Wednesday, February 27, 2013


At the February 11th meeting of Canton City Council (SCPR blog LINK), President Allen Schulman got all over Stark County's federal and state legislators for allowing local government funding to plunge to levels that threaten the ability of Stark County's local governments to provide basic services.

On the 19th, he followed up with a letter, to wit:

Guess how many responses he has gotten so far?

Answer:  One!

That was a telephone call from state Senator Scott Oelslager's office (Republican [Plain] - the 29th which covers most of Stark County) saying:  "No, I am not coming to Canton City Council!"

No reason given.

And Oelslager is chairman of the Ohio Senate finance committee.  He just might be a guy who can do something about the plunge in state funding of local government.

But of course because he puts his political party's interest (more specifically Governor Kasich's balancing the state budget on the backs of local governments) over his constituents' local interests, he is going to be "a no show."


The rest of the Ohio General Assembly Stark County delegation:

From Christina Hagan (Republican - the 50th - Marlboro), Kirk Schuring (Republican - the 48th - Jackson) and Stephen Slesnick (Democrat - the 49th - Canton) NOT A WORD!

Well, how about Stark three congressional representatives:  Bob Gibbs (Republican - the 7th - Holmes County), (Jim Renacci - the 16th - Wadsworth [Summit County]) and Tim Ryan - the 13th - Youngstown [Mahoning County])?

And add U.S. Senators Rob Portman (Republican) and Sherrod Brown (Democrat).

These are the folks who are about to take the federal government into dramatic budget cuts (sequestration) and thereby cause financial hardship for local communities such as Canton.

Again, NOT A WORD!

What arrogant, unaccountable people, no?

At election time they are swarming all over us.  But when they are asked to do their job for local constituents, they are nowhere to be seen!

Just let some local government (let's say a school board) gin up an honor to bestow on one of them.

Oh, that's different.

He/she would be at the meeting dressed to the nine's and with photographers in tow.

And most likely, the locals would be licking their boots with nary a question about his legislative matter or that legislative matter that the legislator hasn't delivered on.

One doesn't like to be knee-jerk, but why would anybody vote for an incumbent legislator who will not come to the halls of local government to answer the constituents tough questions?

When are Stark County's political/governmental leaders going to unite and come out full force and say to the people of Stark County:  "do not vote for these people!"
  • Christina Hagan,
  • Scott Oelslager,
  • Kirk Schuring,
  • Stephen Slesnick,
  • Bob Gibbs,
  • Jim Renacci,
  • Tim Ryan,
  • Rob Portman, and
  • Sherrod Brown
"They disrespect us to the point that will not come hear our grievances."

The SCPR's attitude has always been that to the degree local government officials play nice with these folks, is the degree to which they get kicked in the teeth.

Schulman is showing some promise. He has chided Chris Borello and her Concerned Citizens of Stark County for besieging council with their anti-fracking concerns to go after Hagan, Oelslager, Schuring and Slesnick (who all support or supported taking local control of fracking away from local governments) at the right time - election time.

You can be sure that anyone of these legislators if they think they are going to be ex-Senator Oelslager or ex-Representative Stephen Slesnick over a given issue, are going to get attentive yesterday.

It is up to the likes of Schulman to bring people together at critical election times in order to get results.

What is good for Chris Borello and her followers is good for Schulman and all Stark County local government leaders.

Only yesterday, Policy Matters Ohio put out a graph that shows the devastation that the Ohio General Assembly has wrought on local government. 

A second graph shows that new revenues fall substantially short of projected losses.

And it not just Canton that is under the financial gun.

So are Stark's other cities and villages.

And townships.

The question that the SCPR has is whether or not Stark's cities, villages and townships will continue to allow the likes of Hagan, Oelslager, Schurng and Slesnick to thumb their noses at them.

If they do, then they get everything they deserve!

No comments: