Joan Powell Comes Out Anti-Union as a West Chester Trustee Candidate: The difference between good management and being a suck-ass

 

One of the things that most shocked me from the recent West Chester Trustee Candidate Forum at Indiana Wesleyan College sponsored by the West Chester Tea party was that Joan Powell stated quite emphatically that she was anti-union and would like to see Ohio become a right-to-work state.  Who would have ever thought she’d say such a thing because it was Joan who sat on the Lakota school board for so many years caving into the union demands wrecking the budget with increased payroll with no management in sight.  Now that Joan is running for trustee in West Chester she has come out against labor unions which is interesting given the fact that many union radicals have targeted the trustees with their themes of dissidence exclusively because Mark Welch and George Lang had been exploring ideas to bring right-to-work legislation to West Chester specifically because Ohio’s governor Kasich has been soft on the labor unions due to his defeat of Issue 5 several years ago. Because of her friendly attitude toward labor unions in the past, strategists would have thought that Joan would seek the Lakota union votes in this trustee race but oddly she tossed that away with the statement seen below.

This may be the first time I’ve ever agreed with Joan Powell.  When I was heading the effort to make Ohio a right-to-work state in 2012 Joan turned her political guns on me and did whatever she could to erase me from what she was doing as president of the Lakota School Board.  At the time Joan was trying hard to give the teachers who worked for Lakota a raise when I had been showing that the exclusive cause of the operating levy she had been seeking was to add more to the wage rates which were already well over the average household income.  Joan’s position was extremely friendly to the labor union at Lakota, and her track record is her track record.  There isn’t anybody who can assume based on her history that Joan would do anything but lay down in future negotiations with the various unions that are in West Chester’s wheelhouse, like the police and fire departments.  I mean it’s easy to say that we value school teachers, fire fighters and police officers—and to give them all the money they are asking for.  It’s hard to tell them no, and that they already make too much money.  In the case of fire and police officers they always give you the speech about how they run into danger while everyone else runs away, so when their contracts come up public support usually favors the unions but as trustees elected to manage the finances, sometimes you have to do the hard things then explain it to people even when its unpopular.   The easy thing is to do as Joan has done in the past and that is to just give the union what they want to keep them from going on strike, then seek tax increases to cover the costs.  That’s why her statement here is so surprising.

If this Joan Powell had revealed herself 10 years ago we might have avoided a lot of bloodshed in the Lakota school district.  I might have gotten along with her!  But, my experience with her says that she knew what kind of crowd she was speaking to and she formulated her comments specifically to her audience.  What she really believes is something else entirely.  Nobody can look at the record of Joan Powell over the years as a president of the Lakota school board and determine that she was anything but excessively friendly to the public union effort.  Yet you can hear with your own ears her declaration that she is against labor unions so who could really know what to believe.

I personally think public sector unions should be illegal.  If you have a job funded by tax payers you should not be able to organize against tax payers or their representatives for more money.   In private business competition can help bring reality to labor union activism so the free market does the job of helping to manage the situation.  But in government, we are talking about monopoly status over the tax dollars in question so labor unions have unfettered access to the funds of the communities they are supposed to serve.  It’s easy to obtain the funds they desire because often the only people who stand in their way are politicians like Joan Powell who never want any bloody conflicts with their labor unions, just peace.  Elected politicians find the temptation to throw vast amounts of money at these public sector unions too easy.  It’s far easier for them to ask for tax increases from a faceless community hiding the effort behind children or the safety of our citizens.  That makes those types of people terrible managers and Joan Powell is certainly guilty of that.

Yet for the record in 2017 Joan has declared that she is against labor unions so as a note to the police, the firefighters and the public school teachers who might think that they might vote for Joan Powell looking for an easy run over politician to engage in future negotiations with—she has indicated that she is anti-union.   I mean perhaps she has learned some lessons over the years.  I wouldn’t vote for her as a trustee, the only people I think have a chance of doing good work as a West Chester trustee are Mark Welch and Ann Becker.  Lynda O’Conner may be a good pick for that third seat because Lee Wong is a disaster and Joan Powell has a terrible track record at managing big budgets.  But in regard to her statements on labor unions, I actually agree with Joan Powell on something.

In actuality Joan was likely just telling the audience what they want to hear, which is worse than being an open liberal because as a voter you can never be sure what the person you are considering really stands for.  Knowing a bit about Joan Powell I think she is very malleable—her thoughts always go to the path of least resistance and that’s fine if you are a grandma handing out cookies to your grand kids—but when you are supposed to protect millions of dollars from the greedy hands of public employees who want the most money for doing the least work—you want someone who will manage that money with some valor.  Labor unions may want to vote for Joan because they smell the blood in the water, but one thing they won’t be able to rectify is that she did come out against labor unions in the 2017 election.   Her comments are now part of the public record and they will be used against her in the future.  That’s why we have these forums, so that we can test the candidates in the forges of reality to see how they hold up to a little scrutiny.  Obviously Joan Powell says whatever she needs to in order to appease the people she is addressing.  If it’s labor unions, she gives them what they want.  If it’s the Tea Party, she does the same.  So there is nothing about Joan Powell that indicates she would ever do anything but tell people what they want to hear.  The damage she has always done, and obviously seems committed to in the future, is that she is more in love with the popularity of being a public official than in doing the hard work of management.  And that is what deciding this election of 2017 is all about.  If people want good management, Joan Powell is not their person.

Rich Hoffman

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3 Comments

  1. She embodies everything we detest about politics and why Trump won. She’s pandering to a dwindling group that are just straight up lazy. There is zero reason to be uneducated about the state of our state or our Country.
    I predict she’ll lose bigly!

    Like

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