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Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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Published: Wednesday, 7/1/2009

Real action is in public libraries

I am a board member of the Toledo Lucas County Library Legacy Foundation and am writing to oppose Gov. Ted Strickland's proposed 50 percent reduction in public library funding. This proposal boggles the mind and is not only draconian in nature but also counterproductive.

I suggest that Governor Strickland visit a public library. How about the downtown Toledo library? In today's world, the library functions not merely in its traditional role of providing books for circulation and as a repository for research, but is almost like a community center.

In these troubled times, with high employment and with Ohio among the highest, many unemployed citizens are using the library in a number of ways.

They are using computers because either they don't have a computer or they can no longer afford Internet access. They are using the research facilities to determine employment opportunities.

Our librarians are even assisting people in preparing their resumes.

Libraries support the entire community in myriad ways. Reducing funding will probably increase unemployment rather than improve it. I think the state should increase funding to our library systems.

Again, I suggest Governor Strickland visit his local library and see the real world in action.

Frank D. Jacobs

Sylvania Township

Inexplicably, some media accounts of the Ohio Supreme Court's decision upholding Ohio law prohibiting residency limitations on public employees have miscast that judicial decision as an erosion of local "home rule" powers. That simply is not the case.

The majority of the court correctly recognized that, under Article II, Section 34 of the Ohio Constitution, legislation passed by the General Assembly involving the comfort and general welfare of public employees supersedes any other governmental action.

The voters of Ohio adopted Article II, Section 34 in 1912 at the same time they approved Article XVIII, Section 3, which gives municipalities so-called "home rule" powers. In passing Section 34, the voters exclusively empowered the legislature to pass state laws concerning public employees that supersede any other provisions in the Ohio Constitution, including home rule.

Therefore, it is the people of Ohio who placed state laws involving public employees above local ordinances. The majority of the court merely applied Section 34 and followed the will of the people.

The legislature's policy decision to exercise its Section 34 powers by passing Senate Bill 82 and pre-empting local residency ordinances may be the subject of fair debate. However, miscasting the Supreme Court majority's correct application of that section of the Ohio Constitution as an erosion of home rule erroneously reflects the substance of the ruling and Ohio constitutional law.

Mark E. Drum

Legislative chairman

Fraternal Order of

Police of Ohio

Columbus



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