One might think the issue of local government is relatively cut and dry.
Unfortunately this is not true.

PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP


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Once folks stop aligning with a political party for a few minutes, stand back and look at the institution we call local government . . . a picture starts to unfold. A new system has been implemented by both the Republicans and the Democrats. This is particularly apparent if you have attempted to contact local government with a concern or complaint and/or if you have attended any of their public meetings and observed the goings-on. If you have, you've probably run into their PR people or their "facilitators" - who are paid with our tax dollars!

You eventually recognize that our government no longer works for the people. It is doing its own thing and is 'managing' the people. This includes local governments in Central Ohio. There are conflicts of interest everywhere and somehow those involved do not see that as corruption or political cronyism. And the seemingly benign word "partnership" comes up again and again.

With a bit of independent research, and detachment from political party loyalty, what has happened starts to become clear. We have an altogether different form of government than we think we have. We have a new form of government that is called the PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP (PPP) aka PRIVATIZATION of government.

Did you know that in 1992 George Bush Sr (Republican) signed an executive order instructing all state and local governments to sell their public assets? This action helped to launch this new form of government called the PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP. This order has not been rescinded.

Executive order 12803 of April 30, 1992
For purposes of this order:
(a) “Privatization” means the disposition or transfer of an infrastructure asset, such as by sale or by long-term lease, from a State or local government to a private party.

(b) “infrastructure asset” means any asset financed in whole or in part by the Federal Government [TAXPAYERS] and needed for the functioning of the economy. Examples of such assets include, but are not limited to: roads, tunnels, bridges, electricity supply facilities, mass transit, rail transportation, airports, ports. waterways, water supply facilities, recycling and wastewater treatment facilities, solid waste disposal facilities, housing, schools, prisons, and hospitals.

Then in 1999 Al Gore (Democrat) formally announced that we have a new form of government: "VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE ANNOUNCES NEW PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS . . . " Press release: http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/npr/library/news/workers.html
The people of our country are being robbed by the very folks we have elected to SERVE us. Notice: BOTH 'political parties' were (are) involved in this agenda.

And this new form of government is busy leading us all down a very dark path: the privatization of all community assets and services. Once services are put in the hands of private consortiums, the public will have no say about the quality of the services or their costs - this includes essentials like water and electricity.

Recent examples:

One
The City of Upper Arlington voted for a .57 mile road extension project that would increase traffic passing by the High School 400%. The land is the property of Ohio State University and is located in the City of Columbus. The extension will decrease residential property values and make HS students and their parents less safe, but would increase rent prospects for Kingsdale Mall. When asked why the City of UA was considering paying $l.l8 million for a road NOT even located within city limits, UA City Council responded that they had formed a "partnership" with Columbus and OSU. Two important questions need to be asked whenever government enters into a "partnership": 1) who pays and 2) who benefits? If the public (taxpayer) pays, the primary beneficiary needs to be the general public - not private corporations. This is NOT the case with this road project. Caution: the "who benefits" answer is likely to be 'spun' or misrepresented by the "partners".

Two
In Utah, an 'elected Sheriff' just become the CEO of a Public Protection consortium of multiple municipalities. The public was not included in this decision. This consortium hired a corporation to help them establish the dollar amount of their coming new Protection Fee. The company analyzed available data to determine the most that could be charged with the least amount of complaints. Of course the local taxes were not reduced. The collection services for the Protection Fee were then contracted to a company in California. So no new jobs came to the Utah County. According to a friend who lives in Salt Lake City, when these fees are not paid a lien is put on the property. At some point the property can then be forced into foreclosure and returned to the county.

Three
New Mexico: City Shuts off Water, Sewer for Photo Ticket Nonpayment
Las Cruces, New Mexico is threatening to cut off water, gas and sewer service over unpaid red light and speed camera tickets.

Las Cruces utilitiesWith more and more vehicle owners simply deciding refuse to pay red light camera and speed camera tickets, private, for-profit companies and municipalities are growing increasingly desperate. America's second-largest city shut down its photo ticketing program last year largely because residents who could not afford the $500 citations did not pay them. On Monday, Las Cruces, New Mexico announced it would shut off the utilities of city residents who refused to pay Redflex Traffic Systems, the Australian company that owns and operates the cameras.

"The city is notifying offenders by mail that they have until the due date stated in the letter to pay the fines or make satisfactory payment arrangements," a Las Cruces press release warned. "Failure to comply will result in termination of utilities services."
Full Article


VIDEO ON NATURE OF PPPs



Joan Veon's web site: The Women's International Media Group
For more information about PPPs, visit: www.stopprivatization.com & www.womensgroup.org


MIDOHIO REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION

MidOhio Regional Planning Commission is another PPP. No one votes for the MORPC employees, yet they have 'acquired' the authority to distribute taxpayer dollars to private interests without the public's awareness or consent (their public comment periods are a joke and a ruse).
MORPC budget

All of this is being done quietly and by stealth. The people have not been asked to vote on it. There has been no informed consent. Neither political party is exposing or opposing this new form of government! Nor are the multitudes of lawyers getting paid to assist with all of these new 'contracts' - which is a whole other can of worms!

This system has been set up so that you will have no choice regarding dangerous Smart Meters, invasive home inspections, militarized local police, water service/bills, electric service/bills or new Protection Fees (?). The problem is not necessarily our friends and neighbors who work for PPPs, the problem is with the PPP structure itself. Here are a few of the many areas PPPs wish to restructure: http://www.ncppp.org/presskit/factsheet.shtml

Airports, Construction, Corrections & Justice, Education, Environment, Facility Services, Finance, Health Care, Infrastructure, Insurance, International, Legislative Issues, Management, Public Safety, Public Works/Services, Real Estate, Recreation, Representation, Research, Solid Waste, Technology, Transportation, Utilities, Water/Wastewater
This means that every single facet of our lives will be managed by a for-profit corporation and each one will have the very same systemic problem . . . there is no morality or LIMITS TO GROWTH in The Corporation business model. If you think profiteering is bad now . . . wait, it will get thousands of times worse. Fees, rates, and services will be set at 'whatever the market will bear' as they are doing in Utah. And the public will have absolutely no control over any of these corporation's policies.

Another government model is possible; it is called the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights - which includes 'no taxation without representation'. Another business model is possible as well: limits/restrictions placed on the dead legal fiction known as the corporation! What ever happened to the anti-trust laws? What about holding corporations accountable for their misdeads and even their crimes?

This is a very real and serious problem for us ALL - even those now working in PPPs. It is one thing to pay taxes to hire civil servants; it is another to pay mandatory taxes/fees to for-profit corporations whose home offices may be out of state or even out of the country.

Do we want a false government (which is what we have now) that is basically Of the Corporation, By the Corporation and For the Corporation? Will those profiteering from this new system (like the armies of attorneys) stop and think about the burden it places on all of the people who live in Central Ohio???

The first task is to correct the terminology that is being used to intentionally confuse the public. The term "Public Private Partnership", which sounds warm and friendly, needs to be exposed and restated more accurately as "Privatization" or "Corporatization".

If you don't really understand the viciousness of the corporate model (there are even CEOs who don't), please watch the highly recommend award winning documentary: The Corporation . . . made in 2003.
“This film shows in chilling detail how corporations have become, on balance, parasites that harm their host – the rest of the planet. By their nature they profit from tyrannical regimes that exploit a repressed workforce [also known as 'team members' who are required to wear dog tags around their necks and company logos on their clothing]."

For more information about PPPs, visit: www.stopprivatization.com & www.womensgroup.org




HOME RULE


While local government in many instances has a form of autonomy called "Home Rule", the authority of local incorporated municipalities have over private corporations has been limited since 1819.

From The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Municipal Home Rule in the 50 States

"Home Rule" is a term loosely used, with various meanings from state to state. Actual local self-government on community issues is all but non-existent, and the specific degree of local self-determination can only be understood for any given state or municipal type by closely examining constitutional provisions, state statutes, and codes. Often, seemingly "permissive" constitutional provisions are all but nullified by state statute and administrative codes that relegate decision-making on community issues to regulatory boards and agencies controlled by state legislatures and "special districts" that are responsive to interested industries, but not community constituents.

Many states have been researched regarding Home Rule on the page linked above. Here is more information specific to Ohio.

Information about Home Rule and Municipal Government In Ohio

Information regarding Home Rule in Ohio includes:
An Informational Brief Prepared for Member of the Ohio General Assembly by the Legislative Service Commission Staff
February 12, 2001
"Municipal Home Rule"

Introduction:

"In Ohio, municipal corporations (cities and villages) have certain powers granted to them in Article XVIII of the Ohio Constitution that exist outside their authority found in the Revised Code. Because these powers originate in the Constitution, laws passed by the General Assembly that interfere with them are invalid as applied to municipal corporations unless those laws otherwise are sanctioned by the Constitution."