My name is John Mitchel. I live on Maple Grove Lane. I oppose the Beavercreek city income tax, but I want to make it perfectly clear I do not mind paying taxes…..my concern is lack of accountability from our elected officials in local, state and federal governments who irresponsibly launder our tax dollars to their friends in the private sector who in turn keep the campaign cash flowing to allow their surrogates to remain in office. Here are three examples.
The first is the Beavercreek Golf Course, which is costing Beavercreek taxpayers $845,000 a year to service the debt. We suffer those consequences while the politicians who passed the enabling legislation continue to receive campaign contributions from private developers who have made millions from taxpayer subsidized investments.
The second is The Greene at I-675 and Indian Ripple. It’s bad enough that Beavercreek City Council conspired to keep a voter initiative off the ballot that would have offered an up or down choice by the citizens, but while we were debating that, I asked Yaromir Steiner, the private developer, if he would make the investment without the $14.8 million from Greene County taxpayers and $2.7 million from a Dave Hobson-sponsored earmark. His tortured response was “No.” To put this in perspective, Mr. Steiner is on record as saying he would not invest his private wealth in The Greene without taxpayer subsidies in excess of $17 million.
Finally, I will address the 2003-2006 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Initiative Agreement where our Greene County Commissioners, enthusiastically supported by Rick Perales, former member of the Beavercreek City Council, sent $1.9 million dollars to the Dayton Development Coalition, a private, not-for-profit organization. Once it arrived there, the Coalition divided it up by paying their CEO $285,000 in 2005 and paying Washington lobbying firm, The PMA Group, $560,000 during the period of performance of the BRAC Initiative Agreement. It’s important to note that $285,000 paid to the Coalition CEO* is about double what the governor of Ohio earns, and more than the Vice-president of the United States. Furthermore, it’s important you know that PMA’s founder and President is now in federal prison for illegally bundling campaign contributions, some of which went to Dave Hobson and Steve Austria. Unlike dozens of other members of Congress who returned the illegal contributions, there’s no evidence to indicate that Mr. Hobson or Mr. Austria did so**.
To summarize, our elected officials have not been good stewards of our tax dollars, and there’s no evidence they will do so in the future. The only way we can fix our local, state and federal governments if we stop electing these so-called public servants who are consumed by power enabled by a career in politics. In the meantime, our only choice is to stop sending our tax dollars until those that are in office can prove they will be accountable for their spending when those who do not have a voice continue to struggle in this anemic economy.
* Source: Dayton Development Coalition’s 2005 IRS Form 990
** Source: http://www.fec.gov