The Ohio Farm Bureau issued an “Action Alert” to their members this week asking them to oppose any plan by the Governor or the legislature to privatize the Ohio Turnpike.

In a video distributed with the email, Lorain County Farm Bureau President and Christmas Tree Farmer Al Divencenzo describes how the Turnpike provides him an efficient and well-maintained route for move his products to and from the market.

While Divencenzo stops short of saying a lease of the Turnpike will raise his cost of doing business, that is exactly why he and the rest of the Farm Bureau leadership are concerned about Kasich’s plan.

And they certainly aren’t the only ones. As we mentioned this morning, Ohio’s auto industry relies heavily on the Turnpike, as do many, many other businesses in the 13 counties crossed by the Turnpike, and throughout the state.

As we work our way out of the worst economy crisis since the great Depression, do we really want Kasich selling off Ohio’s Turnpike and negatively impacting thousands of Ohio businesses simply so the Governor can get his hands on a limited, one-time-only sum of cash for his own pet projects?

We’re heard Kasich’s plan might be announced as early as this week. We expect even more trade and industry groups, and large and small businesses to come out against Kasich’s proposal.

  • JLM452

    After the thumping that the Republican party and their myriad privatizing ideas just endured, I don’t think now would be a smart time for Wall Street Johnny to announce that he plans to sell the state’s turnpike to the highest bidder. Then again, he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed…or the most honest.

  • Farmers are experienced at recognizing manure when they see it!

  • dmoore2222

    Bring it, Johnny.

  • Carol

    Just check out the results of others, like the Illinois turnpike, which since its sale has done no (or nearly no) repairs.

  • namvetted68

    And fees skyrocketed, especially for trucks. And it caused additional traffic on highways and bridges that weren’t intended for heavy-load traffic.

  • dmoore2222

    Now you can’t get more conservative than the Farm Bureau. If they think it’s a bad idea then there isn’t much chance of Johnny getting this done. I can’t wait for this smack down. Get out the torches and the pitchforks men! I’ll bring the popcorn.

  • The Ohio Turnpike is totally supported by the Tolls that are collected on the Turnpike. This includes maintenance on the roads, first responders, Ohio State Troopers, and the employees – approximately 1000 people. The Turnpike does not receive any tax money – State, Federal, or Gasoline/Diesel. People who choose to use the Turnpike pay for the road. It is a great system. It is the best road in Ohio, and many people who travel the entire turnpike system say that Ohio is better than any other state at maintenance, snow removal, and friendliness of the toll collectors. They also complain about the automated machines which often malfunction and fail to give receipts (which are vital to business people and the trucking industry.) If this system is so good, then why has Governor Kasich decided to change it? He proposes to lease it, put it under ODOT, or outright sell it. Have you looked at the Indiana (leased) turnpike. About 80% of the employees are now without jobs. I would think that a governor who says he is all about putting Ohioans to work would find this fact jarring to say the least. So what about ODOT? They have said that the OTC employees make too much money and many of their jobs could be automated. That’s the Ohio spirit, take away jobs and decrease salaries. The tolls pay for the salaries so why do they care. And speaking of tolls, the Ohio Turnpike is less expensive that nearly all other Turnpikes in the system. Talk to an over-the-road truck driver and they will verify this. I believe Governor Kasich has stolen the Turnpike for a short term gain that will result in loss of jobs, which will have a great impact on the communities of northern Ohio. It will also result in decline in the road. I haven’t found too many ODOT maintained roads that are in as good of shape as the Ohio Turnpike. Currently the Ohio Turnpike has a great reputation among frequent travelers – not for long if it is leased. Here’s an idea, if tolls work make your other roads toll supported. I know my tax dollars go to roads that I never travel, but when I am on the Turnpike I have the privilege of contributing to the cost of operation on the actual road I am traveling. If the Turnpike would have been converted to freeway who would have paid for the upkeep? You – even if you never, ever drive on it. Legislation has to be changed in order for Kasich’s theft to be approved. Please don’t let this happen.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!