Public represented on turnpike plan


I must take issue with the title of your recent article, “Public silent on pike plan.” The public did indeed speak. They spoke through their elected officials shortly after Gov. Kasich announced his turnpike plan last December. The most outspoken opponent, state Rep. Ron Gerberry accurately called it “highway robbery,” and a “shell game.” Other local legislators including Bob Hagan and Joe Schiavoni were equally critical , also voting against the bill. State Rep. Capri Cafaro , however, voted in favor of the bill, and by doing so betrayed not only her constituents but everyone across northern Ohio, the most frequent users of the turnpike.

Even though Kasich’s appointed surrogates on the Turnpike Commission speak of his turnpike leveraging plan like it was some sort of noble mission, the fact remains it is a massive borrowing scheme that unfairly burdens northern Ohioans with yearly toll increases that will fund road projects all over Ohio, not just in the northern tier. Normally non turnpike road projects are funded by fuel taxes, but Kasich cried poor, claiming fuel tax revenue was stagnant, forcing vital road projects back ten years or longer. Not surprising is that the state had been diverting fuel tax revenue into it’s main spending account to the tune of $140 million a year in defiance of the Ohio Constitution. Fortunately that came to a halt last December when the Ohio Supreme Court rapped their knuckles, ending that illegal practice.

Flouting the Ohio Constitution is standard practice for Johnny K. and his legislative lackeys, and evidently this sits well with Ms. Carfaro, who by voting for her new mentors plan enables him to say the bill had bipartisan support.

I’m sure Ohioans all over the state except those in her district are grateful for her vote. Unfortunately, they are not the Ohioans she was elected to represent.

But hey, that could easily change. Absolutely. Capri could pack up her carpet bag and relocate. Maybe out in Wapakoneta, or Bellefontaine, or maybe Dayton. Or down in Portsmouth.

Yes sir. She can lease a townhouse, register with the local board of elections, file petitions, rent a storefront, and run for office where ever she lands.

I’m sure many remember Ms. Cafaro’s pathetic attempt to unseat congressman Steve Latourette after becoming a resident of his district.

Undoubtedly, lessons were learned from that fiasco and that she would fare better should she take that route. I for one sincerely hope she does.

Again, standard procedure for Kasich and company. Say one thing, then start back peddling.

Thanks again to Capri. She is learning from the best.

Mark J. Cleland Sr.