Tuesday, October 2, 2012


The numbers are in and the picture is not pretty but Stark County's legislative representative are politically none-the-worse-for-wear for having failed local governments in helping keep their heads above water in their finances.

The SCPR projects that Stephen Slesnick (Democrat - Canton, the 49th), Kirk Schuring (Republican - Jackson Township, the 48th) and Christina Hagan (Republican - the 50th) will win re-election next month by fairly comfortable margins.  And The Report is ready to project that the Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez (who, as Jackson Township fiscal officer, 9-1-1 governance committee chairman and Canton Municipal Court employee frequently complains about the drop off  of funding of local governments) will offer up a "sacrificial lamb" in opposition to Scott Oelslager two years hence when he seeks re-election.

In re-electing this Stark County legislative foursome, the message they receive is a loud and clear:  your seat is safe and secure no matter that you have done nothing to stop the carnage of Ohio's Local Government Fund funding of Stark County's cities, villages and townships.

To add insult to injury, beginning January 1st, there will be no more revenues from what used to be Ohio's estate tax.

And there are other legislative initiatives and failures to hold harmless that the four have participated in to one degree or another.

The SCPR really has no sympathy at all for local officials and their complaints about what Governor Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly is doing to them and to Stark County taxpayers.

Who among them has organized any pressure on the re-elective future of any of the four?

Answer:  none!

All they do is whine.

And when any one of the four shows up in local government venues, they are likely to be treated as if they are political royalty.  Kissing up to those who are hurting you seems to be the standard protocol most local government types dish out notwithstanding the financial grief that none of the four has done anything to stop.

Not that the four should be treated uncivilly, but they should receive a barrage of criticism and they should be subject to meaningful and threatening to their political longevity opposition as the come up for re-election.

The SCPR's take is that local officials really do not care so long as they can convince locals to ante up with local tax increases.

In the end, Columbus will have drained off about $7.4 million of Stark County local government funding which eventually will have to be made up in one fashion or another by the citizens of the cities, villages and townships of Stark County.

The SCPR is sympathetic to the taxpayers of Stark County who will be compelled through strategies ranging from finesse to bullying to increase the local tax burden and therefore (with the State of Ohio having walked off with at least $7.4 million) will have to double down on financing of local government.

What follows is a series of tables that the Stark County Political Report has created on the basis of information provided by Stark County Auditor Alan Harold's office.

So when Stark Countians look at the ballot on November 6th and they see the names of Hagan, Schuring and Slesnick, they ought to be seeing dollars escaping their wallets and purses, no?

Any voter who cares about his/her own pocketbook should be loathe to vote for any of the three, no?

1 comment:

Bryan said...

Martin, as always I appreciate your commentary. However, I would liek to point out that your criticism of these 4 is based on the premise that it is a bad thing that they reduced local government funding in an effort to balance the state budget. I am sure you realize that not everyone thinks that is bad. And whether it is good or bad, when does it become the responsibility of local government to figure out how to live within their means? Or does it always remain the "fault" of those who cut their revenue? I appreciate you thoughts, and I understand your point of view. Even though I may not agree all the time, I do think your opinions are well-considered and based on facts rather than rhetoric. And some of the cutting may not have been a good idea. But when government budgets are in the red, it is not always a revenue problem. Sometimes, it is a spending problem.