Unfortunately none of the smart people who I know are running for the various school board seats at Lakota this fall as the old board members are now in a race to become the next West Chester trustees. Since Lee Wong failed to get enough support to move into another seat he’ll likely be back in West Chester as a trustee just because of his name recognition as an incumbent. Mark Welsh is defending his seat from an onslaught of unionized radicals—like the former Lakota school board president—Joan” the Hutt” Powell. And now that George Lang is moving into a congressional seat in Ohio, more people have decided to run for West Chester trustee, specifically Lynda O’Conner. There are also other candidates, but Lynda jumped out to me because she has been by far the most conservative school board member at Lakota—which leaves open that spot for more unionized representatives. This situation is maturing into a not very good scenario.
I know Lynda pretty well and to be honest her being on the school board at Lakota has helped me take my own fangs out of it. She has made it a better place—a functioning body of government, especially after Joan Powell left. However she has supported tax increases at Lakota which makes her a bad fit for the West Chester trustee positions. I consider those trustee seats to be much more important than the Lakota school system positions. All public schools are liberal institutions, so having a tax and spender there that even pays a little bit of lip service to an actual budget is pretty remarkable. But that doesn’t mean they translate well over into the general business community that makes all the money for which a region functions. Lynda in her role at Lakota has been caught many times playing all sides. As a trustee of West Chester, she might as well be as liberal as Joan Powell and Lee Wong.
This won’t be the first or last fight we’ll have with those types of tag along politicians—who come into a seat thinking that they’ll be as good as their predecessors. But it is unfortunate, the two guys running West Chester for the last four years have done a very good job and it would have been great to see that continue. But the odds of Mark Welsh becoming a minority vote are looming now into a much more hostile government body toward the merits of logic. To people like Lynda and Joan Powell the hard work of managing West Chester are in place and they think it will be easy. But since the only experiences they have are running big liberal government schools, they’ll only have those experiences to stand on while essentially running a city of 100,000 people. The difference between running a large industrious township and a silly school is that it’s not the radical neurotic moms who you have to please who feel guilt over how little time they spend with their children—it’s the business community who view the school as just another unnecessary expense hooking into their pockets that they have to appease with a tribute otherwise they’ll find themselves splashed on the cover of a newspaper by Joan Powell’s reporter friends and Chamber Alliance stooges. There’s a big difference between being pleasant to people for the sake of friendly tolerance and having a true relationship with them—and that’s what those former school board members will learn should they get one of these trustee seats. There is a lot of hostility toward them deservedly so for their support of higher taxes in the past, then bringing that to a currently well-managed West Chester Township that has staved off the temptation to expand government while staying small and nimble to attract business to the area will nurture resentment quickly.
A lot of people forget that Joan Powell was an advocate of committing West Chester into a city status—which of course would have added a city council, a mayor and many other big government expansion positions that go along with the liberal philosophy her type of people have. West Chester currently functions very well with just three trustees—actually only two—Lee Wong doesn’t count. Union contracts have been worked out, taxes are low, zoning is fluid and functional—things have been going well and it shows. I had guests this past week flying in from overseas to see me. It was a late trip by necessity—not one planned out months in advance—so when they tried to book a place to stay overnight, they could not get a room in West Chester. Every room was filled in the middle of a week in September with nothing really special going on. Over the past few years West Chester has added a lot of nice hotels to the community—at least 10 that I can think of off the top of my head. My out-of-town guys couldn’t find a single room in any of them—they had to stay in Blue Ash to find a room two weeks ahead of their impromptu flight. Now why were all those hotels booked? It certainly wasn’t for IKEA—not in the middle of the week. And it wasn’t for Top Golf—although some of it was. It was because there are literally thousands and thousands of people doing business and West Chester has become the hub of Cincinnati for business conduct. Low taxes, lots of things to do, highway access, and a small government that isn’t sticking its nose into the complex world of commerce with a sidewalk every five minutes so some homeless person can feed some ducks like you find in a lot of other places. Or a sidewalk so Lee Wong can sneak in the back door of Sushi Monk from his house and beg for free food. Out of all the names announcing themselves as an option for West Chester trustee it looks like now Mark will be the only conservative. The rest are all tax and spend liberals as proven by their track record, certainly Lee Wong, ostentatiously, Joan Powell, and of course Lynda O’Conner who has always supported the tax increases at Lakota. West Chester is headed for trouble.
The question begs to be answered why more conservative names don’t rise to the top and run for some of these seats. Well, it’s because most of the smart people out there make a lot more money for their productive week and they don’t have the time unless they are retired to waste on these government seats. But that’s a shame, because a failure to put the right people in the school board seats and trustee seats ends up costing a lot of us a lot of money. While these liberals play house managing these school boards and trustee positions they always cave into the demands of other government departments seeking perpetual pay increases. Until George Lang and Mark Welsh brought their business experience to the West Chester trustee seats and started saying no to the hand outs and government expansion that Lee Wong and Cathy Stoker wanted to implement, such management from a government position was unheard of. It was a good ride and an example that proper management of government resources could take place. But there just aren’t enough people like those guys out there to keep it rolling—and that’s too bad. I know I don’t have the time to give to it at this point in my life and I know many other people in the business community are in the same boat. That leaves those who don’t have anything else to do to run for those office seats and they’ll likely get that second critical vote over Mark because of it. That means for everyone doing business with West Chester the potential for higher taxes is on the horizon–because they did it at Lakota. And they’ll do it again on a larger platform for sure—because it’s the easiest thing to do, and when pressed, they’ll give in within a New York minute.
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