If I was a newly elected public official I think I would try to impart a good first impression to the people who gave me the job. As you know I believe in coexisting, and when it comes to politics I am willing to give anyone a chance, regardless of the political party he or she aligns with. My idealistic hope is that our elected officials truly have the best interests of the people in mind, and are acutely aware that they work for us. Sadly, some appear to be giddy with power and control the moment they are sworn in.
John Kasich is Ohio's new governor, and it seems to me in his first two months he has managed to offend and alienate many of his constituents. His agenda appears to be one of taking away rather than helping. The first thing he did was try to ban the public and media from his inauguration. What??? The public that gave him the job in the first place? Next, he managed to appoint an all white cabinet. This is the first time in over 50 years that anyone has done that. After public outcry he managed to find one qualified African-American to appoint. Did this seem like a clueless move to you?
Now he is trying to oust a highly qualified member of the State Board of Education in favor of someone he prefers. The woman happens to be African-American. Smooth move, John.
But all of those are trivial compared to his support of Senate Bill 5 which will eliminate the rights to collective bargaining and seniority for all public union workers. This includes public school teachers, police officers, firefighters,prison guards and some nurses, among others. This would include changes to teacher contracts, benefits, bargaining timelines, layoff procedures and binding arbitration rules for police and firefighters. All issues that have been negotiated, worked for and sacrificed for over many years.
Senate Bill 5 would likely lower wages and benefits of all public employees who risk their lives for us daily. State workers' salaries schedules and step increases would be eliminated and based on merit(something no one has found an equitable way to do).
SB5 may weaken Ohio's entire middle class rather than creating the jobs we need. This legislation will hurt local communities by holding back job growth.
If this leaves you with a bad impression and you live in Ohio please contact your representatives and senators. It may be voted on as soon as next week. Personally, as a veteran teacher I have a retirement plan based on my present negotiated contract and with the belief that it will remain that way. I have worked hard for over 30 years to attain that plan. Taking away what people have worked for is not the solution to improving the lives of Ohioans - or anyone. I thought that's what our public officials are sworn to do - maybe not.