Monday, January 19, 2009


On Saturday the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) attended an information session put on by the Stark County Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (MRDD) administration.

The Report will be putting on a series of reports discussing whether or not Stark Countians should be willing to support a 1.4-mill property tax levy (projected to be the levy which the Stark MRDD Board is likely to ask the county commissioners to put on the May ballot) which is to raise $10 million per year and which is to last through 2014 to enable Stark MRDD to "tread water" through 2014.

One of the pet projects of The Report is to show how important it is as to which candidate(s) Stark Countians should be electing to send to the Ohio General Assembly.

Because the Ohio General Assembly voted to re-structure taxes (HB 66/FY 06/07), the Stark MRDD (among a long list of other local governments) will face huge cuts in state funding beginning in 2011.

For MRDD the cuts will amount to $4.6 million over the span 2011 - 2017.

Who will have to make up the difference local entities including Stark MRDD?

Either Stark Countians vote increased millage for Stark MRDD or drastic cuts will have to be made.

All of this points out how deficit the foresight of members of the Ohio General Assembly is (including locals - in the order pictured above - Scott Oelslager (R - 51st - Ohio House), , William Healy (D - now mayor of Canton; then 52nd Ohio House),
Kirk Schuring (R- 29th Ohio Senate), Mark Okey (D - 61st Ohio House), John Hagan (R - now term limited out; then 50th Ohio House) and last, but certainly not least, John Boccieri (D - now 16th district congressman; then 33rd Ohio Senate).

The Report remembers how optimistic these legislators were that the new tax formula which focused on a Commercial Activities Tax (CAT) that they believed would stimulate new business in Ohio and provide the needed revenues to continue to "hold harmless" entities like Stark MRDD on the loss of state support.

So three years later; Ohioans and Stark Countians learn how utterly irresponsible it was for legislators to legislate on a "hope and a prayer."

Now the "chickens are coming home to roost," are they not?

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