We have all heard, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”, but that is where Gov. Kasich and the Ohio GOP Establishment find themselves. They attempted to strike a bargain that even Faust would have been too wise to accept. Lured by the seduction of other people’s money they embarked on a fool’s errand of attempting to buy votes by jumping feet first into the snare of Obamacare. Visit Timholloway.net to read more.
Two lawsuits brought forward by Fairfield Township resident and citizen journalist Shannon Hartkemeyer against the Fairfield Township Board of Trustees have come to a close. Fairfield Township finalized the settlement on March 1, 2013. The joint statement issued by the township and Hartkemeyer includes the following:
On February 13, 2013 the Fairfield Township Board of Township Trustees and Fairfield Township resident Shannon Hartkemeyer settled two lawsuits, one pending in the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, and one pending in the Butler County Court of Appeals. The settlement occured as a result of mediation conducted by the Honorable H.J. Bressler, retired judge.
According to the settlement, the Board agreed to pay $70,000 to Shannon Hartkemeyer applicable to statutory damages and attorney fees for her three attorneys involving various public records requests. The settlement was the result of good faith negotiation and brings to an end the litigation which has lingered in the courts for a year and a half. The board recognizes that their township has growing pains and is committed to compliance with laws allowing public review and accountability. The trustees intend to adopt a new record retention policy, to invest in new technologies, and to reassign personnel in furtherance of improving public service.
This is a very important issue for West Chester Township. If you have an opinion on this matter please attend the West Chester Trustee meeting on February 26, 2013 at the Township Hall, 9113 Cincinnati Dayton Road starting at 6pm to let your voice be heard.
On February 13th, 2013 West Chester Township decided to settle a lawsuit brought against it by Jeremy Lewis winning the victim of police brutality $265,000 of tax money because of the over zealous work by four officers who called to a bar fight as a sports bar was closing. Because of the large settlement, West Chester Trustee George Lang wanted to provide an explanation to the portion of the community most concerned over waste in tax expenses—the West Chester Tea Party. In the video below Lang explains in explicit detail the now famous video in slow motion and why he felt the township should settle out-of-court rather than risk showing it in a court of law.
Watching that video no matter what the official comments of the police force were, it is easy to conclude that the second officer who arrived on the scene, the one who sprayed the…
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FROM THE HALLS OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT
On 31 January 2013, what started out as an ordinary County Commissioners meeting took a surprising turn. Instead of the usual drone of “Yes” votes, the hall was treated to a display of serious fiscal responsibility and concern for taxpayer dollars. Butler County’s Department of Community Development had requested the approval of the County Commissioners for the rehabilitation of two properties, the project totaling $200,000, where they had determined a need existed. One property on Bibury Road in Fairfield suddenly provoked an unusual conversation. An unstated amount of money, part of the $200,000, was to be spent on a number of repairs to this particular house. Part of the funding was to be a grant and part was to be an interest free loan.
The discussion began when Commissioner T.C. Rogers questioned the appropriateness of this expenditure. He stated he knew the street and that those houses ran about $150,000. As Commissioner Rogers probed the situation it came out that the house had no mortgage, that the resident had a clear title to the property, and that the owner was living on Social Security, child support for a handicapped child, and some other minor income streams. The problem was that the owner’s income would not permit her to make the necessary repairs. Community Development wanted to step in because a handicapped child lived there. At this point Commissioner Dixon got into the discussion. His particular concern was that this individual had a house that she could not maintain and that she would be back in a few years asking the county for further repairs. He asked what part the loan would be repaid and was told $20 per month ($240 per year, so to repay any substantial part of the loan would take decades). At this point he said, “We want to help the truly needy.” Because the first project of the two in the $200,000 project involved the “truly needy” it was allowed to proceed. However, for the Bibury property, Commissioner Dixon, obviously referring to the fact that the property owner had an asset worth $150,000 asked why, if someone had resources on that scale, the county government had an obligation to intervene.
He then went on to say, “This does not qualify as a low-income [home].” The point being this individual was not destitute, but, in fact, had a substantial asset, the house. Commissioner Dixon obviously felt that the individual asking for government assistance should, instead, move into something she could afford—that it was not the duty of the county to insure and protect any citizen’s wealth. The best Dixon quote was: “You can’t go around fixing things just because you have a program.” The need should be substantial and real—anyone who has resources should exhaust those resources before the government should intervene.
It is appropriate for us to express our gratitude to Commissioners Rogers and Dixon for watching out for taxpayer interests. Yes, the “truly needy” need to be taken care of, but it is not the duty or the moral obligation of the county (or any governmental entity) to fix someone’s home, just because “you have a program.”
Butler County Residents Speak Out on Cincinnati’s Trolley Folly and MORE *VIDEO* | Fairfield Township Flare
Approximately 100 concerned citizens from across Butler county and beyond gathered at the Fairfield Township Administration building last night to express their views at the Public Utilities Commission (PUCO) hearing about the rate changes. Duke and PUCO residents were on hand.
Please join us and take action on this issue. Link for email is below. Butler County needs to say no to rate increase and no to paying for street car costs. The city of Cincinnati and Duke Energy are trying to play a fast one on Duke customers.
Most folks are aware of the Cincinnati Streetcar project and the associated budget battles that have gone on for quite some time now. Put simply, Cincinnati is set on building the streetcar regardless of the availability of funds and how many budget games they have to play. Evidently, the city was expecting Duke Energy to play good corporate benefactor and donate all their work to move utilities along the project’s route. Duke didn’t believe they should foot the bill, but wanted to help best possible. They came up with a set of “Riders” to a Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) request for rate increase.
These “Riders”, once approved, would give Duke special options when dealing with a government entity (excluding state and federal). When an entity requests Duke to construct, modify, relocate and/or remove Duke’s facilities, wiring or other Duke owned equipment such entity would have the choice to eithe:
1.) directly pay Duke all costs related to such relocation regardless of the reason for the request and/or requirement or
2.) allow Duke to recover all cost related to such relocation regardless of the reason for the request and/or requirement from all Duke Customers residing or located within the geographical boundary of such entity through a monthly charge or
3.) some combination of 1 & 2.
There is also a rider that essentially distributes the cost of unpaid Duke bills to all other customers. Thereby protecting Duke but passing the costs on to all Ohio Duke customers.
It is true that many outlying communities would not be directly affected by the Rider FRT part of the tariff filing.
However, consider Duke’s extended payment plan options and how much of that can be passed on to the other Duke customers.
When affected (City of Cincinnati) customers don’t pay their bill (which now includes this increase), that cost gets distributed to the remaining customers.
Further consider the precedence this sets. Should all government entities expect all utilities to absorb costs incurred for relocation due to the entity’s projects?
Also, consider the following from the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel:
1. Facilities Relocation – Mass Transportation Rider (Rider FRT)
OBJECTION 27: OCC (Ohio Consumers’ Counsel) agrees with the Staff’s recommendation that Duke’s proposed Rider FRT should not be authorized for Duke to collect dollar amounts from customers. However, OCC objects that the Staff did not include (but should have included) in its rationale for not supporting Rider FRT the following public policy implications:
1) Rider FRT unfairly discriminates among customer classes by giving members of one class – governmental entities – preferential treatment in paying the costs associated with their requests for relocation of facilities;
2) utility company riders should not be used as a means for governmental entities to fund public works projects, as governmental bodies have other means for paying the costs of relocating facilities; and
3) to the extent that the citizens of the governmental entity would not pay their electric bill, the Rider FRT portion of that bill would be collected from all other Duke customers through the uncollectible rider.
1.) Why should costs for utilities construction work associated with an infrastructure project be buried in a utility rate increase? Transparency would suggest the project burden the costs.
2.) Why should these costs be passed on to other Duke customers outside of the geographic boundaries of the governmental entity involved?
3.) Sets a dangerous precedence of a private company charging rate payers for costs incurred on a public project, thus reducing the “published” costs of the project.
4.) Lastly, if costs will be increased based on projects in other geographic areas, rate payers are being “taxed” without representation. At a minimum, related costs of unpaid bills should be redistributed within the geography of the governmental entity – not to all Duke rate payers within Ohio.
Call to action:
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
Fairfield Township Administrative Building
6032 Morris Road
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
Union Township Civic Center Hall
4350 Aicholtz Road
Monday, February 25, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
City Building, City Council Chambers
1 Donham Plaza
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 12:30 p.m.
Cincinnati City Hall, Council Chambers
801 Plum Street
The Cincinnati 912 Project hosted the Tenth Amendment Center’s Michael Maharrey at the Sharonville Public Library Monday evening. Maharrey, a former journalist, serves as national communications director for The Tenth Amendment Center, a constitutionally based think tank. He traveled from Lexington, Kentucky to speak to a group of over sixty citizens interested in learning about the The Tenth Amendment, states’ rights, and nullification.
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