Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jobs (by Mike Stegall)

Every politician this time of year starts telling us what they are going to do for us (or to us in some cases) if elected. It is part and parcel to the election process. It is always the same, too. Lower taxes, cut in government spending, more this, more that, and last but not least, jobs. All politicians know that jobs are what drive our economy, and without them, they cannot give some of our money back to us. They realize that jobs create tax money, and tax money allows them to spend it the way they think we want. Not necessarily spent wisely, but spent none the less. Every politician has a plan for government to create jobs as they constantly tell us daily. “We need to do this, we need to do that” and blah, blah, blah. I am by definition now a politician, although I prefer the term “elected official”. (Politicians tell you what you want to hear; elected officials tell you what they think.) I am, however, no different than politicians in that I, too, have a plan for jobs in Darke County.

First, let me start by telling you a “dirty little secret” politicians don’t like people to know: Government cannot create jobs! The only jobs it can create are government jobs. If you think about it, we get no goods or services from government that adds to our economy. Government produces no products or services; it spends the money we give it to give us the services it provides back to us! So, what can government do to help the job market? The answer is simple but difficult for most politicians to do: Get out of the way and make it easier for businesses to operate. I have no illusions about the job situation in Darke County. It is bad, bouncing around 10 and 11 percent unemployment. I do believe, though, at the local level there are things we can do to help. I am proud to say that I see some progress in Darke County. We now have an economic development Director, Mark Saluk, who should be the focal point for businesses in the County. I believe that Mark should speak for all of Darke County when he talks to businesses already here and new business looking to settle here. The Darke County Chamber of Commerce, headed by Sharon Deshambeau, is a key part of this plan, as is the Versailles Chamber and all the Community Improvement Corporations (C. I. C’s). Although the Chambers, C. I. C.’s and the Economic Development Director do have different jobs to perform, they should work as a team to enhance the business climate in the county.

I have talked to these people, and do believe we are on the right track. The best part is these people do care. I believe that if a company comes to Darke County and, after looking around, decides it wants to do business in Ansonia, then we should do everything possible to put it there! That may mean that other communities might have to swallow hard and help Ansonia, or whatever community, get the business. Don’t undermine each other. All the behind-the-scene and backroom deals only allow the company to get a better deal for it, not all of us. If one town or village or city wins, we all win. Let’s do everything possible to help Darke County, not the individual company.

I also believe we can surely streamline some of our processes for businesses. Believe it or not, red tape can be cut; we just have to be willing to do it. Permit applications/acceptance, inspections, and other government requirements can be reduced without loss of protection or revenue for our County. I also believe that we do not want every company out there to come here. We want good employers, ones who realize that they also have a stake in the future of the County. I do not want a company that will only come here if we “sell the farm” to get it here. That kind of company will only leave after it has gotten all it can from the County. We don’t want or need companies like that. During the primary, one of my opponents said he wanted to be a “friend” of business. That is fine, but I prefer to be a “partner” with business. Sometimes when we are “friends” we may overlook what our “friend” is doing, and that may not be in the best interests of all. If we are “partners”, we both now have a shared interest in the success of the business, and the County.

Darke County has many assets, as I have stated before: plentiful resources, land, business parks, and a willing and able workforce. We, in government, just need to help it along, reduce the red tape, and let the people now in place do their job.


  1. I couldn't agree more!The problem is, not every department follows what you say with either a willingness or "latitude" with regulations. While I could name larger, costlier examples, I will mention just 2 small items that really get my goat. While speaking with a postal official a short time ago, I learned that they had rec'd a letter from the City about a small hole in the sidewalk on the North side of the Post Office. The letter said it was a tripping hazard that the Post Office needed to fix, but that the Post Office must first obtain a $50 dollar permit. Yes, a fifty dollar permit to fix a hole the size of your dinner plate that would consume $3 dollars worth of concrete mix.
    One more...I have a new business in town and inadvertantly forgot to file the 09 City Income Tax Return and the 2010 Declaration. Both 09 and 2010 will show NO INCOME - ONLY LOSSES, along with substantial investment. So after receiving the Income Tax Department's letter saying that I must send in the forms, of course I did. One week later I received a bill for the $50 dollar penalty for filing late. YES, I was guilty of filing late! But seeing that there is NO INCOME for 2 years and substantial loss, you would think that the administrator would have the latitude to say: "waive that penalty"! Why should I even have to spend the time (I don't have) to produce a written appeal?
    BOTTOM LINE: Governmental officials need to pay attention and use some common sense! Why do nearly the rediculous to obtain revenue?
    Don't even get me started on the Health Department and it's nearly God-like regulations that are coincidentially at their own discretion and judgement.
    Anybody else feel this way?


  3. I have read a lot of comments about the city and I have to say I agree with them all.That is one reason there is no new business coming to this town and why they cant pass a school bond that every body knows we need but cant seem to figure out a way to finance it.One of these days people will wise up and vote the career city,county and state politicians out of office and then they will have to live like the rest of us.Maybe then they will wake up.

  4. You people need to attend council meetings if you have all these issues. I think they are every 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 7 or 7:30. Mr Stegall has his Township meeting at 7:30 in the Morning on Saturdays. This is not a convenient. For the person who didn't do there taxes. Its taxes, you have to follow the rules. If they let you get away with it I certainly would hope they would let everyone do the same???? Then what???????????? Mr. Stegall is a politician!! I remeber a couple years ago when he was in a uproar with the city over the FD, I was at the meetings hearing him tell everyone how The Township didn't need the City, and that knowone in the townships insurance would go. I recieved a letter in the mail stating that they where reevaluating the ??ISO?? rating and my insurance was going to go up?? What know???
    I also went down Jaysville on Sunday and relized that The Township FD was using city water to put out there fire at Rumpke. I am glad I don't pay for city water, I would be very upset if I had to pay for water to put out someone that doesn't pay taxes or water rates fire???? I also don't think Mr. Stegall is running for any City goverment position, I thought it was county commisioner?? I don't think that has anything to do with the city???? 11:53, Why don't you put your money where your mouth is and run for one of these positions. I will give it to Mr. Stegall he is doing this, I commend him for that!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. mr stegal will only help certain people thats how politicians work. mike watch the speed of the white dump trucks. we are.


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