The Newark News Authority

An amazing piece of writing appeared in the 1-25-15 Newark Advocate. The opening line reads:
“It’s time for Etna Township and Grow Licking County to sit down and find a way to avoid competing against each other for new jobs.”
Four lines from the end:
“We don’t need our own communities competing against each other on anything other than the benefits of one site over another.”
Just the day before, this same paper ran a news article by Kent Mallett entitled “Seraphinea’s is closing downtown location, Wild Things will expand”. In it Mr. Mallett gives Seraphinea’s owner saying: ““Everybody is always concerned when a new place opens, but competition is a good thing,” [Edward] Roberts said. “It brings more people.””
For small business owner and entrepreneur Edward Roberts, diversity is welcome and beneficial, “competition is a good thing”. For Gannett Corporation’s Newark Advocate, the only paper in town (the only one holding a megaphone), “We don’t need our communities competing against each other”. Monopolies are derisive of diversity. The “competition” of difference is perceived as a threat, not a benefit. But wait, there’s more. It is an amazing piece of writing!

The same day that Seraphinea’s move was reported by the same paper, the same reporter disclosed that “Trulite Glass to close Hebron plant in spring”. Grow Licking County’s Dan Ever’s earned his salary and removed the county’s sole CIC from any proximity with an alibi that it was only a calculated business decision (““It’s the result of an acquisition of the company,” Evers said. “The decision was made at the corporate level, completely about consolidation of assets, and no reflection on the men and women at that company.””). The following day’s amazing editorial reinforced that position, “It’s foolish to blame a CIC or anyone when projects land at one location or another.” When you’re the only game in town, you are privileged to take all the credit when convenient, and eschew any taint of blame. So much for the benefits of competition.

Analysis finds that this amazing piece of writing (“County only needs 1 CIC to attract jobs “ 1-25-15) effectively insinuates that the fine people of Etna township are incapable of governing themselves, of determining what is in their best interest, and how they wish to be identified, defined, represented, or promoted; all the provenance and raison d’etre of self-governance. This is astounding in itself when one recognizes that the amazing writing’s author gives proof of this through stating that “Grow Licking County successfully campaigned to block Etna’s plan to ask voters for a new development district allowing for new taxes on existing businesses and their employees.” But as though this was not reason enough for the residents of Etna township to consider alternatives, the amazing writing’s writer promotes unity under the Grow Licking County aegis. To rub pepper spray in the eyes of democracy’s participants, the editorial gives no alternative other than “supporting the countywide CIC fully both in funding and public support.” The writer then goes on to say “In Etna’s case, the development needs and opportunities are no different than in other areas of the county competing for new businesses.” Analysis, and any other reader, clearly discerns that if you pay to be part of Grow Licking County, you will be represented by the CIC even though the public/private partnership already receives very public funding from the county tax payers. According to The Advocate’s editorial board, this same CIC is to maintain a monopoly of no competition while fostering competition through upfront individual community payment (this blog previously pointed out such contributions by Heath, Pataskala, etc. in addition to what the Licking County Chamber of Commerce receives from the county itself). Folks not paying, or paying enough, aren’t playing. “We don’t need our own communities competing against each other on anything other than the benefits of one site over another.” (so please pay, won’t you?) So much for democracy with its self-governance.

Amazing, simply amazing piece of writing. After that, maybe Gannett Corporation’s Newark Advocate should change its name to The Newark News Authority. No need to look anywhere else!

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