A few days ago John Kasich unsurprisingly announced that he would not be moving into the governor’s mansion in Bexley.
I say unsurprisingly not because it’s a common thing for Ohio Governors. Since 1955 every other Ohio Governor has spent at least one of his terms living in the mansion.
I say unsurprisingly because John Kasich has shown time and time again that he makes decisions based solely on what’s good for John Kasich; and this decision is obviously good for Kasich and his family – even if it’s detrimental to the state of Ohio.
Sure, the predictible decision not to move into the state-owned Governor’s Residence makes life easier for John and his family. But it makes life much more difficult for the Highway Patrol since they now need to quickly figure out a way to provide the same level of security available at the masion to Kasich’s private residence, which is going to require a twenty-four hour security detail assigned to his home as well as a good deal of publicly-funded security improvements to his property.
So the first question that comes to mind is: how much more is it going to cost to secure John Kasich’s home since he isn’t going to live in the Bexley mansion?
I contacted the Department of Public Safety and the Highway Patrol to find out the answer to this question but I was ultimately unsuccessful in getting any specific numbers.
I talked to a very polite Lieutenant who informed me that the Patrol does not release details about specific security operations. But he assured me that the money for Kasich’s security would come from the existing budget and he made it clear that the Patrol would continue “doing more with less”.
What I did find out was that the money for securing John Kasich’s home is going to come from the “8400 Fund” also known as the Security and Investigation Fund. This is “a line item portion of the Patrol’s budget” that is “projected at $12.7 million and $13.1 million, for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 respectively.” According to the Patrol, “The fund pays for those components related and not limited to Executive Protection Unit, Statehouse, Ohio Expo Center (Fairgrounds), etc.”
It seems obvious that the cost associated with securing a new, unsecure private residence is going to excede the cost of securing a building that has been under the constant protection of the Patrol since 1955, and this is before we even start discussing the additional personnel costs associated with securing both the Bexley mansion and John Kasich’s home. But I’m not going to argue with the Lieutenant on this one.
Instead I’m going to ask another question: Who is going to pay for the security improvements to John Kasich’s home?
At the very least the Patrol will need to construct a perimeter fence and a guard house and they will need to install a video surveillance system. We’re talking tens – if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in improvements to the property. These are additions and improvements that will increase the value of John Kasich’s private residence; improvements that will be paid for out of the Highway Patrol’s budget.
So given the fact that John Kasich has vowed to cut government waste and reduce government spending, will millionaire Governor-elect Kasich be reimbursing the state for these improvements to his personal residence?