WESTERHOLD: Tuesday's turning point

It's difficult to know exactly what the long-term impact of Tuesday's election will be, but being more hopeful about the region's fu
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

It's difficult to know exactly what the long-term impact of Tuesday's election will be, but being more hopeful about the region's future is an immediate result.

A majority of residents in Sandusky and Port Clinton said "yes" to waterfront re-development, but the self-proclaimed "watchdogs" likely will continue their fight to stop progress. If that happens residents in both communities should shout out loud again.

"Thank you for sharing. Now sit down and be quiet."

The fact every school tax issue in the region gained approval from voters also represents a loud statement. While tax issues in other parts of the state went down in flames, local voters said "yes."

The region's future is dependent on maintaining high quality education, and the success of these issues shows residents know that. It's also testament to the hard work of school supporters -- from students to school board members -- and everyone in between.

But work on both re-development of the waterfronts in Sandusky and Port Clinton and rebuilding the financial foundations of public schools has only just begun.

The naysayers will question every decision as waterfront development moves forward and will twist information to suit their agendas. "Save Battery Park" is a perfect example. That anti-development campaign slogan was bogus from the start and it's a good thing voters weren't hoodwinked by it.

And lawmakers in Columbus, none of whom marched down Camp Street from the boat ramp to Strobel Field rallying support for Sandusky Schools, will continue to tell voters that every new unfunded mandate will actually save school districts money.

Bogus, bogus, bogus.

School officials across the region will be forced back to the ballot again in the next few years because state lawmakers wiggle out of their responsibilities to make Ohio schools financially strong.

Now is the time for residents to pressure state representatives and demand they do the right thing. And the right thing to do is be honest, for a change. Admit the funding system is broken, and commit to fixing it.

Gov. Ted Strickland, to his credit, said he will be a failed governor if he cannot build the consensus needed. But lawmakers sit back and wait for him to fall of his face.

Bounce those bozos from office if they continue their obstructionist, politically motivated shenanigans. It's been more than a dozen years since Columbus got its mandate to fix school funding and whining that "it's too hard" is simply unacceptable.

This is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue, as much as the scalawags in Columbus want to make it just that. Education should not be a political football, and voters need to fire any lawmaker who walks that path.

Strickland had the guts to tell the truth about his potential legacy coming into office with this thorny issue unresolved. Waiting for him to fail -- as some lawmakers seem to be doing -- is cause enough for them to get pink slips from voters.