TEN IDEAS: Make Politicians Earn Their Pay

In most jobs, there are repercussions for missing work. You’re either docked pay or get fired.

Not for State Legislators.

If they miss a committee meeting or session, they just go about their way, without consequence.

To me, attendance indicates work ethic. It demonstrates respect for the job. And, as the saying goes, “90 percent of success is just showing up.”

My fourth idea to improve the way Ohio’s government works is to insist on government accountability for our legislators. Their pay should be proportionately reduced for every vote they skip.

It leads me to an important contrast between me and my opponent, Casey Weinstein, a Hudson City Councilman who took office in 2016.

My opponent has an atrocious attendance record on Hudson City Council. He attended only 76% of council meetings in his first year on council. He attended only 61% of council workshop sessions in his second year. This year, his third, he already has five unexcused absences. In fact, all of his skipped meetings are unexcused absences.

Mr. Weinstein has missed more meetings in his first year on Hudson Council than I missed in my entire 8+ years on Stow City Council. This begs a question: If Mr. Weinstein skips 24 meetings that are held at Hudson City Hall, which is 1.2 miles from his home, then how often will he show up 2 hours away at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus?

If we elect people like Casey Weinstein to the Ohio House, then they should not receive full pay. If you instead elect me, I will push for pay reductions for skipped votes–so we can hold our government accountable.

More accountability = better government.


TEN IDEAS: Convert State Route 8 to Interstate 380

Route 8 is the major artery of our State House district. It cuts through Cuyahoga Falls, Silver Lake, Stow, Hudson, Macedonia and Northfield.

By connecting the Akron interchange with the Ohio Turnpike, it has become a critical piece of infrastructure. It holds three lanes of traffic for 18 miles.  It holds 120,000 cars per day, and it is Ohio’s busiest non-Interstate roadway. The freeway will soon undergo a 3-year rebuild project, at a cost of $48 million.

If it didn’t get constructed in a piecemeal fashion, it would be a federal interstate already. Instead, it’s a state route. And as a state route, the maintenance obligations for Route 8 fall on the municipalities in which it lies. And unfortunately, our communities cannot adequately exploit the freeway’s economic value, being only a state route. To an out-of-state employer, perhaps with logistical concerns, being located nearby a state route just doesn’t have the same ring as being adjacent to an Interstate.

If I am elected, I will seek to include in the 2019-20 biennial budget bill a provision to re-designate State Route 8 as Interstate 380. I will draw bipartisan support for this concept.

If the legislature forces designation of Route 8 to Interstate 380, then it will go to the federal DOT for approval. This will result in significant savings to our local governments, who no longer need to own expensive freeway equipment and can reduce training costs. It will lead to more safety for our municipal employees. Interstate 380 will assist us in economic development. An out-of-state employer’s interest will be piqued by the concept of moving within a half-mile of an Interstate. A state route? Not so much.

Unlike many of my “10 idea” proposals, this isn’t a new idea. Republican and Democrat officeholders from Akron to Macedonia have worked on this before. But I’m going to make this a priority, as an insert into the 2019-20 budget.

Now, for some inside baseball. … There’s a benefit for this district to elect a Republican to the State House. Why? Because everyone agrees that Republicans will control the State House next term (currently, it’s 66-33 Republican advantage). For the 37th District to elect a back-bench member of the minority party, it will be a setback for the region’s priorities, including Interstate 380. As a Republican, I will urge our next Speaker that this provision needs to be included in the budget–and I believe he will listen.

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