When it comes to community needs, Wachtmann and Gilb don’t care

For the past three years Ohio has had issues with state funding the various things it funds from schools, to roads, to social service agencies.

Hancock county social service providers held a forum on May 11th and invited the county’s two state representatives. The events at the meeting were published in The Courier on May 18th (Agencies plead for state funding)

State Rep. Mike Gilb and State Sen. Lynn Wachtmann attended the meeting but I could not help but think from reading the text of the article published in the Courier that both elected officials weren’t listening and held on to their tired “too much spending” mantra.

The providers asked the two men not to support cuts in the state funding they need to help the people in Hancock county who need the help.

Gilb said: “but neither I nor the senator have proposed cutting them.” They just wouldn’t support any increase in funding.

But I need to point out that not increasing funding to meet the increasing costs of providing the services is the same as cutting the funding.

But then Wachtmann turns logic on its ear when he said: “We cannot afford to continue to drive jobs out of Ohio by raising taxes.” and then he stated he would be against increasing the financial burden on businesses that are trying to provide insurance that pays for alcohol, drug, and mental illness treatments.

A simple look at the facts prove both Gilb and Wachtmann wrong in their reasoning.

Business’ don’t have an unfair burden of supporting social services. A majority of funding comes from private donations, the state, and from levies passed in the local communities. Rarely has an ADAMHS levy been turned down at the polls. Obviously a majority consistently feels that such services are important.

Meanwhile the business inventory tax is being phased out, utility poll taxes were eliminated sometime ago, 81% of Ohio companies pay no more than $2000 a year in income tax, you are more likely to see tax breaks given to businesses for negligible requirements on their part, and Workers compensation taxes have been quite low for several years. I think businesses can afford to provide better mental insurance coverage for their workers.

Yet, ignoring those facts, Wachtmann said the state could trim expenses in other areas — like eliminating collective bargaining agreements with teachers’ unions. Why he wants to pit a group (who is on the low end of the income scale and who have little enough to give up in the first place) against another group in need of community help is anyone’s guess.

How about state legislators and other state elected officials taking a pay cut. That would allow for more funding for social service agencies. Or just increasing business taxes a few percentage points.

I think it is in the community’s best interests to see that those not able to afford it, get as much help as possible and the state plays a part as well.

One really has to ask if Wachtmann, and somewhat Gilb, is playing with a full deck. Have they become so detached from the community they were elected to serve that their decisions and actions have grown suspect? I think they have.

Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”

Reason behind this Blog

Some may wonder why I started this Blog.

Well, it is because I got pissed at the antics of two people who were elected to serve the residents of Hancock County, my home county.

I should be up-front and tell you I don’t live there now, but my family still lives there and I read the Findlay Courier on a regular basis. Findlay is the county city.

The two representatives are State Sen. Lynn Wachtmann, R-Napoleon and State Rep. Mike Gilb, R-Findlay.

Their public statements concerning the proposed Ohio state budget just smacked of the hypocritical public policy that has infected the nation since 2000.

After an article in the Courier concerning Rep. Glib, I had to write a letter to the editor to complain. I was lucky that it was published. The version I sent them is below. When it was published they edited it a bit from the original. Unfortunately published letters aren’t posted on their website:

[Letter to the Editor of the Findlay Courier – sent 6/10/2003 and published 6/13/2003]

Dear Editor,

I am writing to complement The Courier’s coverage of the on going debate over the upcoming State budget from a Hancock county perspective including the article on State Rep. Mike Gilb published on June 9th.

It is telling how the two people elected to represent Hancock county in Columbus, State Sen. Lynn Wachtmann, R-Napoleon and State Rep. Mike Gilb, R-Findlay, are so obsessed with cutting taxes that they refuse to see the revenue problems all local governments are having in these economically slow times and instead base their position on irrational political motives.

Wachtman and Glib want to see education and Medicaid cut. They both failed to stand up for local governments when it looked like their state funding was going to be cut. In fact Wachtman said on April 8th that he supported making some cuts in local government funds.

Both have repeatedly said that government spending is out of control when the opposite is true. The state has already cut the budget in the current fiscal year as well as cutting taxes for at least the past 4 years and revenues have been off since 2001. Where have Wachtman and Glib been for the past 4 years?

Even Hancock county, consistently one of the better local economies in the state, almost had to severely cut its Sheriff’s department and has trouble replacing old bridges and if there are further cuts in state funds as well as a continued soft economy it might get worse. Not to mention the proposed cuts in funds for libraries and parks that will hit the average people hard.

If it is getting difficult here imagine what it is like in the rest of the state. I am sure Wachtman and Glib haven’t.

They sure have ignored the 81% of Ohio businesses who pay $2000 and less in corporate income taxes each year. The current budget bill does nothing to resolve that revenue problem.

Hancock county needs rational representation.

Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”