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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Playing Politics With Ohio Education

Politics is all about getting power and exercising power.

Oftentimes, public education is the hot button topic for those persons seeking to obtain, retain and exercise political power. I have heard candidates for City Council, Mayor, County Commissioner, State Representative, Governor, Congress, and President, along with many others, speak of "reforming" or "improving" public education as part of their campaign platforms. BUT, most of those elective positions have absolutely no authority or "legitimate power" to do so.

Do the candidates for elective office and the incumbent elected officials think the American electorate are dumb enough to fall prey to their promises that they cannot possibly legitimately fulfill? OR, are they attempting to gather more political power than those positions are responsible and accountable under the law?

Playing politics with primary and secondary education (as well as higher education) is quite a common occurrence in Ohio, just as it is in other states.

The State of Ohio has a State Board of Education that has both elected and gubernatorial appointed members. At one time the Board of Education was an all-elected body, but the size of the Board and method of selecting its members was changed at least twice in the past decade or two by the Ohio General Assembly at the urging of a previous Ohio Governor or two.

The most recent example of playing politics with education in Ohio involves Governor Ted Strickland, the State Board of Education of Ohio, and the Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction.

It seems Governor Ted Strickland wants to establish his own public policy of public education in Ohio and wants to appoint the individual responsible to implement and administer public education policy. Those are the functions of the State Board of Education of Ohio.

For more information on what's going on in that regards, please read the embedded links of the following:
Strickland's school plan criticized
Longtime leader of Ohio's public schools to resign
Ohio schools superintendent resigns
Governor gets wish on schools leader

Why, oh why, oh why, do 'we' have elected members on the State Board of Education if 'we' want the Governor to assume the role of those elected members? Frankly, I do not think the State Board of Education is doing a very good job, nor do I think the State Superintendent has been doing a great job. None-the-less, they are the persons who have the responsibility and the authority, not Governor Ted Strickland. I might even prefer Ted Strickland's ideas, I'm not sure, but it makes no difference to me because it is not within the Governor's legitimate authority.

If the Governor is to exercise power in the area of primary and secondary education in establishing and administering public policy, then the system needs to be changed legitimately by the appropriate means.

Oh, gee, that means the Ohio General Assembly may need to enact some legislation to allow the necessary changes. Well, let's forget it then. The Ohio STATE LEGISLATURE has been a TOTAL FAILURE in the whole area of public education for at least the past 25 years.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Elect The Best For Ohio State Representative AND Get The Job Dunn Right!

If you have not heard, you certainly need to hear, especially if you live in the western Lucas County area of Ohio. The immediate past elected State Representative in Ohio House of Representatives District 46 resigned that position prior to the completion of the term. Then, the Republican Party appointed a replacement for the remainder of the unexpired term.
Come this November, there will be an election for the new full two-year term that pits the appointee against a very qualified contender for Ohio State Representative.

Look at this Dunn website.
Read more over at Ohio Daily Blog and over at Glass City Jungle.

Voters need to get this election Dunn right and elect the best qualified woman for the job!
Do it right, so we can say it was Dunn right.
Yes, Darlene.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The King and Tomatoes

Say what? What king? Burger King.
Having read a small three-sentence, two-paragraph article buried deep within the daily newspaper on the Business page at the very bottom of the "In Brief" column, I became interested in the topic of Burger King paying 1.5 cents more per pound for tomatoes from Florida. Of that amount, one penny will be passed on to the tomato pickers and allegedly double their earnings according to the newspaper article I read.
An internet search resulted in many hits, among which were:
The Canadian Press: Fast food chain Burger King, farm worker group agree on wage deal
MSN: Burger King, farmworker group agree on wage deal
Stockhouse: Burger King to pay Florida tomato pickers more
The Palm Beach Post: Burger King signs deal with tomato workers
If you clicked onto the embedded links and have read the articles, I hope you caught the part about this issue being political with the involvement of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who seemingly worked tirelessly on the issue.
I am all in favor of decent wages, prevailing wages, living wages and the like. My question in regard to the fast food industry and the area of condiments is: What about mustard seed pickers, onion pickers, and cucumber (turned into pickle relish) pickers?
Let's make sure that all American workers are paid decent wages. That is REAL economic development. After all, the marketplace needs to have customers who have the money to purchase the goods, services, and products in the marketplace. And, the government needs to have citizens who contribute sufficiently into the tax coffers.
And while I'm on that kick, what about all the workers in the service industry whose income depends in large part on tips? How much do they really earn? Isn't it about time that we get rid of the hidden costs of services to consumers and the "welfare" supplement to employers?
I say do away with tips, make the employer pay a decent wage to the employee, and pass the cost along to the customer and consumer just as is done in the sale of material goods.
So, there! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
Come on, Congress, get off your duffs. Use the Interstate Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution to get involved in this!

Monday, May 19, 2008

University of Toledo: President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs Should Resign Or Be Fired

Is there any confusion over the title of this entry? If so, let me clarify by stating I am of the opinion that Dr. Lloyd Jacobs should resign as President of the University of Toledo; if Lloyd Jacobs does not resign, then he should be fired. I have written about the University of Toledo before on several occasions here on Roland Hansen Commentary.

The last time I made an entry about UT was on March 23, 2008 in the entry University of Toledo: A Success As A Failure OR A Failure At Success?

The most current incident at UT that has grabbed my attention involves the firing by Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, a medical doctor surgeon turned University President earning a $385,000.00 annual salary plus benefits, of a University of Toledo administrator by the name of Crystal Dixon who wrote an article as a private citizen that describes her religious beliefs on the topic of homosexuality as it relates to the topic of discrimination. Rather than me paraphrasing that news article, take a look at it yourself by clicking on the following embedded link to The Blade article University of Toledo official fired over column.

While I do not share the beliefs of Crystal Dixon, I support her right to state and write about her beliefs. It is my opinion that Dr. Lloyd Jacobs over-reacted in his official response in his capacity of President of the University of Toledo. I further believe that not only has he misused and abused his authority in this situation, but I also believe that President Jacobs has put the taxpayers of Ohio in jeopardy. In the event that a lawsuit is filed by Ms. Dixon, it may very well be decided in her favor with a financial settlement that may include back wages and damages in the tens or thousands of dollars.

A quick search on the internet discloses many, many references to this latest incident, which I also believe demonstrates misfeasance and malfeasance on the part of Lloyd Jacobs.

Below are just a few of the references I found:

Renew America: Civil wrongs in the name of civil rights

WorldNetDaily: Firing raises 1st Amendment, equal protection issues

LifeSiteNews: Black University Employee Suspended for Objecting to Comparison between Black and Homosexual Discrimination

CampusReportOnline: Unholy Toledo

Free Republic: UT administrator fired for speaking out

Stop The ACLU: Moonbat Educator of the Week

SwampBubbles: Press Release - Response To Dr. Lloyd Jacobs Firing Crystal Dixon

You know something? I've changed my mind.
The heck with asking for the resignation of Dr. Lloyd Jacobs as University of Toledo President! He should be fired immediately!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lucas County Republicans: Wack Off - Wack On and the Stainbrook Saga

I had started to post a comment in my previous Roland Hansen Commentary Lucas County Republicans: Wack Off, Stainbrook One, Reichert Zero but had a change of mind. Hence, this new Roland Hansen Commentary entry with its own heading. Apparently Wack was on, then Wack was off, but now Wack is back and never really left as is indicated in the latest news story to which I link at the bottom of this Roland Hansen Commentary.

At the moment, with the court ordering a delay in the Lucas County Republican Party organizational meeting, it appears that Jon Stainbrook just won Round Two in his coup d'etat attempt to gain Chairmanship of the Lucas County Republican Party.

While there has been a flurry of people who have been slamming Stainbrook's actions, behavior, and temperament, a close reading of the news reports cause me to question the integrity, honesty, truthfulness, and modus operendi of the current Lucas County GOP leadership of Bob Reichert and Doug Haynam along with the continued assistance from 'Wack Off - Wack On' who has a felony conviction record and who after that conviction became a paid Lucas County Republican staffer but is now a volunteer worker in the Lucas County Republican Party Headquarters.

You might better understand my perspective, if you have completely and carefully read the previous articles to which I have linked in Lucas Couty Republicans: Wack Off, Stainbrook One, Reichert Zero and go now to the following embedded link to carefully and completely read the article Judge delays Lucas County GOP meeting.

There is a plethora of Stainbrook attacks elsewhere on the web but very little, if any, in the way of comments on the actions of the current Lucas County GOP leadership and in-crowd. It appears to me that most blogosphere commentators are centering their comments on the personality of Jon Stainbrook rather than the issue of the struggle within the Lucas County Republican Party itself. My intention here is an attempt to shine some public light on the activities and behaviors at Lucas County Republican Party Headquarters and the folks involved there-in, which I believe is an aspect that is being overlooked by other commentators.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lucas County Republicans: Wack Off, Stainbrook One, Reichert Zero

A lot of criticisms and commentaries, much of it derogatory, have been levied against the Lucas County Democratic Party for the past several years regarding scandals, party infighting, power plays for leadership, and so on and so forth.
But, what about the Lucas County Republican Party? The Lucas County GOP has had its own share of troubles; and, the problems did not end with the departure of former Lucas County Republican Party Chairwoman Bernadette Noe or with the trial and conviction of her husband, Tom Noe, who was also a former Lucas County Republican Party Chairman.
It has been quite some time now since the Lucas County Republican Party has fielded a full slate of candidates in general elections. Even worse was the almost total void of Republican candidates in the most recent closed primary election. Is there even a Republican Party in Lucas County, Ohio?
Apparently, there is a Lucas County Republican Party and it is replete with scandals, party infighting, power plays for leadership, and so on and so forth. What? You haven't heard?
The latest happenings involve several people including a former student of mine at the University of Toledo, Jon Stainbrook, who I remember as being intelligent and astute as well as one of those rare college students who actively participated in class discussions.
One of the big scandalous stories involves a sort of silver lining, or perhaps it should be called a silver disappearance. Read the Blade on-line article about the case of the disappearing silver here.
Ultimately that scandal led to the resignation of the Lucas County Republican Party Executive Director and the Republican Wack Off story that can be read in this embedded link to The Blade on-line.
If you'd like to read some one else's take on all this Republican stuff, head on over this-a-way to read the Letter to the Editor that Mike MacGuffie sent to The Blade.
As I see it, with the executive director now gone in the Republic Wack Off saga, Jon Stainbrook has won round one in his attempt to wrestle the leadership from the present Lucas County Republican Party Chairman Bob Reichert who has basically found zero Republican candidates to run for elective office in Lucas County as of late.
With the Republican Wack Off, the score is now Stainbrook one and Reichert zero.
It appears that Round Two is now unfolding as reported in this Blade news story.
Interesting stuff, eh? I sure look forward to the day that there is a strong two party system back in Toledo, Ohio and in all of Lucas County. And, of course, we need all those active and involved independents to keep the two parties on the straight and narrow.
Let's hear it for DIRT! I like it when I see Democrats, Independents, and Republicans working Together for a better community for us all.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lucas County Educational Service Center: Angela Zimmann, Governing Board Member

While I have not previously made any entries in Roland Hansen Commentary about the Lucas County Educational Service Center (aka Lucas County ESC or LCESC), those who have followed my cyberspace musings are aware that I have made comments about the Lucas County Educational Service Center and the LCESC Governing Board on Toledo Talk, on Swamp Bubbles, on Roland's Ramblings, and several other places around the wide wonderful world of the web. My comments have been rather diverse, both complimentary and not complimentary, about the office operations, staffing, services, programs, administration, and the Governing Board as a body and also some individual members of the Board.
My first foray into the LCESC here on Roland Hansen Commentary is in regards to Angela Zimmann, the newest member of the Governing Board of the Lucas County Educational Service Center. Dr. Zimmann was elected to the LCESC Governing Board in November 2007 and took office in January 2008. During her campaign, Angela Zimmann certainly had her plate full. She was completing her doctoral work at Bowling Green State University, teaching English classes at BGSU, attended to family matters including the maintenance a family life as wife and mother as well as experiencing some tragic personal losses in the illness and passing of a parent, and maintained a campaign schedule complete with appearances, fundraisers, and a campaign web site in the form of a blog. That is only a sampling of some of the multi-tasking performed by Angela Zimmann during the campaign season. I find the fact that she could serve concurrently in so many roles to be rather remarkable and admirable.
That aside, the primary purpose of this entry is to highlight the blog that Angela Zimmann created and has maintained since assuming her duties as a member of the Lucas County Educational Service Center Governing Board. You really should take a look-see at the blog Lucas County Educational Services Center Updates by Angela Zimmann.
My hat is off to Dr. Zimmann. Kudos and compliments and much appreciation go out to her for her efforts on opening and maintaining public discourse in her position as an elected official and in providing information on the LCESC to the public.

Now, as an aside and not related to the titled entry:
I still do not understand how there is no conflict of interest and how it is ethical and legal for Joan Kuchcinski, another member of the LCESC Board, to be receiving payments of hundreds and totaling in the thousands of dollars for professional services rendered as an individual while maintaining a position on the very same Governing Board that also authorizes those payments!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

City Manager or “Strong” Mayor?

Some people in Toledo, Ohio are re-visiting the size and composition of Toledo City Council – AGAIN!
Over the years, Toledoans have changed the number of members on city council and have also changed the manner in which those members have been elected. The numbers of persons on Toledo City Council have varied with the size of council being small, medium, or large. Toledo City Council members have been elected on an at-large basis, on a district basis, and by a combination thereof. Toledoans have also switched back and forth between weak and strong mayors, with mayors being selected by city council from amongst its members and by mayors being directly elected by the voters.
If it isn’t enough to again change the size of city council and the manner in which it is composed, some Toledoans are also clamoring for a switch in the form of municipal government – AGAIN!
Throughout the years, the City of Toledo has gone through several changes in its form of government. The city has gone from being headed by a strong mayor as the CEO to a “professional” city manager as the CEO and then returned to a strong mayor.
So, why are folks talking about returning once again to the city manager form of government? Perhaps there may be a clue in the previous Roland Hansen Commentary entitled Elect a Competent Mayor for Toledo, Ohio. Additionally, some of the people advocating a council-manager form of government assert that having a professional public manager serving as the CEO would eliminate the politics in city operations.
Okay, if I understand this correctly, some people believe that getting rid of the strong mayor form of government and replacing it with a council/manager form of government will result in de-politicizing municipal operations with a professional public manager as the city’s CEO that is more competent than a strong mayor. I find that perspective somewhat “odd” in several ways even though I have a Master of Public Administration with a specialization in general public management.
I have lived through several of the changes in the form of government of the City of Toledo and have experienced the actions and the effects of those different forms of government. Under the previous council-manager form of government, the mayor would appoint the city manager, however the appointment required the approval. Consequently, the mayor would make the appointment of an “acceptable” manager in such a manner as to obtain the required approval of a majority of council. That’s politics. Also, under the previous council-manager government, the mayor and/or council would fault the city manager when things were not to the liking of the citizens, and the city manager would fault the council and/or mayor. That’s politics. The city manager would appoint persons to management and non-management positions. It was not unusual for the city manager to take the thoughts of council members and of the mayor into consideration when making those appointments, some of which went to friends and/or relatives of the mayor or council members. That’s politics.
Age, citizenship, and residency are the only qualifications to be Mayor of the City of Toledo. Other than being a citizen of the United States and a resident of the City of Toledo who is of voting age, there are no other eligibility requirements to be Toledo Mayor. Many, if not all, of the people critical of the “strong” mayor form of municipal government think there should be more qualifications to be the city’s chief executive officer which is why they favor a city manager over a strong mayor.
Regardless, the fact remains that Toledo does have a strong mayor form of government at present. I understand why people want a competent person to be Mayor of Toledo. I understand why people desire a Mayor who is a good administrator, a good manager, a good CEO, etc., etc. I understand why people want the Mayor of the City of Toledo to have the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to be effective in the position. I understand why people may think the Mayor should have a certain level of education and experience.
What I do not understand is why those very same people are not actively calling for a change in the form or system of government we have at either the state or national level.
To be Governor of Ohio, one needs to be of age, be a citizen, and be a resident of the State of Ohio. That’s all; there are no other qualifications. I have not heard of any groundswell of support for a different form or system of state government in which the CEO of the State of Ohio would be an appointive professional public administrator.
To be President of the United States of America, a person must be at least 35 years of age, be a natural born citizen of the United States, and have been a resident for at least 14 years. That’s it, nothing more. Age, citizenship, and residency are the only qualifications to be President, the most responsible position in the world. There are no requirements in regards to education, experience, knowledge, skills, or abilities. Why are the proponents of a city manager form of municipal government not calling for a change in the Constitution of the United States of America that would require minimum qualifications of education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities of the chief executive of the United States of America?