Archive for April, 2014

Separate But Equal

April 25, 2014

The Oklahoma legislature passed SB 1456, signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin on 4-21-14. Okies who own their own wind turbine generators or solar panels will now receive an additional charge from the utility companies for “growing their own.” Republican Governor Fallin, recipient of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) 2013 Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award, as well as $26,000 in campaign contributions from the “energy and natural resources sector”, issued an executive order undoing the legislation the very next day. This flies in the face of not only ALEC, but the Koch brother’s Americans For Prosperity efforts to undermine and undo renewable energy options, requirements and alternatives. Ironically, part of the opposition for OK’s catering to ALEC and the Koch’s was led by Barry Goldwater Jr. and TUSK (Tell Utilities Solar Won’t Be Killed). In Ohio, which has a similar Republican dominated legislature, governor, etc., ALEC and AFP (Americans For Prosperity) has gotten the legislature to call a “time out” on previous requirements that a percentage of Ohio’s energy come from alternative sources, like wind or solar. The situation highlights something other than an alliance of tea baggers with greenies. It brings to the surface a society of separate but equal not witnessed since before the 1960’s. It is separate but equal in terms of conservatives and progressives. Oh yeah, you’ve got your recycling, your green aspirations, community gardens, renewable energy, sustainable living and social programs. But please, let’s not integrate those into our economic priority, business first, money up front governance. Thank you. Whether plastic or paper, creationist or Darwinist, fracking earthquakes or bunk, global warming or bunk again, home schooling (private) or professional (public), it is all considered merely a choice, something separate but equal in terms of actual functioning. In the 4-25-14 online Advocate, Early education key to interest, skill in STEM fields, Kent Mallet reports on the Licking County Chamber of Commerce Local Leaders Breakfast panel discussion. No one disputes that Americans struggle with proficiency in math and the sciences, and that current and future vocations emphasize aptitude in this area. Quotes like Marcia Downes (of The Works), ““The kids have open minds. It’s our parents who really struggle with STEM education.”” and Dr. Bonnie Coe (of COTC) ““Colleges and universities are no longer recruiting at the senior level, but the middle school and junior high level. We have to get to these young people at an earlier age.”” make it sound as though somehow or other this is a separate entity, separate process of learning (“It’s our parents…” “these young people”). At the end of the article OSU-N’s Bill MacDonald honestly admits ““I’m an example of someone who didn’t have it figured out.” MacDonald went from loving science and math as a sophomore to a TV and film major in his third year in college. He then became a sociologist.” At the end Mallett writes, “The best way for a child to discover what career may interest them is simply doing a variety of things.” Integration is a necessary part of learning.

Separate but equal as détente is likewise illusionary. Separate but equal appears to “have it figured out.” History has shown not. You can’t stress separate STEM priority and then turn around, saying the science is insufficient for claims of professional education approaches over legislated alternatives, of earthquakes and injection well relationships, of global warming and fossil fuel preference, and that evolution is separate but equal to creationism. The Chamber can’t promote STEM and at the same time leadership that legislates a “time out” for alternate energy requirement. The Chamber’s “leadership” focus on STEM presents a good image while separately their support of ALEC modeled legislation reveals an actuality that is completely unequal.

Who’s Your Daddy?

April 23, 2014

A recent Newark Advocate local news story flew under the radar (disappeared from the screen quicker than…well, you know). Kent Mallett submits “Grow Licking County, Heath reach deal about economic development” (4-22-14). The name says it all. The city of Heath has been subsidizing the Licking County Chamber’s Grow Licking County (a “community improvement corporation”) to the tune of $10K per year. Now it has upped the payment to $12K with a bona fide written agreement, designating the “improvement corporation” as the city’s “economic development director.” ““I think it’s a great example for other communities going forward,” Hottinger said [“Cheri Hottinger, president of the Licking County Chamber of Commerce”]. “It’s no additional work. It’s just in writing.”” At the end of the short news report, Mr. Mallett writes “The CIC has written agreements only with the county and port authority, but it received funding from 25 sources in 2013 and at least 20 already this year. “It’s just been a little bit informal, and we want to formalize these relationships,” Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb said.”

For those of you keeping score at home Mr. Bubb and the commissioners voted to fund the Chamber’s improvement corporation with revenue from an increase in the real estate transference fee. At start up, Grow Licking County was heralded as a public private partnership with the county providing 60% of the funding, private 40%. Like JobsOhio (upon which the Chamber’s CIC was modeled), private funding did not need to be disclosed. For those of you continuing to keep score at home, with the county transference fee “contribution,” public (tax payer generated) funding became 85% of the public private partnership income. Now we learn that the Chamber has been receiving even more public funds under the table (“It’s just been a little bit informal”). Individual municipal entities “contribute” to the public private partnership along with the already completely public funding provided by the county within which these entities are located (double your money, double your fun!).

For those of you still following the game, let alone the score, the Chamber’s “community improvement corporation” does PR with any and all business start-up or expansion news in Licking County. Not so much with down-sizing or shutdowns like Meritor or Advocate printing. The public is to believe that the Chamber is the sole agent of development in the area. No development or improvement takes place without their involvement. What is elided is that there is no fiduciary relationship, no fiduciary obligation, responsibility or contract here whatsoever (“we want to formalize these relationships” ?). Even more troubling is that agency, without fiduciary obligation, begs the question of who benefits? In the parlance of today’s economic imperative, the Chamber’s corporation is “Selling Licking County!” We are always told this is oh so necessary because it is so competitive out there. Let’s look at selling. Sales, whether real estate, automobiles, cameras, or banks (yes, banks sell money in the form of loans, like pawn shops do) looks different from the sales clerk’s side than it does from the buyer’s side. The sales clerk can sell “up” or “down” depending on the customer as well as sales commission incentives (and perks). A good sales person will use this technique to earn a greater return on their selling expertise. Sometimes the clerk can earn separate perks from the product’s source in addition to her salary as a sales agent. It’s just a little informal. So there is incentive to “promote” certain “desirable” offerings to a buyer while denigrating or ignoring less lucrative selections. Happens all the time. It is an integral part of private business within a capitalist economy. Does it work within a private corporation subsidized by a democracy? History tells us no, repeatedly. Steering and red lining within real estate and bank loan sales are as much a fact of America’s history as slavery and union busting. County funding is not enough for the Chamber. “It’s so competitive out there” has been used to justify selling Licking County to outside commercial interests. Now that same competitiveness requirement has been extended to include the individual membership within the county itself who need to contribute financially in order to sell themselves to those already tasked with selling the county. Who’s your daddy?

What Is Good For The Goose

April 15, 2014

Discussed previously (Because That’s Where The Money Is, 4-2-14), Newark Ohio’s city government finds itself between a rock and a hard place. Long neglected streets are badly in need of resurfacing and repair. The administration claims there is no money, no fat to cut to produce any. Now the city council has decided to investigate whether to pursue funding through a property tax levy or an income tax increase. Either would go before the city’s voters for approval in the fall (after the 2014 paving season, but well before completion of the oxymoronic square circles). At its 4-14-14 council meeting Councilperson Doug Marmie joined the likes of Kim Kardashian with a pre-emptive selfie. He is quoted as going on the record saying “I won’t be supporting any kind of tax increase.” So much for selfies, they certainly don’t do much to solve the problem of getting the roads fixed (but they sure look great on social media. Score one Marmie!). Property tax levy or income tax increase, how to decide? All the tax credits given to jobs creators have increased the coffers NOT, either because most have been produced outside Newark or those, if any, within Newark have not offset the credits. Either way, the subsidies involved both property and income breaks, no milk from that cow (so much for relying on the promises of the jobs creators); which leaves taxing what is not already subsidized, credited or abated. Perhaps this may help our not-to-be-envied Councilpersons:

“For rent and utilities to be considered affordable, they are supposed to take up no more than 30 percent of a household’s income. But that goal is increasingly unattainable for middle-income families as a tightening market pushes up rents ever faster, outrunning modest rises in pay. The strain is not limited to the usual high-cost cities like New York and San Francisco. An analysis for The New York Times by Zillow, the real estate website, found 90 cities where the median rent — not including utilities — was more than 30 percent of the median gross income.” This from a New York Times report (4-14-14) by Shaila Dewan entitled “In many cities, rent grows out of reach”. Further on Dewan writes “For many middle- and lower-income people, high rents choke spending on other goods and services, impeding the economic recovery. Low-income families that spend more than half their income on housing spend about a third less on food, 50 percent less on clothing, and 80 percent less on medical care compared with low-income families with affordable rents, according to a new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. And renters amass less wealth, even non-housing wealth, than homeowners do.” The article concludes with “In many markets, buying a home is considerably cheaper than renting, and Miami is no exception. But many people are shut out of buying because their income is too low, they don’t qualify for a mortgage or they are burdened by other debt. In 2008, a quarter of rental applicants were still paying off student loans, according to CoreLogic, but as of last fall half of them were doing so. Steve Gunn, 25, the marketing director for a Miami real estate brokerage firm, said he could certainly afford an apartment on his salary of $52,500 — if he weren’t paying more than $800 a month in student loan debt. Instead, he commutes 90 minutes to work. From his mother’s house.”

Previous blog posts in the past year have extensively considered the place of rentals in Newark’s business portfolio (one of the largest, if not the largest business). The last census listed 43% of Newark residences as non-owner occupant. Spelled out graphically, the property owners of 43% of Newark’s residences do not live there. Councilperson Marmie’s self-aggrandizing selfie aside, any deliberation between the pros and cons of income or property tax must take this into account (and not who will be motivated to or suppressed from voting). An income tax increase will leave even less to work with for 43% of the households, for sure, for sure (in terms of the consumer spending which drives Newark’s economy no different than any other city in the State). That does not bode well for a local economy. A property tax increase will meet howls of disapproval from 57% of Newark’s residential property owners, for sure, for sure. It will also bring out the inevitable cliché of “the landlords will only pass on the cost to the tenants.” Analysis finds this disingenuous in many ways. For the most part Newark residents must commute to jobs outside the city. Rents, as the NY Times article points out, follow regional trends/competition. Raising rents carte blanche (because it’s Newark) may make other areas, within the price range, much more attractive. But there is an even more compelling, dare I say, perverse logic that renders the “landlord will only pass the cost on to tenants” cliché even more disingenuous. The various “jobs creator” proponents of JEDZ and JEDD continuously tout this logic as the fundamental basis for these tax structures. The logic is that the majority of workers who will pay the tax (by working within the district) do not reside there. A property tax increase would affect 43% of the residential properties in Newark where those generating income from the taxed property asset also do not reside there. If it’s good for the likes of JobsOhio, the Chamber of Commerce and other jobs creators, it ought to be good for the City of Newark too.

The Center For Server Freedom

April 10, 2014

Like a junkyard dog, the AP has been continuously following the Alice In Wonderland goings on in Tennessee and its VW auto plant. Analysis previously presented media’s obsession with “both sides” of a political story as a “manufactured naturalness” (Polarization 3-24-14). This story, not being followed by most of the media (and Jon Stewart, etc.), genuinely involves the most complex as well as contemporary form of polarization. On 4-1-14 from the AP we learned that the governor (of Tennessee) offered VW a 300 million dollar incentive contingent on “works council discussions between the State of Tennessee and VW being concluded to the satisfaction of the State of Tennessee” (“Report: Tenn. offered contingent incentives to VW” AP 4-1-14). Governor Haslam, a virulent opponent of unionization, along with the Republican controlled legislature have linked any future “jobs creator” incentives to VW with the non existence of union representation. Prior to the election, Tennessee’s Republican US Senator, Bob Corker, insinuated that VW’s expansion to a new SUV line was imminent if the vote went against unionization. The election went against union representation. Bob Corker’s promised VW expansion announcement never materialized. Governor Haslam claims the incentives were withdrawn prior to the election outcome. The UAW has sued, claiming undue outside influence. An anti-union group at the plant (The Center for Worker Freedom) counter sued, fearing VW would recognize representation by the UAW without an election. “”If the company lets the union walk in anyway, it will have made clear its contempt not only for its workers and the state of Tennessee, but the democratic principle itself,” Matt Patterson, the group’s executive director, said in the release.” (“Anti-union groups worries of VW recognition of UAW Anti-union group raises concerns that Volkswagen could recognize UAW without vote” AP 4-7-14) All of this has left VW between a rock and a hard place. “Volkswagen wants to create a German-style works council at the plant representing both salaried and blue-collar workers. But to do so, it has said it must work with an independent union” (4-1-14). Yesterday we learned “By German law, labor representatives make up half of the company’s 20-member supervisory board, meaning they have veto power over major management initiatives including the expansion or construction of plants.” (“Volkswagen expansion talks at standstill in Tenn.” AP By ERIK SCHELZIG 4-8-14) “”Local Republican politicians such as Mr. Corker and Mr. Haslam interfered outrageously with the ballot,” said Osterloh [Bernd Osterloh, head of VW’s global works council], who reiterated the company position that only economic factors would decide whether the plant would be expanded.” (4-8-14) This recent article summarizes the stalemate superbly: “Since then, the union has challenged the outcome of the vote with the National Labor Relations Board; a top labor representative on Volkswagen’s supervisory board told Chattanooga workers that U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and Gov. Bill Haslam “interfered outrageously” in the election; and the governor has suggested that the state has been unable to engage in negotiations with a VW official with final decision-making power. State incentives for expanding the plant would have to be approved by the state Legislature, which is preparing to adjourn for the year in the next few weeks. But Haslam told reporters last week that there were no active talks with the German automaker.”

Analysis would agree with Alice that this gets “curiouser and curiouser.” There definitely is a profound polarization at play, one with covert as well as overt elements. It is a curiously contemporary American one, though Analysis suspects it is probably global as well. The polarization is certainly not the Marxist “labor vs. management” kind of 50-100 years ago. On the one hand we have a global corporation that includes diversity and labor representation within its decision making process (by choice and design as part of its DNA, one could say). On the other hand we have an ad hoc The Center For Worker Freedom defending the integrity of workers, the State of Tennessee and democratic principles. And then there’s the Republican legislature, administration, and federal representatives of that integrity of the State of Tennessee. What is one to make of all this? Where is the polarity? Citizens United (and now McCutcheon) have made the Center For Worker Freedom possible through the legitimacy of dark money, its untraceable-ness. The AP reported on this aspect of Mr. Patterson’s group earlier this year. A link between the Center’s endeavor to defend American integrity and folks like Haslam, Corker and the Tenn. legislators may be obvious though the evidence and proof are completely circumstantial (thanks to Citizens United and McCutcheon). Analysis wishes to consider two historic figures that cast light on this, Henry Kissinger and Karl Rove. Henry, as President Nixon’s secretary of state, is reported to have claimed it is preferable to work/negotiate with a dictatorship than with a democracy, for a dictator is efficient and predictable, while a democracy is messy and unpredictable. Karl Rove mastered the pay to play exclusivity strategy: If our party controls the purse strings, then you must support us exclusively if you wish to be the recipient of that largesse. Both are readily apparent in the ongoing Tennessee melodrama. It is not a “pro business” Republican party at work there, but rather a Karl Rove “pay to play” exclusivity Republican party – our way or the highway. Analysis finds the polarization to be along the representational, messy democracy versus the highly efficient and lucrative rule of ensconced corporate sales leaders. They are sales leaders for the corporate interests that supply the dark money (not the corporations like VW who do not wish to participate). VW could change all that by “going along to get along”, something it has refused to do. The Ohio connection would be the recent move by the state legislature to define student athletes as not being employees of the institutions they generate revenue for. (Once again, like Tenn. a Republican controlled house, senate, governor and state supreme court). The polarization between representative, messy democracy and rule by corporate sales leaders becomes apparent with this move. It would be only a hop and a skip to legislating that those who serve food are not employees of a restaurant. It is not difficult to imagine a Center For Server Freedom springing up to defend the integrity of servers, the State of Ohio and democratic principles.

If You Hate Paradise, Put Up A Parking Lot

April 5, 2014

The City of Newark (Ohio) is in the process of demolishing the property purchased from Manuel Vela at 20-22 N. Fourth Street (directly north of the city’s Municipal Building). OK, OK, Mr. Vela didn’t receive any funds from the sale though the city did “buy” Mr. Vela’s toxic asset — his responsibility to deal with the liability of the structure at that address. Kinda like the Kroger purchase receipt, only it says Mr. Vela, you saved the demolition costs plus improvement costs by shopping with us (allowing the city and state of Ohio to do it for you). The city has designs on a new parking lot at 20-22 N. Fourth St, an automobile destination, you might say. The city Municipal Building will now adjoin an automobile destination on its north, east and southwest side, as well as directly underneath the building (3D thinking at its finest). Remember the old Sohio station (sigh) which also turned into a parking lot when eliminated? It surprised everyone then. It doesn’t surprise anyone today. We’ve taken it to be “all natural” (as Newman’s Own would say).

“American cities are haunted by too many parking spaces” by Caroline Winter for Bloomberg Businessweek (4-2-14) “Planning choices made in the heyday of car ownership may prove incompatible with a rising generation of consumers who seem remarkably disinterested in driving.” “In the ’50s and ’60s, cities did things like subsidize garage parking, and they condemned buildings so the lots could be used for parking,” says Norman Garrick, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Connecticut.” “A pair of forthcoming studies by Garrick and several of his UConn colleagues examine the economic and sociological impacts of parking trends in six U.S. cities from 1960 to 2000. They conclude that some car-centric cities forfeit more than a thousand dollars per parking space per year in potential municipal revenues by using land for parking rather than more lucrative alternatives.” “Garrick isn’t sure how the cities settled on their different policies, but he says overemphasis on parking growth led to a decline in physical appeal. “When I came to Hartford 30 years ago, it was a much more attractive place,” he says. “You want cities where people are on the streets, where there are things to do, places to go. You don’t want a city that is a big office park.”” Newark and Licking County seem to favor the “big office park” aesthetic. Analysis finds (and has found in previous posts) the valorization (near idolization) of office parks and industrial parks as things of beauty, all in the name of economy and growth. (Webster’s gives the definition of valorize as “to maintain the value or price of (a commodity), esp. by subsidies or the government’s purchase at a fixed price”). Fixed indeed! The article concludes with “He also recommends improving public transportation and installing bike lanes. Cars, he points out, take up more space than any other mode of transportation. “For each person, a car takes up 10 times more space than a bike, 15 times more than a train, and 30 times more than a pedestrian,” Garrick writes via e-mail. “Space equals money in one way or the other.”” (It should be noted that just north of Connecticut is the land that gave birth to the roundabout)

The 4-4-14 online Newark Advocate runs another roundabout story, “Streetscape proposal includes four roundabouts for Courthouse Square” by Hannah Sparling. A video offering headlines “Officials recommend roundabout for courthouse square”. Analysis found that to sound pretty official. ““What we want is a destination,” he [Newark Mayor Jeff Hall] said. “Why does Easton (Town Center) succeed? Because it’s a destination.”

Analysis found it ironic that the 4-5-14 online Newark Advocate ran an Emily Maddern story entitled “County conservation district looking for a sustainable future”. It touts the need and importance of green space, community gardens and sustainable agriculture. Had Emily’s and Hannah’s reports appeared on the same day, the lack of imagination within the Newark City administration would immediately have become glaringly apparent. Maddern’s article has “The conservation [Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District] tour started and ended at the Sparta restaurant in downtown Newark, whose owner, Chris Ramsey, created Project Main Street.” At one time Mr. Ramsey projected just such a green space alongside his restaurant (with community garden, greenhouse, solar collectors). With its southern exposure and alley access, 20-22 N. Fourth St. would be perfect for that. The Sparta is next door neighbors with the Municipal Building. Don’t they ever talk, or visit? (What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate — more of Newman’s own, but from a movie this time). Anyone who has visited Boston knows that a roundabout is not very pedestrian welcoming (or friendly). Indeed, Lifeflight may need to be called out to pluck the stranded pedestrian from the “no man’s” island (maybe Newark’s islands could have public bronze sculptures of the SS Minnow, or tribal gatherings of The Survivor?). Roundabouts are designed for unimpeded traffic flow. Should a car stop within the circular flow – everyone stops (visit Boston during rush hour to see primo gridlock in non-action). Analysis imagines the “destination” scenario of a night on the town: Ooh, found excellent parking on N. Second (just off the square), heading to The Grill for dinner (darn, forgot enough cash, need to go to the Chase ATM), back to the Grill, how ‘bout drinks on the patio at the Buckeye Winery before the show? Then to the Midland for the show, and back across Second after the great performance to the conveniently parked car (what a night!). 6 pedestrian crossings of the projected roundabouts where today there is a crossing with a light (all at a particularly heavy auto traffic time). Analysis finds the “official recommendation” complies perfectly with the conservative “See the USA in your Chevrolet” mentality from the 1950’s; of the automobile’s priority over pedestrian, bicycle or public transportation. The aesthetic is definitely that of the office/industrial park. Why? Because it’s an automobile destination! (Oh, that’s so yesterday)

Because That’s Where The Money Is

April 2, 2014

Quote ostensibly attributed to the (in)famous bank robber Willie Sutton, though Wiki says it ain’t so (It even spawned the “Willie Sutton, Where the money is” rule of economics). In Newark Ohio, Mayor Hall is saying “Show me the money” when it comes to paving long neglected streets. Newly elected Council person, Jeremy Blake, is saying the mayor should show some leadership on this one. Former Council person, but still wannabe, Rhonda Loomis submits Newark Advocate Facebook commentary saying Blake should show some of those “fresh new ideas” that he claimed to have in order to get elected. The reason given that maintenance of public streets (and other Newark infrastructure) is always at bare bones minimum has always been “lack of funding.” In this Newark is not alone. Today’s Advocate submits a Gannett report by Chrissie Thompson for the Cincinnati Enquirer (Local level officials ask Ohio lawmakers to reverse cuts, 4-2-14). Bipartisan local elected officials from the southwest corner of the state went to our legislators to voice their desire to have money restored for city and township use (to maintain things like roads, etc.). Of note from the article;
“Gov. John Kasich and the General Assembly cut the $700 million Local Government Fund nearly in half in 2011 to help fill an $8 billion hole in the state budget. Republicans also eliminated the $300 million estate tax, 80 percent of which went to cities and townships.”
“Kasich has said Ohio shouldn’t spend the money (“the $1.5 billion savings account the state filled last year with surplus tax money. “A number that almost exactly mirrors what’s been taken from local government funding…””) because it gives job creators confidence about the state’s strength.”
And finally (the one to watch):
“So it’s [“Springfield Township in Hamilton County”] seeking to pass a Joint Economic Development Zone on the May 6 ballot, allowing it to share income tax revenue with Mount Healthy, as townships aren’t allowed to levy income taxes on their own. A bill that’s likely to pass the General Assembly would take away that option for other townships, forcing them to pass the income tax partnership by gathering signatures from a majority of property owners, including businesses.”

More of Wacko World Tennessee came to light this week. In an article titled “Report: Tenn. offered contingent incentives to VW” (4-1-14) the AP disclosed that in the taxpayer funded effort to derail the union representation of the VW plant in Nashville “An incentive offer by the state of Tennessee to Volkswagen was made contingent on the labor situation at the German automaker’s plant in Chattanooga developing to the “satisfaction” of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration, according to documents obtained by WTVF-TV in Nashville.” The incentive offer was quoted at $300 million. In addition to that “Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker repeatedly claimed that Volkswagen would announce an expansion at the plant within two weeks of the union being rejected, despite denials from VW management that the two issues were linked. No expansion has been announced in the weeks that have followed the vote.” “Volkswagen wants to create a German-style works council at the plant representing both salaried and blue-collar workers. But to do so, it has said it must work with an independent union, so it called for a three-day vote on UAW representation in February.” Analysis covered Corker’s bio in previous posts. The Ohio connection is with Bill who owns the Pilot Flying J truck stops sprinkled throughout our under-maintained highways (which got caught in deceptive bait and switch practices) while his brother Jimmy owns the Cleveland Browns (which are demanding the taxpayers pay for renovation of their new stadium).

Analysis finds the last Chrissie Thompson quote to be the most troubling. Recently, for considerations of road maintenance and improvement, the Etrna township trustees are considering exactly what our elected state representatives are drafting legislation to outlaw. Of course, within that legislation, property and ownership of business trumps resident voters, indicating an erosion and slippage of democracy (no taxation without representation has become no taxation without business approval). Aggravating the situation is the unspoken “solution” that everyday workers should pay for upkeep of any infrastructure, like roads. Add to this the conservative mantra that ever more must be given to jobs creators (evidenced by John the governator’s income tax cut proposals with sales tax/commercial activity tax increase, and everyday taxpayers supplying the majority of funding for public/private partnerships like JobsOhio, Grow Licking County and Newark Development Partners). It is easy to understand why infrastructure maintenance is lagging in Newark (and throughout the US). Taxpayers are subsidizing the jobs creators, like the Haslam’s and Corker’s, whose companies are the very ones which will cash in on any infrastructure improvement. The jobs creators are taking their subsidies up front, in advance, because “That’s where the money is!”