Monday, August 31, 2009

The Fox in the Hen House

The state just gave the fox the key to the hen house.

This will allow Phillis and the Coalition to dig deep into your wallet. Of course, Wade-O and the Olentangy Teachers Association will be sneaking their hands in too. -- Jim


To: Superintendents, Principals, Treasurers and other interested persons
From: William L. Phillis
Re: E & A Coalition in school finance reform for the long haul

Date: September 1, 2009

The Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding is totally committed to the effort to fully implement the evidence-based model of school funding. It is acknowledged that some of the components of the plan should be altered during the implementation process. Also, many issues regarding waivers and the implementation schedule must be addressed thoughtfully by the entire education community. The 28 member Ohio School Funding Advisory Council will play a significant role in aligning the factors with the actual student and district needs, and with funding levels.

Unfortunately, the current state of the economy has thwarted a rapid phase-in of the evidence-based factors. The phase-in period will be long and tedious and will require patience and due diligence on the part of the education community.

Ohio is finally on the road toward a constitutional system of education and school funding. The Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding is working diligently with state officials to cause Ohio to fulfill the 158 year old constitutional provision to secure a thorough and efficient system of common public schools.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Observations and Distortions

A recent post of mine over on the Blog at Mises.org:









Observations and Distortions

Jim Fedako



A free market provides for the wants of the consumer by utilizing scarce resources in a manner that becomes more efficient over time. This is always true -- in a free market, that is. But when we observe the market and assume it is free, we tend toward conclusions that are not true. Consider this situation:

Each Friday I observe the garbage trucks working their routes through my neighborhood.[1] Each truck is manned by one employee. These men serve as both driver and loader. A laborious and slow task to be sure. Now, if I assume a free market, I will believe that I am witnessing an efficient utilization of capital (truck) and labor (driver/loader). But is that true?

First off, the refuse company has an exclusive contract to serve residents throughout my township.[2] The company's competition is political based, not market based. So the company is likely not as lean and mean as a free market would demand.

And then there is minimum wage. It could be that the company would hire a separate loader at some salary less than the current and future minimum wages.

Finally, there are the host of laws and regulations that dictate how capital and labor are employed.
So, I observe something every Friday. Is it an efficient utilization of scarce resources? Not a chance.

I try to keep this in mind every time someone talks about failures of the free market. My first question is always: Which market is free?

Notes:
1. Due to township mandated recycling, the refuse company must run three trucks through my neighborhood: one for yard waste; another for recycling; and the final for everything else. We, the residents pay for this "service."
2. Absent the exclusive contract, the refuse company would utilize resources as efficient as possible given the remaining governmental interventions in the market -- minimum wage included. But that employment of capital and labor would still not be efficient when viewed from a free market perspective.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Olentangy School Board: For Feasel and Galloway, it's all in the family

The school board is supposed to represent the taxpayers, yet ...

Both Feasel and Galloway directly benefit from district largess as each has a spouse living on our tax dollars. Conflicted? Certainly. Do you think Feasel and Galloway can really put aside their personal cha-ching and hold the district accountable to those paying the bills? No way.

In November, send Feasel packing and let a fresh board review the nepotism of this board.

note: It appears from the audio, Feasel may have actually voted for her husband's contract. Were the meeting minutes fluffed to discount her error. Listen, read and decide.

According to Wade-O ...

ODE recalculates the area of the district using the latest technology, leading Wade-O to make this inane comment: “As an education system, this is a perfect example of how we must teach our students to use ever changing technology tools to provide more efficient services and more accurate information.”

Yet, despite the inanities, Wade-O and the district continues to purchase the latest technology tool while becoming less efficient and accurate.

This is standard nonsense from the district: Everything is a learning opportunity for you and a reason for us to spend more.


From the district's $1 million per year PR machine (enjoy it, you paid for it):
DISTRICT AREA CALCULATION CHANGED FROM 110 TO 95 SQUARE MILES
Olentangy Local Schools square mileage is changing from 110 to 95, however no change is being made to the district’s borders. The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) now uses Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to calculate the size of each district. When the more accurate calculation was made, the overall size of the Olentangy Local School District changed from 110 to 95 square miles.

“This is a great example of how improvements in technology can create a more accurate picture,” said Superintendent Wade Lucas, Ed.D. “As an education system, this is a perfect example of how we must teach our students to use ever changing technology tools to provide more efficient services and more accurate information.”

While some of Olentangy’s school attendance boundaries changed this school year due to the opening of Freedom Trail Elementary School (FTES) and redistricting decisions made during the 2008-09 school year, the overall district borders did not change. In addition, the number of students the district educates has not changed due to the new calculation. Olentangy Local Schools does continue to see large increases in student enrollment growth and will educate more than 15,000 students this year. All Olentangy publications will soon reflect the more accurate calculation of 95 square miles.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Madison on the world we have given ourselves

And the world we give to our posterity.

The right just loves the regulatory state. They desire nothing less than regulating freedom into the dustbin of our past. -- Jim

(Note: Sure, the left loves the power of the state. But they use it for different designs.)

From our friends over Freedom Watch:

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood, if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be like tomorrow.

-- James Madison, Federalist Paper #62

FREEDOM WATCH is information pertaining to
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the Constitution, illegal immigration,
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run amok, etc.
It is FREE and sent to you via E-mail.
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http://fwatch.blogspot.com/

Sunday, August 23, 2009

So, who is a threat to whom?

Is government a threat to the Liberty of its citizens? Or is Liberty a threat to government?

If you answered yes to the former, you agree with this nation's founding principles. If you answered yes to the latter, you are another sheeple bleating the lines of collectivist Prussia.

Reason asks a valid questions:
When Will Your Government Have as Little Privacy As You Do?

In today's Wall Street Journal, Reason magazine's Katherine Mangu-Ward writes, "Newborn babies have their own blogs and grandmothers are on Facebook. We Google potential dates. Privacy is dead. But one kind of information is still cozily locked away, safe from prying eyes: the law. President Obama may have come to Washington promising greater transparency, but progress has been less than impressive. While the feds stumble toward openness, geeks and developers who made oversharing a way of life are bringing their can-do attitude to government transparency. Can't find what you're looking for on Regulation.gov? Try the new, user-friendlier OpenRegs.com. Frustrated by the terrible interface of Obama's Recovery.gov? Check out the easily-searchable Recovery.org. But with the possible exception of the ever-leaky CIA, no aspect of government remains more locked down than the secretive, hierarchical judicial branch...That's right: In 2009, judicial records in the U.S. are essentially unsearchable."

Mangu-Ward: Obama Doesn't Believe Reasonable People Can Disagree

Friday, August 21, 2009

From one collectivist to another

I frequently call out the nonsense emanating from the Marxists over at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and their supposed scholarly rag, Educational Leadership. These folks are proud card-carrying collectivists. In fact, EL and Columbia University's Teachers College Record are most visible proponents for having tax dollars fund the socialist indoctrination of this nation's youth.

It's happening, and you are paying for it

You say, "That nonsense is not in our local schools." Simply read the reference to Wade's latest blog posting (below). Folks, it's all here. And it's all being promoted by those who you trust to education your kids.

I don't make this stuff up, I just write about it. -- Jim



Community Messages
From the desk of the superintendent

August 18, 2009

Extracurricular Activities Play an Important Role in Complete School Experience
Posted at 10:34 am

Olentangy Local Schools mission is “to facilitate maximum learning for every student.” To achieve maximum learning, student instruction takes place both in and outside of our classrooms. Extracurricular activities and athletics offer great opportunities for student learning, socialization and personal expression. [Read more…]

Research suggests that participation in extracurricular activities provides extra motivation for students, a closer connection with their school community and often times their academic performance increases as well. In the article “The Extracurricular Advantage” by Douglas B. Reeves, a high school in Woodstock, Illinois saw dramatic increases across all academic areas during the same time that participation in extracurricular activities increased by 400 percent over a five year time span. While the increase in academics is not entirely attributed to the extracurricular participation, the author does suggest that “the positive peer and adult relationships, organization, discipline, expectations and other positive influences associated with extra curricular activities are likely to improve performance” (p87).

Many of our fall athletic teams and marching band groups are already underway. Students may also sign-up for various clubs and activities once school begins on August 26. The Board of Education recently approved a new policy for our home school students making it easier for them to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities.

Olentangy Local Schools offers several extracurricular activities and 27 varsity sports at each of our three high schools and more than 14 unique sports and clubs at our four middle schools. Regardless of your student’s interests, there is an opportunity for him or her to become more involved in their school community while learning valuable lessons and possibly even increasing their academic performance at the same time. That is maximum learning in action.

References
Reeves, D. (2008, September). The extracurricular advantage. Educational Leadership, 66 (1), 86-87.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Commissioner Hanks: I've always been forthright

Forthright? Not a chance Todd. Forthrightness is missing from your character. -- Jim


From the Delaware Gazette:

Commissioner moonlights as consultant
Thursday, August 20, 2009
ANDREW TOBIAS Staff Writer

Since shortly after being appointed to his current position early this year, Delaware County commissioner Todd Hanks has held a second job making referrals for a civil engineering firm that is looking for work in the county.

As part of his private-sector job, Hanks in May invited employees from Civil and Environmental Consultants to meetings between county economic development and Village of Sunbury officials to discuss a re-development project, the Gazette has learned. Hanks insists that his moonlighting has not presented a conflict of interest.

Since January of this year, Hanks has worked part-time for the Pittsburgh-based CEC. According to its Web site, CEC specializes in environmental, civil and site development engineering, ecological water resources and solid waste management. It maintains a branch office within Delaware County in northern Columbus.

Last year, CEC offered Hanks a $50,000-a-year, 24-hour-a-week job as a regional sales representative, according to a Nov. 7, 2008 letter to Hanks from CEC. Hanks’ job, according to the letter, is to develop professional contacts and refer them to CEC; he receives a commission based on the amount of actual work those contacts buy from the firm’s contractors. The job description prohibits Hanks from making references while “on the county clock,” in accordance with ethics laws.

Federal Business Opportunities, a government Web site, lists Hanks as a CEC contractor with specialties in architecture and engineering, contracts and for-profit organizations.

Two closed-door meetings took place the week of May 18 between Hanks, county economic development officials, Village of Sunbury officials and CEC employees, according to public records.

Officials from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Development also attended the second meeting, held on May 20.

The meetings were held to discuss a local landowner’s plans to apply for a state grant to re-develop the site of the former Nestle Plant in Sunbury.

At the May 20 meeting, county economic development director Gus Comstock said he would see if the county could contribute revolving loan funds to help the landowner pay for the project, according to Sunbury Village Administrator Dave Martin. Comstock also indicated he would help guide village officials through the grant application process, Martin said.

Landowner Dan Cashman, reached by phone, said he has paid for the first part of the study and did not want or any county money. He did not say what company he hired.

On Wednesday, Hanks said he invited the CEC employees, who had experience with projects similar to the Nestle redevelopment, to the meeting to try and find them business opportunities.

“I was retained by CEC to make introductions,” he said. When asked if he was acting as a CEC employee or a county commissioner at the meetings, he said: “I’m never not a county commissioner.”

Martin said Wednesday that at the time of the May meetings, he did not know Hanks was employed by CEC, and didn’t know he would be bringing CEC employees with him. At the second meeting, Hanks signed in as a representative of Delaware County, and not a CEC employee, according to a sign-in sheet. Martin and Cashman both said they had no prior familiarity with CEC.

At the second meeting, Bill Acton, a senior project manager for CEC, wrote on a sign-in sheet that he was representing Cashman.

Hanks said he has been open with others about his private job, but he didn’t know if he identified himself to the Sunbury officials as a CEC employee. He also said he didn’t remember if revolving loan funds were discussed.

Elected officials are legally allowed to hold outside work, and the practice is not uncommon, Ohio Ethics Commission (OEC) Executive Director David Freel said. However, there are legal restrictions.

Public officials can hold an outside job only if they can recuse themselves if a conflict of interest arises between their public and private work, Freel said.

Ohio ethics law also specifically prohibits public officials from using their influence and relationships with other public officials to financially benefit themselves or the company they work for.

Hanks said he believes the May meetings did not pose a conflict of interest. He said he has abstained from voting on the three occasions that CEC had private work approved by the government entities (the Delaware County Regional Planning Commission, the county commission board) Hanks was a part of.

“I’ve always been forthright, and people know it,” he said.

Hanks took a $14,000 pay cut when the former county auditor was appointed to the county commission board earlier this year. He said he took on a part-time job to make up for the difference in pay, and noted that several previous Delaware County commissioners before him owned businesses on the side. Also, Commissioner Ken O’Brien worked as a teacher for Worthington Christian Schools before taking a leave in June, he said.

“I’m not ashamed of the fact that I have to have a part-time job to make ends meet,” he said.
Contacted Wednesday, Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost said he didn’t have enough information about the May meetings to form a legal conclusion.

On Feb. 16, Hanks wrote through a private attorney to the OEC to ask if his work with CEC was legally compatible with his duties as a county commissioner. In the letter, Hanks included “informal opinions” from the prosecutor’s office that said that the two positions were compatible, as long as Hanks was mindful of the restrictions imposed by ethics laws.

The ethics commission has not responded to Hanks’ inquiry yet, but a response is “in the pipeline,” Freel said.

Freel said he couldn’t comment specifically on Hanks, but noted ethics law applies the same to all elected and public officials. However, as an official gains more responsibility, there is a greater potential for conflict, he said.

CEC has no present contracts with the county, but did about $7,500 worth of work for the county’s environmental services division between Aug. 2007 and Aug. 2008, prior to Hanks’ employment with the firm, according to public records. CEC also regularly conducts business with developers within Delaware County, county engineer Chris Bauserman said.

atobias@delgazette.com

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Penn and Teller on Modern Economics

Spreading the wealth around is true of both parties. -- Jim (HT: Justin Ptak over at the Blog at Mises.org).





Friday, August 14, 2009

Hoppe on Healthcare

Hoppe hits a home run with today's article on Mises.org:









A Four-Step Healthcare Solution

Hans-Hermann Hoppe



It's true that the US health-care system is a mess, but this demonstrates not market but government failure. To cure the problem requires not different or more government regulations and bureaucracies, as self-serving politicians want us to believe, but the elimination of all existing government controls.

It's time to get serious about health-care reform. Tax credits, vouchers, and privatization will go a long way toward decentralizing the system and removing unnecessary burdens from business. But four additional steps must also be taken:

1. Eliminate all licensing requirements for medical schools, hospitals, pharmacies, and medical doctors and other health-care personnel. Their supply would almost instantly increase, prices would fall, and a greater variety of health-care services would appear on the market.

Competing voluntary accreditation agencies would take the place of compulsory government licensing — if health-care providers believe that such accreditation would enhance their own reputation, and that their consumers care about reputation, and are willing to pay for it.

Because consumers would no longer be duped into believing that there is such a thing as a "national standard" of health care, they would increase their search costs and make more discriminating health-care choices.

2. Eliminate all government restrictions on the production and sale of pharmaceutical products and medical devices. This means no more Food and Drug Administration, which presently hinders innovation and increases costs.

Costs and prices would fall, and a wider variety of better products would reach the market sooner. The market would force consumers to act in accordance with their own — rather than the government's — risk assessment. And competing drug and device manufacturers and sellers, to safeguard against product liability suits as much as to attract customers, would provide increasingly better product descriptions and guarantees.

3. Deregulate the health-insurance industry. Private enterprise can offer insurance against events over whose outcome the insured possesses no control. One cannot insure oneself against suicide or bankruptcy, for example, because it is in one's own hands to bring these events about.

Because a person's health, or lack of it, lies increasingly within his own control, many, if not most health risks, are actually uninsurable. "Insurance" against risks whose likelihood an individual can systematically influence falls within that person's own responsibility.

All insurance, moreover, involves the pooling of individual risks. It implies that insurers pay more to some and less to others. But no one knows in advance, and with certainty, who the "winners" and "losers" will be. "Winners" and "losers" are distributed randomly, and the resulting income redistribution is unsystematic. If "winners" or "losers" could be systematically predicted, "losers" would not want to pool their risk with "winners," but with other "losers," because this would lower their insurance costs. I would not want to pool my personal accident risks with those of professional football players, for instance, but exclusively with those of people in circumstances similar to my own, at lower costs.

Because of legal restrictions on the health insurers' right of refusal — to exclude any individual risk as uninsurable — the present health-insurance system is only partly concerned with insurance. The industry cannot discriminate freely among different groups' risks.

As a result, health insurers cover a multitude of uninsurable risks, alongside, and pooled with, genuine insurance risks. They do not discriminate among various groups of people which pose significantly different insurance risks. The industry thus runs a system of income redistribution — benefiting irresponsible actors and high-risk groups at the expense of responsible individuals and low-risk groups. Accordingly, the industry's prices are high and ballooning.

To deregulate the industry means to restore it to unrestricted freedom of contract: to allow a health insurer to offer any contract whatsoever, to include or exclude any risk, and to discriminate among any groups of individuals. Uninsurable risks would lose coverage, the variety of insurance policies for the remaining coverage would increase, and price differentials would reflect genuine insurance risks. On average, prices would drastically fall. And the reform would restore individual responsibility in health care.

4. Eliminate all subsidies to the sick or unhealthy. Subsidies create more of whatever is being subsidized. Subsidies for the ill and diseased promote carelessness, indigence, and dependency. If we eliminate such subsidies, we would strengthen the will to live healthy lives and to work for a living. In the first instance, that means abolishing Medicare and Medicaid.
Only these four steps, although drastic, will restore a fully free market in medical provision. Until they are adopted, the industry will have serious problems, and so will we, its consumers.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Cost of Government Day!

From Americans for Tax Reform:

Dear friend,

Happy Cost of Government Day! Today, August 12, is Cost of Government Day (COGD), the day of the calendar year when the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government on the federal, state, and local levels.

COGD falls 26 days later than last year's date, and it's 23 days later than the previous all-time high of July 20, in 1982. There are numerous reasons for this explosive growth in government spending including TARP, the so-called Stimulus, and the big three auto "bailouts." If Congress and the President had not pushed for TARP, Americans would have celebrated COGD on July 25 rather than on August 12.

As your Congressman and Senators hold their town hall meetings this recess, you should ask them why you needed to spend 224 days working to pay off your share of government. You should also ask them if you've already spent this much time working to pay off government, why would you possibly want to spend additional days working for a government takeover of
healthcare?

View the COGD report at
http://capwiz.com/atr/utr/1/MTFFLBWULR/HFLMLBWVNF/3780346476 and arm yourselves with the data to ask your representatives the necessary and hard questions about the astonishing growth in government. The report contains a state-by-state breakdown so you can find out how your state ranks by visiting http://capwiz.com/atr/utr/1/MTFFLBWULR/FWHRLBWVNG/3780346476.

Onward,
Grover Norquist

P.S. - Please consider making a
donation to Americans for Tax Reform to help us spread the word about Cost of Government Day and the damage done to the American economy by excessive government spending on all levels. A donation of $100, $75, $50, or even just $10 will go along way towards helping us promote the research in this report and protect American jobs and small businesses from an over burdensome government.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ho-hum: More of the same in Hilliard

Educate Hilliard claims to be "a non-partisan group of residents and business owners in the Hilliard City School District working for the preservation of our excellent schools through sustainable economics." To support their mission, EH has endorsed three candidates (Paul Lambert, Justin Gardner and Don Roberts) who (supposedly) share similar ideals. Yet ...

The three candidates are faces in the crowd. And they will sit comfortably in their board seats (if elected), siding with the administration on every real issue.

Just a quick read through their bios reveals candidates no different from any member of any board in any school district.

You can pour your hearts, sweat and money into these candidates, but the results will be business as usual. Guaranteed.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

John Cassady for township trustee?

Cassady claims to be all about lower taxes. Yet ...

You know the type: Cassady claims to be a fiscal conservative yet he actively supported the district levy. Some fiscal conservative. Huh.

On top of that, Cassady is a supporter of none other than Scott Galloway of the Olentangy board. Galloway is a notorious tax spender -- and another so-called fiscal conservative.

With all of these fiscal conservatives in elected offices, why do my taxes continue to rise?

Answer: Taxes rise to support the profligate ways of those who seek office to spend money on certain pet projects.

Send Cassady home in November. Your wallet will thank you.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Student Teacher Ratio: 3 to 1 at the margin

It's true. And you wonder why costs are rising. From our good friend over at Education Intelligence Agency:
1) 60,000 New Students and 20,000 New Teachers: Results from the Census Bureau School Finances Report. Each year the U.S. Census Bureau publishes a comprehensive report on public school revenues and expenditures. Figures for each of the nation's more than 14,000 school districts and local education agencies are available for dissection and digestion. The release of the latest report, Public Education Finances: 2007, was delayed for several months, but it turned out to be well worth the wait.

I will ultimately compile tables consisting of student enrollment, number of full-time equivalent K-12 teachers, per-pupil spending, amount per-pupil spent on employee compensation, and the changes in all those figures over the last five years, for every public school district in America. This, as you might imagine, will take some time, but putting together a state-level table of those statistics was quick work. I have
posted the table on the EIA web site.

In the 2006-07 school year 48,441,473 students were taught by 3,142,202 full-time equivalent teachers (the NEA estimate for that year comes to 3,174,354 actual warm bodies). That was an increase of 2.7% and 5%, respectively, from the 2001-02 school year. But if you
compare the numbers from the previous year, you get a better sense of where we're headed and why the current teacher layoffs are an inevitable result of years of profligate hiring.

The entire United States public school system enrolled only 60,966 more students in 2006-07, yet it hired 20,564 more teachers. Twenty-six states showed a decline in student enrollment, but only 14 had fewer teachers than the year before.

With more payroll chasing a flattening number of students, it's no surprise to discover that per-pupil spending rose a healthy 5.8% in 2006-07, and the amount spent on employee salaries and benefits increased 5.9%. The nation's public school employee compensation bill came to $382.5 billion.

The United States average for per-pupil spending was $9,666 and 16 states spent more than $10,000 per student. It bears mentioning that while the California Teachers Association spent much of the year complaining the state was
ranked 47th in education spending, the Census Bureau figures show California ranked 22nd, at $9,152. That was a 7.8% increase from the previous year.

The district-level numbers are sure to provide more fascinating numbers, but I've already discovered something that leaves me speechless: In 2006-07 it would have been cheaper to take the 4,257 students in the Asbury Park and Hoboken City school districts in New Jersey and enroll them all in
Sidwell Friends.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Todd Hanks: pride run amok

In his role as county commissioner, Hanks plays Tweedledee to Tommy Thompson's Tweedledum.

In his previous role as county auditor, Hanks made a mess of his office (see below). And now as a county commissioner, Hanks wants to make another mess -- actually, he wants to build a real mess.

So what is the difference between his two messes? His newly proposed mess is some 30 times larger than his old one. And his new mess appears to be nothing other than a $3 million gift to political supporters, while his mess as auditor was simply incompetence.

For someone who couldn't get his job right as auditor (he failed), it is amazing to see that Hanks is still full of so much pride that he thinks he can get it right this time. And he will gladly spend your tax dollars chasing his new dream -- or, more aptly, he will gift your money to his friends in the name of his boondoggle.

Hanks and Thompson need to get on with the job of county commissioner and inspect ditches, etc. That is something they should be able to get right without causing harm-- at least you would hope so.


County says BMV lease invalid
Friday, August 7, 2009 6:40 PM
By CANDACE PRESTON-COY
ThisWeek Staff Writer

The Delaware County prosecutor's office says former auditor Todd Hanks should not have signed a lease in 2005 for a Bureau of Motor Vehicles office he opened in Lewis Center.

The auditor's office operated the BMV center in the Tuller Square Northpointe shopping center until June 27, 2009. Current auditor George Kaitsa closed the office after the Ohio Department of Public Safety declined to renew the office's contract.

Kaitsa looked at the lease agreement, signed by now-county commissioner Hanks on April 28, 2005, trying to find a way to terminate the lease, which expires in April 2012. When he did not find a cancellation clause in the lease agreement, Kaitsa, in a voice message, asked the county prosecutor's office to review the contract on July 9. In that message, Kaitsa questioned whether the lease was valid because it only contained Hanks' signature.

In his written response to Kaitsa, assistant prosecutor Christopher D. Betts said the "Ohio Revised Code would need to specifically grant authority to a county auditor to sign a lease for office space. I am unaware of any statute that provides such authority. Thus, the county auditor, on his or her own, lacks authority to enter a lease for office space."

The commissioners do have the authority to enter into rental agreements, Betts continued. Because they have the authority, "and the lease was not approved or signed by the commissioners, the lease is invalid," Betts concluded.

Kaitsa said his office is currently negotiating with the landlord to come to an out-of-court settlement on the remaining $120,000 owed on the lease.

Hanks said he never had a reason to question whether he had the authority to sign the lease and has "never had any office holder or director say anything to me about the lease being a problem."

He also said he isn't sure but believes he asked for guidance from the prosecutor's office before signing the lease but has nothing in writing to support that claim.

The commissioners and the prosecutor's office were kept informed throughout the process to get state approval for the BMV office, Hanks said. All three commissioners signed a letter from Hanks to state registrar Franklin Caltrider dated Dec. 19, 2004, thanking the registrar for allowing a second BMV office in the county.

On Feb. 7, 2007, the commissioners created a new fund titled "Bureau of Motor Vehicles" and appropriated $100,000 for the fund, according to county resolution No. 05-157. At that meeting county administrator Dave Cannon told the commissioners the action was needed "to set up the office."

On a video of that meeting, Hanks asked if anyone had any questions regarding the opening of the office and no one did. Former assistant prosecutor Leah Sellers was at that meeting, Hanks said.

In 2003, the county commissioners and the prosecutor's office reviewed a lease agreement for clerk of courts Jan Antonoplos for space she was renting in the same shopping center, according to county documents, and the county commissioners approved that lease.

ThisWeek attempted to reach someone from county prosecutor Dave Yost's office Friday afternoon to find out why the same process was not used for the BMV lease. No one was available to comment.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

And we welcome socialism

"When we embrace social justice as a pillar of learning in our classrooms, we declare that we're all responsible for improving our world." Laurel Schmidt in ASCD's Educational Leadership.

Remember the 3 R's, the artifacts of education. They have been replaced with indoctrination from those who seek a socialist world -- the workers' utopia.

Schmidt continues: "Learning about all these injustices would be emotionally daunting for kids if it were just an exercise in cataloguing calamities and human indifference. But social justice education encourages students to act. It is based on the notion that we, the people, agree to live by a covenant that defines how we will behave toward one another in a community, whether you define community as a prairie town or the planet. If individuals, town leaders, or federal officials violate the covenant, then we attempt to restore justice through concerted action."

How we behave? Hmmm. By this she means children are to learn that government is the tool to force other to act. To act how?

Schmidt once again: "The best social action projects are like an earthquake. One minute you're comfortably ensconced in your classroom, earnestly working through your curriculum, and the next minute, the ground shifts. Even before the room stops rocking, you sense that you're in new territory, face-to-face with a genuine adventure. The best projects come organically from the work and conversations you have with your students every day.

Sometimes students will burst through the door on red alert and demand that their peers sit up and take notice. Here are a few examples:

  • Students organized a boycott of chocolate candy manufacturers at Halloween to register their support for fair trade chocolate."

Ah, yes. Fair trade. But isn't all uncoerced trade fair? (Read Jesus's parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard for the answer.)

You say: "None of this fits into the approved curriculum."

You are wrong. The educationists own the curriculum. And they interpret it as they please.

According to Schmidt: "Here are just a few of the cognitive challenges that students will face when they're immersed in the work of creating a more just society. Students will

  • Examine what it means to be a citizen.
  • Identify ways people can participate in their government.
  • Discuss the importance of political leadership and public service.
  • Locate, access, organize, and apply information about an issue of public concern.
  • Use spoken, written, and visual forms of communication effectively with a variety of audiences to promote their social justice efforts.
  • Use knowledge of government, law, and politics to make decisions about and take action on local, national, and international issues to further the public good.
  • Examine and develop others' ethical and moral reasoning."

They are covered. And they get to decide what is moral and ethical. Are you willing to grant them that power? You have already, by the way.

Schmidt's dream: "As educators, we hold the next generation of voters, politicians, and corporate leaders in our hands. Teaching students about interdependence and responsibility through social action is a lesson that can stick."

The unionized employees of government schools will lead this nation into the workers' paradise -- if we let them.

That is their goal. What is yours?

Friday, August 07, 2009

Two Must Reads

A recent post of mine over on the Blog at Mises.org:









Two Must Reads

Jim Fedako



B281_T.jpgIn his book, Capital and Production, Richard von Strigl clearly shows that an advanced economy exists due to two social funds: the subsistence fund and the renewal fund. Neither of which is the product of printing presses.




B406_T.jpgFor those wanting to show that redistribution (i.e. soaking the rich to benefit everyone else) is an impossibility, Bertrand de Jouvenel's book, The Ethics of Redistribution, contains an appendix with a sound refutation. Of course, times and places change. Regardless, to my knowledge, the bulge in the wealth distribution curve is always to the left.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Scott Galloway: spinning and spending my money

Olentangy board member Scott Galloway loves to spend my money. He loves it so much that he can't remember how much he spent. Or can he?

First, when fellow board member Jennifer Smith notes his profligate ways, Galloway has the nerve (according to the Delaware Gazette) to say, “You’re springing numbers on the board we’re not prepared for."

Yet, soon after, when confronted by an angry taxpayer in the audience, Galloway spins this response (as printed in the Delaware Gazette), "I understand all those numbers because I was there for the vote (originally pertaining to Jenkins’ compensation) and I understand what I voted for at the time and I understand what I’m prepared to vote for now, which is a 2.8 percent increase."

Now, Galloway is a spineless political hack -- truly spineless. But to spin so much is such a short time proves that he's nothing less than a tool of the administration.

Amazing.

Are We About to Become Children of Revolution?

A recent post of mine over on the Blog at Mises.org:









Are We About to Become Children of Revolution?

Jim Fedako



"In all the general assemblies Marin always demands that the older boys like him shall have more work than the younger ones. There is always a big discussion on this; sometimes it is settled one way, sometimes another. "I can work all day from sun-up to dark," boasts Marin, "and it won't hurt me now. But when I was little, I sprained my wrist from working too hard and it will always be a bad wrist. And our younger ones now are working beyond their strength; I see them with heads and backs aching in the hot sun. Then they come back and drink lots of cold Volga water and get sick with malaria. There should be two standards of work, for the older ones and the younger ones."

But the younger boys always argue against Marin, for they will not admit that he can do any more work than they can."


In Children of Revolution (1925), journalist Anna Louise Strong used her experience observing the John Reed Children's Colony, located on the Volga, to describe the dawning of the Soviet utopia. This quick and easy read details the wonders of socialism through Strong's radical and warped view of Stalin's USSR.

Strong uses the voice of Morosof, the musical shoemaker, to enlighten the reader: "'But I do not see the use of property; I think it is better not to own it. The October Revolution taught us to organize the commune. Even peasants begin now to do this; how much more can homeless children, who have no homes or property to begin with?'"

Freed from the ills of property, the children of John Reed quickly flourished -- or so goes the tale told by Strong.

To read Strong's words, it appears that capitalism is the evil that rots the world. But, wait.

"And now a great piece of luck came to the colony. Two days' journey away the Quakers from America were giving out food to children's homes. And the Quakers had heard of this group of boys which was starting to build a big farm colony of children, and promised to give them food. So Yeremeef went on the boat for a day's journey north, and then took the train for a day's journey west, till he came to the town where the Quakers gave out supplies of food. He brought back with him a whole car-load. Very wonderful food that they had not seen for years. Sugar and cocoa, and lard! There were also a hundred blankets, for starting a big colony. And soap--the first they had seen for many years! For ever since the Hungry Year they had been too poor to buy soap, and had scrubbed their dishes with sand, or ashes from the fire."

At every turn, American dollars and goods saved the colony.

Read the Children of Revolution and wonder: As we slip toward full-blown socialism, where will we turn for food and the equivalent of "good American shoes?" Who will act as our benefactor during the soon-to-come "Hunger Year."

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

We are allowing government to run and ruin our lives

From the Heartland Institute:

San Francisco Adds Compost Mandate to Recycling Program
Environment & Climate News > September 2009
Environment > Recycling
Environment > States


Email a Friend
Written By: Cheryl K. Chumley
Published In: Environment & Climate News > September 2009
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Publisher: The Heartland Institute

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

San Francisco residents and businesses will be required to separate from their trash all potential compost, in addition to separating all recyclable materials, under a new law passed by the city’s Board of Supervisors.


Fines for Insufficient Composting

Passed by a 9-2 vote, the new law authorizes the city to fine individual citizens up to $100 per violation, and businesses up to $500 per violation, if they don’t properly segregate recyclable or compostable refuse from their trash.

Fines also can be imposed if garbage collectors notice an individual citizen is not submitting at least a cubic yard of refuse for composting each week.

The regulation came at the request of Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) in working toward the city’s stated goal of sending nothing to its landfill by 2020. The city already diverts 72 percent of its waste away from its landfill.

Under the new law, expected to take effect this fall, each home- and business-owner will be required to use three recycling bins: a green one for composting food and yard debris; a blue one for recycling bottles, cans, and paper; and a black one for garbage that cannot be recycled or composted.


Lax Enforcement Promised

A spokesperson for the city’s Environment Department, the agency tasked with overseeing the new law, said it will exercise restraint in issuing fines, reserving them for repeat offenders.

Critics counter that the city has broken similar promises in the past, such as its aggressive enforcement of laws prohibiting visible trash cans, even though proponents gained support for such laws only after pledging to exercise restraint in enforcement.


‘Nanny State at its Worst’

“I find this very amusing,” said Max Schulz, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. “This is the nanny state at its worst.”

Recycling in general is a futile business that costs more than it’s worth, said Schulz.

“In the corrugated box industry, recycling has been cost-effective,” Schulz explained. “But for aluminum cans, it’s not. This is more about making an eco-statement. And San Francisco can do what it wants, ... but the problem is when other states point to San Francisco and ask, ‘is San Francisco doing something we should be doing?’ That’s really the major issue.”


Market Incentives Ignored

Per Bylund, a summer research fellow with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, notes mandated recycling has been a part of life for years. But while the government touts the program as a success, it can make that claim only because it doesn’t factor in all the costs and burdens borne by residents and business owners, Bylund said.

“This is probably the first step to something worse,” said Bylund of San Francisco’s new law. “There are probably going to be increases in garbage disposal waste costs ... and probably new restrictions on what kind of trash you can throw away.”

A better approach to recycling is to privatize the disposal, recycling, and composting of refuse and allow market prices to provide consumer incentives, Bylund said.

“If people are so crazy about recycling,” Bylund said, “why mandate it?”



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Cheryl K. Chumley (ckchumley@aol.com) is a 2008-09 journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation.

Monday, August 03, 2009

The real goal of the Federal Government’s more “affordable” health care reform

Socialized healthcare is the goal. -- Jim


The real goal of the Federal Government’s more “affordable” health care reform
Posted by David Kramer on August 3, 2009 06:28 AM

Although in some countries that have Universal Health Care there are a few private insurers to pick up the slack for people who can afford private insurance (in order to actually have excellent health care on demand rather than waiting for government-paid services), this video obviously shows that the ultimate goal of our gunvernment is to impose a Single-Payer/Universal Health Care system on the sheeple.


6 Simple Ways to Dramatically Cut Costs of Medical Care - at Zero Expense to Taxpayers

From our good friend over at The Center For Small Government:


"6 Simple Ways to Dramatically Cut Costs of Medical Care - at Zero Expense to Taxpayers"

by Michael Cloud



Imagine that the federal and state governments imposed laws, regulations, restrictions, and mandates on medical care that drastically increased the cost - without improving medical care.

What if it were possible to cut your medical care costs by 20% or 30% or even 50% now - while keeping current levels of quality and service - by repealing and removing these government-created burdens and barriers?

If this were possible, would you want it?

Would you want the U.S. Congress to repeal and remove these laws, regulations, restrictions, and mandates?

Would you want your state legislature to do the same?

Yes? Well, these government-imposed burdens and barriers DO exist - and your federal and state legislators CAN repeal and remove them.

Would you like to see a small sample?

1. Allow price advertising. Let pharmacies, doctors, hospitals, and laboratories to publish their prices for goods and services. Eliminate all laws, regulations, and government provisions that hinder or prevent medical providers from posting their prices.

Charges for the same medical procedure can vary 30% to 300% within a 100-mile radius. But without price information, patients can't shop for the best value.

In the 1970's, U.C.L.A. Economist Sam Peltzman compared the costs of eyeglasses in states that allowed price advertising and states that outlawed it. Results? Much lower prices in states that allowed price advertising.

2. Let all Americans buy prescription drugs outside the United States. Do NOT force them to travel abroad. Allow them to have the prescription drugs shipped to their homes.

I've seen the 30% to 60% savings in prices of prescription drugs purchased in Mexico.

International competition for prescription drugs will drive down domestic prescription prices.

3. Let all people buy medical insurance across state lines. In New Jersey, a single man would pay $4,000 for medical insurance. If he lived in Pennsylvania, he'd pay $1,500. If the New Jersey man could buy medical insurance from a Pennsylvania provider, he'd save $2,500 a year.

Imagine this all across America.

This would cut medical insurance costs for millions who already have needlessly overpriced premiums.

AND, if the American Enterprise Institute study is correct, this would make medical insurance affordable for 12 million uninsured Americans.

4. Let doctors and patients negotiate discounts for paying cash. If a patient saves a doctor the time, trouble, delay and cost of dealing with insurance companies, Medicare, or Medicaid - let the doctor and patient share the savings.

5. Let patients, doctors, and hospitals enter into into legally binding, limited-liability contracts. This would reduce the cost of medical treatment by reducing the cost of malpractice insurance.

Just as Prenuptial Agreements limit marital risk, limited-liability contracts will limit medical risk.

6. End all government mandates that require businesses or individuals to buy medical insurance. End all government mandates that punish and tax those who do NOT buy medical insurance. Make insurance companies earn our business with lower prices and better quality - rather than lobby government to compel us to buy medical insurance by force of law. (See Carla Howell's excellent essay below.)

This is just a sketch of small government proposals to UN-do the government-caused high prices of medical care.

A glimpse of small government proposals to come.