Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Let's see:  7 attorneys and 11 social workers for temporary jobs (17 months at most, some only 12 months)  Is such a good use of your federal tax dollars in Stark County?

The SCPR thinks not.

Undoubtedly, Stark County prosecutor John Ferrero thinks so and Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez will be cheered by the news.  A good chance to beef up political patronage, is it not?

Moreover, the one million plus should go to capital/infrastructure projects that local governments could not otherwise do (except for the likes of the "sewer/water line to nowhere in Canal Fulton).

Boccieri is very much a "let me get local government officials on my side" type of guy for they can help get me re-elected.  So if local officials determine that they want to use "temporary" money to "temporarily" employ or avoid laying off employees, "so be it" to consummate politician John Boccieri.

It is kind of like what the Stark County commissioners are doing with the 9-1-1 restructure.

A little different, but not much.

"We (the Stark County commissioners muse to themselves and to each other - with a "wink and a nod") will impose a 0.50 percent sales/use tax increase under the primary 'apparent' reason of fixing 9-1-1 (although beefing up general fund money is the bigger part of the deal), and, to gain support of the Stark County's township, village and city officials we will - in effect - "kick-back" to them for them to use the monies they currently use for 9-1-1 for other purposes.  Aren't we being cute?"

Of course, they are.

There is the political benefit to the commissioners and their effort to keep the tax.   The employees and officials of these Stark County communities - with new revenues at stake - are going to be out working hard to defeat the Stark Citizens Right for the Vote Committee effort to repeal the commissioner imposed tax.

Another result of the "cute move" by the commissioners?

Stark Countians are paying twice for 9-1-1.

So where are the similarities between Boccieri and his federal government largess to Stark County and the commissioners' 9-1-1 ploy.

Both the federal stimulus monies and the 9-1-1 sales/use tax collections are sort of like a "shell game."

How so?

They constitute a hiding of tax dollars being spent in terms of accountability as to "really" doing the "essential" services of government and preparing the community infrastructure so as to make a given Stark County community attractive to existing employer job expansion or to lure new employers to Stark County communities.

Both the federal stimulus monies and the 9-1-1 sales/use tax collections are being used to buttress the "staying in office" ambitions of the politicians who dole them out (the Stark commissioners) or have a hand in doling them out (Boccieri).

What the commissioners and Boccieri do not understand is that each and every act like these make ordinary voters just a tad more skeptical perhaps even cynical about the efficacy of government and over the longer haul less supportive.

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