Posts Tagged ‘Steve Layman’


April 26, 2019

The last few years have witnessed blatant examples of behavior and speech individually recorded only to be recounted later as not so, never happened or the witness/recording was a fabrication/fake. Most of this occurs on national news. Local occurrences are rarely noted as such. Ya gotta love the online dictionary’s supplemental description of gaslighting as a verb — “from the storyline of the movie Gaslight (1944), in which a man psychologically manipulates his wife into believing that she is going insane.” Either something is taking place, or it is not. Gaslighting shows the how and why of both. Occur locally? As Sarah Palin would say “You betcha!” Columbus teachers march in protest of city tax abatements for developers by Bill Bush appeared in the 4-24-19 Columbus Dispatch. Bush starts off “Ignoring warnings from city development officials that they don’t understand tax abatements, about 400 Columbus teachers marched up to the doorstep of the CoverMyMeds headquarters Downtown on Wednesday and presented the firm with a giant “tax bill.″ Chanting “Pharma got handouts, kids got sold out,” the teachers union tried presenting CoverMyMeds with a giant poster reading: “Bill: Robber, CoverMyMeds” for $44 million but were turned away. The firm received a 15-year, 100 percent property tax abatement last year for a new $225 million office complex Downtown to be completed by 2024.” Around the middle Bush reports: “The Columbus Board of Education last June approved the CoverMyMeds abatement, which will cost the schools about $55 million in property taxes over its lifetime, the city estimated last year. But [Cols City Development Director Steve] Schoeny said this week the schools will share about $650,000 a year in income taxes with the city. “I’m not sure where (the schools) are losing money on that deal,” he said.” You do the math (55 mil divided by 650k per year would mean how many years to recoup?). ““Of course that’s what they say,” [Cols Ed Assoc Pres John] Coneglio countered. “We know the argument. It’s the chicken and the egg thing,” that developers wouldn’t have built without the abatement. But why should condos selling for $300,000 be subsidized by taxpayers, Coneglio asked. “We’re just saying, ‘Hey, you’ve got to do this wisely. You can’t just give everything away.’” Steve Murray, 59, who teaches at Columbus Alternative High School, a building where the district is doing $1.1 million in emergency repairs after the public complained about its poor condition, considers the abatements “racist.” “It’s just so damn unfair” that tax money is diverted from an overwhelmingly minority school district to wealthy corporations, Murray said.” A little closer to home we find The Newark Advocate headlining North Newark affordable housing project awaits tax credits by Kent Mallett the same day (4-24-19). Notable: “One of the last remaining pieces of the old farm could become an affordable housing complex on north Newark land between Walmart and the Newark Area Soccer Association fields. Development plans are contingent on obtaining tax credits from the Ohio Tax Credit Authority, which may announce the recipients next month. Commercial Realtor Steve Layman represented property owner Chilcote Prior LLC earlier this year at Newark Planning Commission meetings, when a lot split was approved and zoning changed from general business to multi-family residence district on 9.7 acres of the farm’s remaining 23 acres.” The article includes a lot of folderol about the land’s history as an investment farm, and the investor’s kin keeping investment horses there, etc. The report ends with: “The apartment complex, Layman said, could consist of 84 units in up to seven buildings, either two-story or three-story. Of the 9.7 acres, only about two acres can be developed, due to the Log Pond Run floodplain. A restaurant could also be built on adjacent land, situated so it would be visible straight ahead after turning from North 21st Street onto Log Pond Drive, Layman said.” You remember Steve Layman who projected development of the old elementary school across from the main library (West Main) only if he could get historic tax credits. Well he didn’t get them but still went ahead and developed the property anyways. It is very notable the article’s stress on tax credits making it happen without mentioning a single word about what rents would be with this “affordable housing.” Speaking of taxes (credits and abatements got to come from someplace, ya know), how about that GOP HB6, the “Energy Bill”? For the Statehouse News Bureau Andy Chow reports: “Opponents are speaking out against the bill that would prop up two struggling nuclear plants while also toss out the state’s green energy requirements for utilities. There’s a debate over whether the legislation will end up saving a person more or less on their electric bills. The proposed law would create a monthly fee of $2.50 to create clean air credits for carbon-free power generators.” “FirstEnergy Solutions says their two nuclear power plants are set to close by 2021 unless they receive financial aid. The bill could give those plants up to about $170 million.” (4-23-19) “[AEP Vice President of External Affairs Tom] Froehle says AEP likes the bill “If done right, the bill will go down some but the benefit is that you’re finally getting investment in Ohio in clean air,” says Froehle. New fees in the legislation would create a $300 million fund from  – more than half would go to the nuclear plants, with the rest to renewable sources.” (4-24-19) Of course, AEP doesn’t own any nuclear power plants. FirstEnergy does (nuclear waste doesn’t just get cleaned up for a “jobs ready” site by JobsOhio, or does it?). But that’s beside the point. “According to a new study, a group of 60 companies in the Fortune 500 booked nearly $80 billion in total profits in 2018, but each owed $0 in taxes. Worse: Many of these companies actually got rebates from Uncle Sam, totaling more than $4 billion.” (Billions in Profits, No Taxes: How the Trump Tax Code Let 26 Companies Off the Hook, Tim Dickinson for Rolling Stone, 4-15-19). Of the 26 companies on the list, some are local favs – Amazon, AEP, FirstEnergy, Halliburton. The last word on this goes to someone who knows gaslighting when they see it: “[Steve] Murray thinks he has a simpler answer. If city and district officials are worried that companies will move away if they have to pay their taxes, “let them leave,” he said. “If they’re not putting any taxes into the city, then who cares?” (Bush)



Ask Any Republican

January 13, 2018

Ask any Republican, and the chances are good, that the Republican won’t recall or repeat what was said. Go ahead. Ask ‘em. Josh Mandel has left the leadership stage of the Ohio GOP. No asking him. “Not a career politician” GOP U.S. Representative Jim Renacci has stepped in to fill the void in contention for the upcoming Senate seat (“When President @realDonaldTrump asks you to run — you do it. That’s why I am proud to announce that I am running for the United States Senate! I’m ready to fight for the Trump agenda and get things done in the Senate!#MAGA”). Well, Mr. Not-A-Career-Politician? “I’ve said all along the president many times says what people are thinking. I learned as a business guy that you have to be careful what you say because people pick everything up. Believe me, I’ve learned that when you’ve got a mike on, you’ve got to watch what you say.” “I know it’s difficult for the president because many times you want to say what you are thinking but in the end, I know a lot of times he is saying what people are thinking,” And he’s “a business guy going into a political career.” What could be more Republican? And as we all know from our Conservative hymnals, business guys are our salvation. What about a more contemplative, prayerful Conservative? Like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (GOP U.S. Rep from Wis.): “The first thing that came to my mind was very unfortunate, unhelpful, but you know what I thought of right away? I thought about my own family.” Atta (good Conservative altar) boy, Paul! And the Newark Advocate’s tireless investigative reporters got these responses from our own GOP Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb: “ .” GOP Newark Mayor Jeff Hall: “ .” GOP Licking County Prosecutor Bill Hayes: “ .” GOP State Senator Jay Hottinger: ” .” And (not a politician) business guy Steve Layman: “ .” Analysis finds it reassuring to learn “what people are thinking.”  Ask any Republican, and the chances are good, that the Republican won’t recall or repeat what was said. Go ahead. Ask ‘em.

Be Active In 2018

January 6, 2018

Analysis woke to find sub zero temps and a wind chill alert for central Ohio, AND a Washington Post headline reading: Hawaii has record-low unemployment and it’s not a frozen hellscape. Why are people leaving? (Andrew Van Dam, 1-5-18) Huh? What is wrong with this picture? “Preliminary data back up the notion that Hawaii residents are continuing to vote with their feet. Moving company Atlas Van Lines found that, among its customers in 2017 (through Dec. 15), there were three moves out of Hawaii for every two moves in. The state is clearly a very nice place to visit. But it’s getting harder and harder to stay.” Dope slapping the side of the monitor for an attitude adjustment didn’t seem to help either. “Hawaii has the lowest unemployment rate of any state in recorded history, a good economic outlook, and — most attractive at this time of year — little chance of polar vortex or ‘bomb cyclones’. Yet in 2017 its population fell for just the third time since statehood in 1959. It only dropped a tenth of a percent, but that’s a worse showing than all but four states (Wyoming, West Virginia, Illinois and Alaska), according to a recent Census Bureau release. Which brings us to the core conundrum: people are leaving Hawaii even though the labor market is stronger than on the mainland, and even though it’s the high 70s in Honolulu this week. What could possibly be driving them away?” Do tell. “The preliminary seasonally adjusted [unemployment] reading for November was 2.0 percent — the lowest of any state since the Labor Department started keeping track in 1976, and less than half of the 4.1 percent national rate reported in November.” “A recent report from Bonham’s organization  [“Carl Bonham, economics professor and director of the University of Hawaii’s economic research organization”] projected continued growth for 2018, based on another record year of tourist arrivals, steady activity in the construction sector, and growth in health and tourism jobs. So why is anyone leaving? One answer trumps all others: home prices. Hawaii has the most expensive housing in the nation, according to the home value index from housing website Zillow. Rent costs trail only D.C. and (in some months) California. Overall, Hawaii had the highest cost of living of any state in 2017 (D.C. was higher), the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness found, and housing was the main driver. It’s always been expensive to live in Hawaii, but it’s getting worse. There’s just not enough housing on the islands, and Hawaii now has one of the worst rates of homelessness in the country.” The morning’s Newark Advocate headlined their parent company’s USA Today: Report: Columbus among top 10 trending destinations in the world (Chris Pugh, 1-6-18). “The study, released this week by travel booking website Airbnb, lists the Ohio capital as the sixth most trending destination in the world based on bookings for the first part of 2018.” ““In the United States, Midwestern cities like Indianapolis and Columbus are seeing some of the strongest growth, driven by booming downtown districts humming with new restaurants, nightlife, and local arts,” the report reads.” Analysis recalls in the past Newark Mayor Jeff Hall making statements like wanting downtown Newark to be a “destination.” Butt weight, maybe that’s coming into fruition. The previous days Advocate headlined: Newark may see downtown, north end developments (Kent Mallett, 1-5-18). “Momentum from a flurry of recent Newark improvements should continue in the new year, according to commercial developer Steve Layman. Development should begin on the vacant city block bordered by South Third, South Fourth, Market and West Main streets. Front Room Furnishings will occupy the former Connell’s Furniture space on North 21st Street. And, the former Kroger property on Deo Drive could be developed this year. Other downtown and north end sites also have potential. “Newark is constrained a little bit because of available land, suitable and available for development,” Layman said. “But, I think there will be infill development — apartments, condominiums and medical offices. “The economy is good, there are jobs aplenty, and the cost of living is moderate. There’s good value here.”” More shine being peddled from the Hall of Newark: “While other cities are talking about what they can’t do, Newark is talking about what it is doing, Mayor Jeff Hall said. “You kind of have to get out and see what’s going on around and there aren’t a whole lot of cities in Ohio that got a lot going on,” Hall said.” Newark may not be an island. What is happening in Hawaii is relevant to Newark. Analysis has also recently noted that Columbus was ranked second in the nation in terms of economic inequality. The last Analysis checked, tourism is considered a service industry (along with “restaurant, nightlife, and local arts”). Service jobs make up the bulk of Layman’s “jobs aplenty.”  Where are these folks to live? And how are they to get to work from there? Nowhere in Mallett’s journalism was any mention made of affordable housing, the homeless or the inability to get to work within a greater Newark metro area of well over 50,000 lacking fixed route/schedule public transportation. Layman and company simply assume that if their real estate values increase (development), unemployment is low, and the cost of living is moderate for the upper third of wage earners, then all problems are solved (the “rising tide” article of conservative faith). The actuality of Hawaii begs to differ and throws a kink into this faith based gospel of eliding very real social problems. After all, pushing the problem somewhere else is no solution when there’s no ocean between. Eventually they bump into each other. Selling “Shine” is what our tabloid president does. Admitting the problem and addressing the reality of affordable housing and public transportation needs is a very doable first step.

Due to weather event the meeting below has been rescheduled for February 3, 2018, 10-12. See you there.

Jan 13 Transportation Meeting