John Kasich claims his plans for Ohio provide local officials the tools they need to control their costs (SB5) and his plans for economic development will help local officials attract new employers and expand existing businesses (JobsOhio). He claims this will more than make up for the unprecedented and massive cuts to funding for local communities in his state budget.
With very few exceptions, local officials for Ohio’s largest cities have disagreed with Kasich on his budget decisions and on SB5. And it looks like JobsOhio isn’t going to be any different.
According to Crain’s Cleveland, Akron’s Mayor is “appalled” at the way JobsOhio plans to lump Akron in with the rest of North East Ohio, making them all deal with another non-profit organization instead of directly with the state’s economic development organization.
Mayor Plusquellic and Akron’s economic development team currently have direct access to the the Department of Development, but JobsOhio – which will replace the DOD as Ohio’d primary economic development organization – plans to hand over “oversight of state economic development efforts — and the disbursement of millions of dollars in loans, grants and tax breaks to businesses that want to grow — to a network of regional nonprofit organizations.”
Kasich loves to talk about his privatization efforts and his hatred of government bureaucracy – but JobsOhio has effectively just added another level of bureaucracy to the state’s economic efforts, this time doing it with non-privates which, Kasich will likely argue, are exempt for Ohio’s public records laws.
Never one to mince words, Mayor Plusquellic succinctly summed up Kasich’s JobsOhio plan:
“It sounds like what we get out of Washington, the rhetoric and horseshit,” the mayor said. “(JobsOhio) sounds like the same bureaucratic crap that we’ve had to deal with from Washington.”
Kasich promoted JobsOhio as the solution to all of our economic woes. Just hand over all of our state development money to some guys in the private sector, get rid of all of those pesky oversight and transparency requirements, and watch Ohio become the next Silicon Valley.
So far we’ve seen JobsOhio cause the direct loss of 211 jobs at the Department of Development while adding extra layers of bureaucracy to the economic development process. Moving at the speed of business? I think not.