A vote for Cordray means more local funding
To the Editor:
I urge my fellow Cleveland Heights residents to support Richard Cordray for governor because it will mean more and better funding for Cleveland Heights. Over the past eight years the state has slashed the Local Government Fund (LGF), and counties, cities, villages, townships, libraries and schools have been told to do more with less.
These cuts have directly impacted Cleveland Heights and caused our city and schools to lose millions of dollars. To offset these cuts, our residents graciously supported Issue 53, an income tax increase to protect our fire and safety forces. Had Cleveland Heights residents not voted to offset the cuts from Columbus, we would have seen drastic losses, and Fire Station 2, which responds to calls west of Superior Road, wouldn’t have had enough first responders to simultaneously send out the ambulance and the fire truck.
The state’s refusal to fund Cleveland Heights and other municipalities is a severe breach of the 84-year-old pact between Ohio’s communities and our state government. The state got to impose a sales tax in 1934, and, in return, the revenues are shared with municipalities to deliver essential services such as police, fire, trash pickup, and roads.
Rather than sharing with Cleveland Heights and other cities, the state has taken from the LGF and socked it away in the now $2.7 billion Rainy Day Fund. This fund grows every day as local governments struggle to provide basic services and to fight on the frontline of our raging opioid epidemic.
The 2018 election will directly impact the funding we receive in Cleveland Heights. Cordray has committed to working with municipalities to restore the LGF. His opponent has been unwilling to commit to such a plan.
Our cities, libraries and schools deserve to be fully funded. We deserve to have 84-year-old promises kept. The future of Ohio, and of Cleveland Heights, rests with the fate of our governor and the LGF. A vote for Richard Cordray is a vote for that better future. Early voting is now, and Election Day is Nov. 6. Make your voice heard.
[A note from the writer: These views are my own. I do not speak for any other members of CH City Council or CH government.]
Melissa Yasinow is the Cleveland Heights Vice Mayor.