Warrior of the Week: Senator Shannon Jones

With the introduction of Senate Bill 5 last week and the debate that will ensue during the week of Valentines Day as spring time weather provides some much-needed relief from what has been a brutal winter, an important step in the history of Ohio is underway.

The beginning of the end regarding collective bargaining, a law that has crippled the state since it’s inception in 1983, Ohio has a fighting chance of getting the states finances under control, and the responsibility of that epic move falls on the shoulders of Senator Shannon Jones, who sponsored that controversial bill, and because of that bold act, it has earned her Warrior of the Week.

Listen to Senator Jones explain the bill to Doc Thompson of 700 WLW. But after her interview, stick around and listen to the rest of the program because several union leaders called in to reveal their strategy, a strategy that worked well for print media and television, but it falls apart under the scrutiny of talk radio. This provoked me to call in at the end of the program to set some things straight about the bill, which had been distorted by the emotional testimony of union leaders.

Talk radio, and professionals like Doc Thompson who read several papers a day, watches countless hours of C-Span, browses every relevant article on the internet, and spends three hours a day actually talking to people and is not easily fooled by such shallow tag words as, “it’s for the kids,” or “it’s all about safety,” will argue the facts for hours, which is to the detriment of those protectionists of the status quo, because their arguments cannot support facts, only emotion. The frustration of the union leaders is understandable. This is a scary time for them and nobody wants to see them scared. But we need to put control of management issues back in control of management, and not allow tag lines to make management the enemy just to protect collective bargaining agreements.

My point all along in defending the levy requests at Lakota is that the greed of unions to implement “step increases” did not show responsibility on their part, and are in fact driving up teaching contracts in a manner that school boards cannot control their costs. S.B.5 gives school boards the ability to eliminate those increases, and if the current board members won’t do it, members of the community can elect representatives that will do the job as it needs to be done. No longer will local cost increases be out of the control of local administration.

That’s why Senate Bill 5 is one of the boldest legislative moves ever to hit the state house of Ohio. And that’s why Senator Shannon Jones deserves to be commended for her courage, and ability to gaze into the future and be proactive for a change, instead of the typical reactivity that we’ve been accustomed to in elected officials.

It is sad to see so many union workers upset, but their behavior is only relative to the artificial security they’ve been afforded as public workers that society can’t, and never could afford. Competition is scary, but does provide the best results, and for society to get its best value for tax dollars spent, we need more freedom on allocating funds so obtaining those funds is a reward, not an expectation.

Rich Hoffman