Along the Tracks

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Whoa ....

I feel like I've just awakened from a 16-hour sleep or something ... not quite sure when I was last here, but I know it was a long time ago. Ahhh, starting to come back to me now, the gardening, mowing, eavespout work, car servicing, mowing, gardening, graduations, mowing ....

Anyway, I'm back.

Great news yesterday that the Ohio School Facilities Commission has given a preliminary approval to Montpelier for $27 million in funding for a new school. The scary part is that it's not final, and with Ohio's budget woes and Taft's sticky fingers when it comes to money earmarked for education, I wouldn't count my chickens until the July 17 formal vote by the commission, and maybe not even then. The shell game I mentioned in my Leader column - forcing the OSFC to sell bonds to cover the $345 million yanked from it and placed in the state's general fund - could be just the beginning of an even bigger raid later this fall, after the election. I certainly hope and pray its not the case, but frankly, Taft and most of the Republicans running things in Columbus have lost my confidence.

An exception to this is Lynn Wachtmann, our state senator. I've had my share of criticism of Lynn over the years - just ask him! - but with Lynn, you know exactly where he stands and you can bet he'll vote that way. His strong aversion to tax increases and budgetary shenanigans resulted in a "no" vote against his own party when the budget "fix" was considered last week. Other supposed fiscal conservatives who said they were going to vote against the plan ended up being bought off with a "tax cut" - indexing which actually just keeps taxes even with inflation, and doesn't even go into effect for several years. Lynn didn't buy it, and he deserves a lot of credit for his stand.

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