Wednesday, September 30, 2009


 REVISED & UPDATED ON 09/30/2009 AT 3:30 P.M.

The SCPR has learned that former Stark County Common Pleas judge Richard Reinbold and Stark County Democratic Party chair Randy Gonzalez will be manning the effort for Stark County government to retain the "imposed" 0.50 percent sales/use tax imposed by Stark County commissioners (Harmon and Bosley; not Ferguson - he had not yet taken office) in December, 2008.

It is appropriate that this duo lead the effort for the government.

Both have benefited richly from the public purse in the individual, personal sense and in the family sense in terms of benefiting from local government employment.

The Reinbold/Gonzalez led campaign will focus on 9-1-1 and will attempt to diminish that part of the imposed tax that is designed to raise millions of dollars for the Stark County general fund.

For the commissioners, do not expect Todd Bosley to be front and center on this issue.  Tom Harmon and the unelected Mike Hanke (county administrator) has been designated to "fall on the sword" for the county.

Why not Bosley?

Isn't he the one who came up with the idea and pushed it through?

Indeed.  But he faces re-election next year and the SCPR believes he is now trying to distance himself from the issue hoping voters will forget his fatherhood of the imposed tax by the time November, 2010 rolls around - if the issue loses this November.

Yesterday, The Rep had the local G-man and the anti-tax people in for an endorsement interview.

The SCPR reads one county official's allusion to the session as being "not so good" (The Report's words) for Messers Marcelli and Snyder; the leaders of the Stark Citizens for the Right to Vote Committee.

Yours truly is leaning towards voting "yes - retain the tax" (Issue 5).  But in the end, the vote could turn "no, do not retain the tax" (Issue 5) because of a perceived lack of confidence in Stark County officials to properly manage the funds that flow into county coffers.

9-1-1 does need repaired and the county does need the money for basic and essential county government services.  Both needs, if satisfied, will benefit thousands of Stark Countians.

So the question for many Stark County voters is whether or not to overlook the few who will benefit, unfairly in the opinion of the SCPR, from increased public revenues so as to advantage the many.

Some will say that's an easy one to answer.  "It's a no-brainer, let's benefit the many; so what that a few take advantage of their political connections."

On the other hand, when does one say "enough is enough" and insist that the politicos quit the practice of taking care of themselves, their families and their political loyalists at public expense.

The point that may be the tipping point for a "no, do not retain the tax" (Issue 5) for yours truly is that there are too many politically connected folks like Reinbolds and Gonzalez and their families that have used Stark County government and its political subdivisions as an personal employment agency.  

These jobs are withheld from the Stark County general public as set asides for the  Stark County political class, both Democrats and Republicans.  However, the Democrats hold most Stark County elective offices and therefore are - by far  -the greater beneficiaries of this abuse of the public trust.

The self-serving do not seem to be able to "get it," that voters are quite aware of their working the system for themselves.  Perhaps the time to drive the point home is when the government they have attached themselves to is in dire need of additional revenues.  One way to deal with them is to keep government on "life support" and deny them the opportunity to pad the public payroll with political patronage.

Since this is an issue, either side of the of Issue 5  can legally solicit and accept corporate money.

Which side of Issue 5 do you think has the best chance of getting significant corporate money?

Of course, the "yes - retain the tax" (Issue 5) folks.  Presumably, any company who is doing business with the county or who may want to do business with the county will be targets of a contribution request.

If the "yes, retain the tax" committee people  (Issue 5)  are actively soliciting this type of corporate money, then such activity is an additional reason for Stark Countians to vote "no - do not retain the tax" on Issue 5.

Another reason to vote "no - do not retain the tax" (Issue 5) is the manner in which the Gonzalez-led SCOG has chosen to restructure 9-1-1.

Local government entities get a tax revenue windfall when the county actually relieves them of the dispatching function.  So not only was their "we know you are against it" (a la Tom Harmon) "and therefore we are going to impose it;" anti-democratic but also is their "we are aiding and abetting local governments to divert the former 'dispatching monies' into other local government programs and purposes" structure.

It would be easy to be knee-jerk on this issue and be like some of the leaders of the Stark Citizens for the Right to Vote:  perceived by yours truly as being irrational in their opposition to the increased tax.

In fact, it is as discomforting being associated with the perceived irrationality as it is in supporting the abuse of the public purse.

For responsible citizens, the decision on repealing or not repealing the sale/use tax increase is not an easy one.

Whatever call an individual voter makes should be based a thorough consideration of matter in all its aspects.

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