Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Plusquellic says there's a "special place reserved in hell" for those who misled Akron voters on Issue 8

Well, I can't say that I'm surprised by what I heard a short time ago at the Issue 8 gathering at a downtown restaurant.

Mayor Don Plusquellic taking aim at the people he felt sunk the Sewers-For-Scholarships deal tonight by a 60-40 vote.

Plusquellic told the downtown crowd that there's a "special place reserved in hell" for those who misled Akron voters about the issue.

Seeing DP upset tonight reminded me of a few years ago when he championed an issue to create a county-wide sale tax that would have generated a pile of money for each of the county's school districts to use for improvements.

Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Robart, among others, didn't back the proposal and it ultimately failed.

Plusquellic didn't blame Robart or anyone individually (at least publicly) for that issue failing because it was simply a disagreement over school funding. I remember DP telling the crowd that night that "we were right" to put the issue out there. It was a sensitive moment, but not a personal one.

Tonight though .. this was very much indeed personal.

I'll be interested to talk to those who soundly defeated the issue. I'd like to find out whether folks were voting against it because of fears about the sewer system lease or whether it was the uncertainty of the educational part. I'm sure many will say it was both.

Still .. after talking to an elderly woman today who planned to vote against the issue while not even knowing that it involved an educational aspect for kids to go to college ... makes me believe that not everyone who voted on this issue truly understood its pros and cons.

I expect we'll have some good banter on this topic and the Mayor's response Friday night on NewsNight Akron.


Village Green said...

The sewer needs to be fixed, not leased. Public utilities are called just that because they are essential to our continuing health. I didn't want some unnamed international corporation to be given charge of a system that continues to dump overflow-sewage into the Cuyahoga River.

Scholarships, yeah sure -- but find another way to fund them. One thing that bugs me about the whole deal -- the 30 year commitment to live in Akron. Make Akron a more inviting place to live rather than attempt to bribe people to stay.

Now that this is over, maybe the mayor will get back to his Greenprint, a much more promising path to making Akron an exciting and healthy place to live.

Anonymous said...

I heard this in the line to vote yesterday morning at 6:30...Please vote against issue 8 to save the jobs of our sewer workers. I said, but the mayor promised those displaced workers are guaranteed jobs elsewhere in the city. He said yeah well the mayor has made promises before...

So right or wrong - this is how this gentleman felt and you can bet others felt this way too.

Anonymous said...

I felt that we did not have enough information about this plan. All the kinks needed to be worked out first. The Mayor should have brought a done deal to the table not a "this is a start plan".
I didnt like the 30 years deal either. There are no jobs in Akron. So my children would have been paying taxes to 2 cities if this had passed and they took advantage of it.

My children would not have been fully eligiable for this plan either due to the fact that they attend private schools.
Only so many private school children would have been accepted.

If you attend the Jewish School in Akron you werent even considered.

I found this unfair since I also pay sewer and school taxes. I found it to unfair to home schooled children as well.

Anonymous said...

I voted against it for the main reason that I live in Akron with my children and they would not be eligible for the scholarship. Do the sewers need fixed? Yes. But find another way to do it - don't insult the citizens of Akron by trying to bribe them with a scholarship fund.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness this failed. I do not feel misled at all.

Anonymous said...

Well, First off the term Scholarship is misleading. Scholarship's don't have to be paid back. It's only a Scholarship if that person doesn't leave for the next 30 years. Who knows what the future holds. If you decide to leave, then you are paying city tax rates to 2 cities. I really felt that it was an original idea, but just didn't like the way it was set up.

Anonymous said...

It is very apparent to me that many people did not take the time to read about the Mayor's proposal. If you actually took the time to look through the website and/or attend an event where this proposal was talked about, maybe it would have passed. The "scholarship" money that would have been available by the lease of the sewer system, would have been a last dollar plan given out only after all other grants and scholarships were applied for. Not every student would have needed this money, but it sure would have helped those that did. It seems to me that our State Government talks a good talk about making school funding their top priority, but it doesn't seem to me that they are really doing anything. Our Mayor has been the first to stand up several times with a valid solution to our education problems in this area and continues to be rejected. This election was about change....what happened people? Where is our change? Where is our open mind? This was not a tax increase, no one was going to lose their job, and your sewer rates were not going to increase anymore than they already do through the City. When are the people of Akron going to stop complaining about what is wrong in this area and start voting to make a change?

Anonymous said...

I voted against the mayor’s proposal in large part due to my skepticism of “creative funding, proposals. Every time someone has offered up these proposals for funding education they always like to make believe that gains can be made with no expense to the taxpayers. I don’t care if it is the false promises of the lottery or caps on tuition on post-secondary education, none of these creative solutions fix the underling problem of funding. I heard advertisements last year touting a record year of lottery profits for education. I have yet to ever hear about any school system or university giving back money because they have too much funding.

As we look at this proposal are we supposed to forget the large problems facing the city of the combined sewers and the run off problem that still needs to be fixed? No operator is going to come in and fix that problem. We can’t possibly believe that the only increases we would face would be service fees. These types of systems are built and maintained for the public good. Only cities and municipalities have the time to invest and to wait for improvements to be paid off. Cities and municipalities don’t have to be in the business to make a profit. Anyone leasing the sewers has to expect a consistent return on their investment to even consider this.

I appreciate the need for educational opportunities in the city. I understand the long term implications of having a highly educated workforce. I don’t believe that we can fund education without making difficult decisions. If education is truly a priority, then we need to have some very frank discussions about what changes and sacrifices people are willing to make to see things change. There are no free lunches out there and it’s about time people face up to that.

Anonymous said...

When are the talking heads on NEWS NIGHT AKRON finally going to call out the Mayor for making comments like "a special place reserved in hell." I find it appalling the mayor would resort to such a vicious attack and use religion to boot. C'mon Eric, Ed, and espcially the Mayor Loving Steve, it's time you criticize this Mayor when he does wrong. The Mayor says he blames himself for not getting the message out. Mr. Mayor, don't blame the messenger, blame THE MESSAGE!. People heard what you were saying, they just didn't like it. Create a scholarship program, (not a loan program) by approaching all the CEOs whose companies have been subsidized over the years by the tax payers. One company can give 10 million for a stadium. I am sure they can give some money for a scholarship program.

Warner said...

The Mayor spent hundreds of thousands of dollars getting his message out. First Energy chipped in $50,000 all on its own. Obviously people saw through the lies: 1) It was not a scholarship it was a loan and 2) if you read the fine print, rate increases would have been well over 40% after 10 years on top of additional rate increases to deal with the combined sewer problem. Eric, where was the story on Issue 9. I am sure any SOS volunteer would be far more gracious than Plusquellic. Anonymous, we got real change this year in Akron with the Issue 9 victory. Our utilities are protected now.

Anonymous said...

So, you get all you grants get 4 years of college almost paid for.
You are 9000.000 Short of a four year degree. You apply for the Akron Sewer Scholorship and pay that 9grand back over 30 years in taxes. Sounds like a high interest loan to me.
If my move out of town and pay taxes to 2 cities you are then paying an even higher cost for your education.
A bank for that 9 grand would have been a smarter choice.
Lower interest.

Anonymous said...

I read everything I could get my hands on about Issue 8 and was soundly against it. It was an ill-conceived idea that had not been fleshed out. Other areas that have privatized their utilities have suffered. The Kalamazoo scholarship plan was privately funded. I fear the Mayor will target individuals and organizations, as he has before, and make their lives miserable because they disagreed with him. Watch out APD, here it comes again.

Anonymous said...

If it's something that the Mayor wants, its something I'm against.

Which young person just graduating college would want to commit to30 years in one place...especially Akron. The Mayor has some other motive for leasing the sewers - his lack of regard for his constituents is obvious. His disregard for the opinion of others is an embarassment and his political style would make the deceased Mayor Daley of Chicago sit up and take notice.

Plusqualic and his cronies on the City Council are political hacks in the worset sense of the words.

wswalcott said...

"The real difficulty is with the vast wealth and power in the hands of the few and the unscrupulous who represent or control capital. Hundreds of laws of Congress and the state legislatures are in the interest of these men and against the interests of workingmen. These need to be exposed and repealed. All laws on corporations, on taxation, on trusts, wills, descent, and the like, need examination and extensive change. This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations. — How is this?"
Ohio President, Rutherford B. Hayes (October 4, 1822 – January 17, 1893)

PDA-Ohio said...

PDA-Ohio has formulated an alternative proposal that if implemented, will maintain the separation of the public good from private interests. The corporate run state as the Akron proposal promotes is dangerous and diminishes our constitutional democracy. Our plan is a "people's plan" to fund higher education. Please read The Summit Plan at www.pdaohio.org. We welcome your input in developing this working document ro fund education on a regional level.

PDA-Ohio believes in government and not in unchecked free market capitalism as a vehicle to solve our problems. The corporation's job is to make a profit to please their investors. Profit motive over the public institution steers our democracy down the road to placing infinite power in the corporate state over the public good and a diminished role by, for and of the people. In a nutshell, the electorate loses control of their government.

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."
-- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864

Anonymous said...

It's not a matter of the ideas involved at all.
There is not one thing wrong with the idea of leasing public utilities if that's what the public wants.
There's not one thing wrong with the idea of providing cut rate loans to high school graduates so that every one of them can afford to attend an Ohio tech, college, or university.
But, Mr. Mayor, we don't trust you and your ideas because you bully us: the people you work for.
Your reputation has caused many an opponent to just walk away.
I voted for you twice thinking that you had a firm grasp on managing this city efficiently.
I voted for you so that I would have a strong presence in City Hall to ward off the unsavory influences that could prey on a depressed and tired group of Northeast Ohioans who seem to be working twice as hard to make half the cost of living.
And then you became one of those influences, trying to push a controversial idea on us or down our throats.
And comments, like the one quoted, reinforce the bad reputation.
You have forever lost my vote.

Anonymous said...

I voted against and campaigned against Issue 8. Because the plan was to lease the Sewer System for 99 YEARS, it was really a loan and not a scholarship. The Mayor promised that 100 jobs in the Sewer Dept would be saved, tell me why there was never any talk about the Water Dept?? Don't Sewer and Water go hand in hand? What about those employees? What I would like to ask the Mayor and his cronies in City Hall (Council included), is what part of "Public Utility" has been misunderstood? I think Akron voters should now look at term limits for politician in this City. King Don and Mushmouth Marco have served their purpose, and as Barack Obama said, we need "change we can believe in"!

Anonymous said...

You hope there is a special place reserved in Hell for people who misled voters on issue 8 Mr. Plusquellic? Then I hope you enjoy your little area reserved for you there then.