The Importance Of Being Informed Voters

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posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 11:39 AM
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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 election.

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.




posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 07:43 PM
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Good post Ahab although sad to see..

in my small town we have a volunteer fire dept. funded by our town through fundraisers that the firefighters put on, I think we need to get back to our roots get informed as you say and take control of our communities this way, we should have a close relationship to our firelighters, police, mail carriers, teachers and librarians, it seems the good old American way of life has vanished into a convoluted fight amongst ourselves.



posted on Nov, 30 2011 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by Ahabstar
 


Good thread you have here Ahab!!


Where I live here in West Virginia, almost all of the departments here in Kanawha County are volunteer with the exception of five deparments. Like all other fire departments here in West Virginia. Most of their funding comes from either Federal or State grants, fundraisers, or by "Boot Drives" the firemen put on themselves. Even the paid departements around here will sponsor fundraisers and hold boot drives to raise money to purchase new equipment with. Equipment that will benefit the community like a new pumper truck or airpacks.

I say that it is time that we go back to our roots and be informed like we should be. It is the way we are informed that keeps us from taking back control of our communities. The way that we are informed now is what is causing ourselves to fight a convoluted and twisted fight amongst ourselves. We all should get back together and realize how close of a relationship that we need to have with our cops, firemen, teachers, librarians, and the mail man. For all we know, we may need their help when it comes down to it.





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