posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 11:39 AM
The big issue of Ohio ballots this year was Issue 2
After over $30 million was poured into advertising in order to have the voters to "Vote No on Issue 2", the public voted the drilled in mantra.
Mostly due to effective commercials stating that the intent of the bill was to leave staffing in the hands of politicians rather than the
knowledgeable fire and police departments that understood their staffing needs.
Staffing was never a part of the bill. Removing collective bargaining via unions for wages, medical benefits, retirement and labor strikes was what
the bill was about. Yet the voters heard the commercials played endlessly on on radio stations about how police would be unable to respond to home
invaders that were coming up the stairs because the 911 operator informed them that the only two county deputies on duty were on the other side of the
county dealing with a car wreck.
The commercials were effective... for the unions. Over $30 million well spent. However the effects are already being seen less than a month after the
Middletown Cuts 9 Firefighter Jobs
which can be summed up with these two statements:
"For the citizens, it's going to be longer response times," said John Harvey, president of the firefighters union. "It's going to be less
firefighters to be able to mitigate their emergencies."
In addition to the layoffs, the Titus Avenue Fire Station will also be closed.
I am all for public workers receiving a fair wage and benefits package. I have put out some small fires in my time and even had a pat on the back from
my local fire chief for walking into an inclosed area with no respiration gear to put out a propane tank that was on fire. Because he arrived in time
to watch me play blind man's bluff while choking on the acrid smoke of the extinguished fire trying to find the opening back out of the plastic
enclosure. My parents were founding members of the life squad in my hometown and I even considered taking a job with the Ohio Highway Patrol as a
state trooper because six years ago they needed troopers and was willing to take me despite my being the maximum age for new hires.
The State of Ohio does have pay ranges and benefits for all public utility positions as part of the state law in the Ohio Revised Code. The bill
itself would have removed unions and other collective bargaining units from negotiating better rates of pay/benefits. Most unions already have a "No
Strike" clause as part of their agreements. In lieu of a negotiated contract, the published rates apply.
The bill was union busting, yes. But it was also to benefit local and state budgets from aggressive negotiations and blown budgets that ultimate
result in stories like the firefighters in Middletown. This is only the beginning of what will be hard times. And a misinformed public bought it hook,
line and sinker. Just like they did with the anti-smoking laws a few years ago which stripped business owners the right to run their business in a
many that benefitted them the most.
Good job, Ohio. Let's see what else you can fall victim to in the future.