustee was present.
Canton did send its Economic Development head Robert Torrez to the meeting. But he was met by jeers when he announced that he and Mayor William J. Healy, II were endorsing full approval of AEP's request.
It seemed as if AEP had called in its due bills from all area economic development entities as they all dutifully walked up to the testimonial microphone and said what a wonderful company AEP is.
Well, Mr. Kevin Ellis of Louisville doesn't think AEP is so wonderful. In the accompanying video he says AEP only becomes a good corporate citizen by dropping the rate increase.
Over a period of time, The Report will be presenting videos of actual testimony before the PUCO including the reading of Mayor Healy's letter of unqualified support for AEP's rate increase.
Ohio Representative (50th) and Republican running against Democrat Pete Ferguson for Stark County commissioner was not there. Why is his absence of any particular significance?
Hagan is the chairman of the House's public utilities committee which ushered this legislation to passage. It is not good legislation because it allows for large increases like AEP's request. Had not Governor Strickland not intervened, it would have been even worse for consumers.
John Hagan has been a patsy for the utilities. He above other area politicians should have been at the meeting last night to explain to a number of middle income and fixed income Stark County families how they are going to manage over the next 3 years.
But John Hagan has proven over and over again what a political coward he is. He inhabits the back rooms and dark places of politics in which he consorts with those who want to shaft everyday people.
It is beyond The Report why any Stark Countian would want to vote for this guy for Stark County commissioner.
But this is another race which hard to get enthusiastic about the alternative. What is Ferguson's remedy for what ails Stark County? Turn to the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce. He has got to be kidding!
How does he think Stark County got in the dire condition it's in now. The Chamber has stood by watching, doing nothing or ineffectively dealing with problems (e.g. The Hoover Company, et ceteera) in the Stark County economy for years now.
The question: Do you accept that public officials can sit on the sidelines and not attend and testify at a hearing that is going to bring a 52% increase in your electric bill, if approved?
Posted by Martin Olson at 12:45 PM