Saturday, March 10, 2007

WHO WANTS TO LIVE IN AN INDUSTRIAL ZONE?

This is a reprint of a Guest Column carried in the March 8 Register.

Mike Rozow does a nice job fostering business for the Chamber of Commerce. I commend him for his efforts. But, it’s unfortunate that, in trying to further his agenda, he wrote an op-ed piece for The Register so full of innuendo and misstatement.

First, he states that “smart growth” is often a code for “no growth”. In other words, many who work for “smart growth” are liars. That’s untrue and offensive. We all know that growth will continue to come to Dearborn County. It’s impossible to stop it. What is NOT impossible is to see that it’s done with intelligence and concern for the best interests of all in Dearborn County, not just the few who will profit from the development.

He says that “the conversation is dominated by a small but vocal majority.” Again, untrue. Fact is, County Commissioner Ralph Thompson ran on a “smart growth” platform and he was elected by a majority of the voting public. And that was in spite of (or maybe because of) the opposition of the powerful in his own party who took the unheard of step of paying for ads for Ralph’s opponent in the opposing party in an attempt to keep the applecart of unopposed and rampant development from being upset. It is my belief that, had everyone realized what the high-density residential development so often proposed in this county would do to their taxes, Commissioner Thompson’s margin of victory would have been much greater.

Mr. Rozow also cites the need for better roads, often a cry of those in favor of massive development. Fact is, the county’s roads, with the notable exception of US 50 (not a funding problem, but a federal legislation issue), are fine. We don’t need development to pay for roads. We need to pay for roads if we want development.

He says that the county’s 26% industrial tax base is far less than the 43% state average. Good. Because that average includes places like Gary and Indianapolis and many more like them. Most of us don’t want to live in an industrial zone and this county does not need those revenues unless our population density is dramatically higher.

Mr. Rozow also states that 60% of Dearborn County workers leave the county to go to work every day (without citing his sources for that number). That is likely inflated a bit, and in any case does not take into account the number of people who come into the county to work each day. Fact is, if 40% (or more) of us work in the county or within 15 minutes of the county line, drive time for Dearborn County residents is likely at or below the national average of 25.5 minutes each way. (year 2000) What’s more, I’d much rather drive 20 to 35 minutes to work than have an industrial park, factory, shopping district, or high density residential development with their associated noise, pollution, and congestion within a couple of miles of my home.

Mr. Rozow cites the flight of young people from our county. Sons and daughters are leaving their homes after college to move to new horizons, not just in Dearborn County, but in nearly every county in the country. It is the nature of youth. Young people like to find their own worlds, to explore, and in many cases just want to live in the city. To argue that their leaving is due to lack of opportunity at home is to belie the facts. There are many hundreds of thousands of people working in nearly every field imaginable within 45 minutes drive from Dearborn County. Reducing drive time is unlikely to have much effect.

I’ve heard some of those in favor of development claim that they would like to see Dearborn County look like Northern Kentucky. Is that really what we want? Have you seen Florence, lately, y’all?

We could build another Northern Kentucky, or another Norwood. We could also choose to build something like Indian Hill which, because it has been wise enough to protect its green spaces and its near-agriculture atmosphere, has become some of the most beautiful and valuable residential real estate in this part of the country. I’d suggest we build a Dearborn County that has the best of both worlds.

But, to say that we can have development and still keep our open space/agricultural feel and the lifestyles that we love without being ‘smart’ about it is simply a lie. Every acre of farmland or green space that is converted to industrial use, shopping malls, and high density development changes what so many of us find of value in this landscape called Dearborn County. Once gone, those acres will never come back. We all know that things have to change. But, we also ought to know that we really do need to be ‘smart’ about how that happens. If not, the very essence of why so many of us came here and so many of us stayed could be lost forever.


Johnny Schott
York Township, 47022

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Questions for DCEDI and the County Chamber:

WHAT KIND OF COMPANIES are "we" trying to get?

Another question- how can a community of less than 50,000 people attract the variety of jobs that the people are wanting?

Third question- when the chamber of commerce and DCEDI quote all these figures about workers leaving the county- what is the source of that data? For example, if a person telecommutes for a company that is outside the county and only goes to "work" at the parent company once a week or less- are they considered as leaving the county to work? How do you get your figures?

Last question- the greater Cincinnati area Chamber doesn't talk about workers leaving the county- they think REGIONALLY. Should we be doing the same? We do have reciprocal agreements with KY and OH on payroll taxes. And what about our adjoining IN neighbors in Ripley, Franklin, and Ohio counties?

Chris Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Anonymous said...

BRAVO!!!!!!!

Mr. Rozow does not speak for, nor represent,my interests whatsoever.

Mr. Rozow and his friends in the DCEDI, do not value quality of life...they only value quantity of dollars, for their select few friends...nothing more!

Anonymous said...

"Third question- when the chamber of commerce and DCEDI quote all these figures about workers leaving the county- what is the source of that data?"


Do not dare to challenge the man behind the curtain with such impertinent and insolent questions!

Oh, for the good ole days, when the serfs knew their place!

Anonymous said...

And that was in spite of (or maybe because of) the opposition of the powerful in his own party who took the unheard of step of paying for ads for Ralph’s opponent in the opposing party in an attempt to keep the applecart of unopposed and rampant development from being upset.


Speaks volumes to the character of the current local Republican leadership and a number of “purported” Republican office holders and board members!

I’m sure, that not unlike the Mafioso of years past, when queried as to their underhanded transactions, the Chamber and DCEDI Republicans will emphatically maintain:

IT’S JUST BUSINESS!

Anonymous said...

He says that “the conversation is dominated by a small but vocal majority.”

And the DCEDI, as well as the Chamber, are dominated by an even smaller, if not miniscule, but “politically connected,” self-important minority.

But of course, I am sure that to the inflated and over-exaggerated egos of these “movers and shakers,” majority votes and the preponderance of those who oppose the DCEDI’s objectives and tactics, do not factor into their need to be in charge of all things County related.

Expect a coup, or at least a whinny rebellion, by these fastidious, refined and dainty gentlemen and their lady friends, if both future Republican and Democratic candidates happen to run on a “Smart Growth” ticket.

Anonymous said...

I know when I purchased my farm years ago, all my country neighbors were somewhat disappointed that I did not build an industrial park, a couple of strip malls and a couple dozen subdivisions.

Apparently, all those folks who chose to live in the country, longed for all the suburban and urban headaches of those lucky folks in Hamilton and Warren counties!!!!!!!!!!

Or so Rozow would have us believe.

Anonymous said...

Another question- how can a community of less than 50,000 people attract the variety of jobs that the people are wanting?


What you are seem to be missing, Chris, is that it really is not about long term-jobs for the ordinary citizen.

It is about the money to be made by those realtors, developers and banking interests in the short-term, preliminary stages, of such growth.

Long-term to these folks is viewed and measured by how long till their respective checks clear.

Anonymous said...

”We don’t need development to pay for roads. We need to pay for roads if we want development.”


Money from the ordinary, tax paying citizen to subsidize the development of others.

It is the same with sewers.

Does Rozow really think we are all that stupid?

I will vote for a “smart growth” candidate for no other reason than to counter this manner of insulting and offensive condescension!

Anonymous said...

The seven gospels of Chamber and DCEDI members:

1. Think short term.
2. Be greedy.
3. Believe in the greater fool.
4. Run with the herd.
5. Over-generalize.
6. Be trendy.
7. Play with other people's money.

Anonymous said...

Not to make light of Rozow's business acumen, but it is whispered among his peers that he once said:

There are three sorts of good businessmen:


THOSE WHO CAN COUNT, AND THOSE WHO CAN'T.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rozow and Mr. West remind one of the self-described experts who seem to always know tomorrow why the things they predicted yesterday didn't happen today.

Anonymous said...

WHO WANTS TO LIVE IN AN INDUSTRIAL ZONE?


Apparently, if there is a buck to be made for members of the DCEDI, we all are expected to live in an Industrial Zone or smack in the middle of the latest, bigger and better, subdivision. We all need to “take one for the DCEDI team,” so to speak.

This is what the DCEDI and the Chamber call progress and forward thinking.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rozow cites the flight of young people from our county. Sons and daughters are leaving their homes after college to move to new horizons, not just in Dearborn County, but in nearly every county in the country.


My oldest son, who is in the medical field, and his wife, who is a pharmacist, moved to Hamilton County to work.

They still enjoy coming back to the farm and partaking in all that such offers.

I don’t believe they would feel the same coming back to a cluster of subdivisions, strip malls and industrial zones.

But of course, I am not as intelligent or as knowledgeable as the whiz kids at the DCEDI and Chamber.

Anonymous said...

He says that “the conversation is dominated by a small but vocal majority [sic] (read minority).”

Only in the alternate universe that Mr. Rozow inhabits can a majority position be characterized as a minority position when said position is not in line with his cryptic and abstruse agenda.

Mr. Rozow! Thompson beat both the Democrat and your very own, bought and paid for, Republican apparatus in the last election!

Wake up!!! Your defiance and denial will not alter nor modify that uncomfortable and embarrassing reality!!!

Anonymous said...

“Mr. Rozow also cites the need for better roads, often a cry of those in favor of massive development.”


But, but, but…massive development is the ticket out for all of us who reside in the country but are just too slothful to move to the city.

But for the DCEDI and the Chamber, we may all be cursed to subsist amongst all these farms, pastures and peace.

Forcing sewers on myself and my idle and indolent neighbors can not happen fast enough!

Why, it should be viewed as a privilege, to subsidize any and all development plans the DCEDI and their Chamber associates dictate down from above!

Anonymous said...

the only embrassment is ralph thompson

Anonymous said...

the only "embrassment"....this has to be Jeff Hughes or Rick Fox. What a couple goobers...they should be on Hee-haw.

Anonymous said...

the only embrassment is ralph thompson


And the spokesman for the local Republicrat party has spoken.

Which Republicrat will lose next election cycle Mr. Spokesman?

Do all you Republicrats practice "safe collusion" with your partners at the DCEDI?

Would not want to see you contracting an STD (Scheming Thief Disease)!

Remember, prevention is the key. Soap and water will not wash away such a stain. Ask Vera

Anonymous said...

the only embrassment is ralph thompson

Reminds me of the famous quote:

THE ONLY EMBARASSMENT IS ELLIOT NESS! (Al Capone complaining to his henchman and number one enforcer, Frank Nitti).


Pretty much the same context with how the Republicrats view Ralph.

Anonymous said...

"the only embrassment is ralph thompson"


I see you are still wearing your DCEDI provided kneepads.

I bet the ungrateful fellows at the DCEDI still do not know your first name.

Try playing a little hard to get.

Remember:

Why buy the milk if you political bovines are giving taxpayer cream away for free!

Anonymous said...

What a couple goobers...they should be on Hee-haw.


Q: What do Fox and Hughes call "Hee Haw?"

A: A documentary.


Q: What did Fox and Hughes call "Hee Haw" before they were adopted by the DCEDI?

A: Life Styles of the Rich & Famous.

Anonymous said...

Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky have reciprosity agreements for income taxes.

You pay your taxes to the state in which you reside, not the one in which you work, with the exception of Cincinnati and Norwood taxes. So, the only loss of taxes is the amount paid by workers in Cincinnati and Norwood. Thus all the workers outside the county bring most, if not of their taxes back to Indiana and Dearborn County, and all those who work here and live elsewhere, take their taxes back to where they live.

Ralph E. Thompson, Jr., PE
District 3 Commissioner
Dearborn County

Alan S.Freemond Sr. said...

"We could also choose to build something like Indian Hill"

Oh Oh naughty naughty,shame Johnny Schott Indian Hill has septic systems.

What would our Dearborn County Donald Trump wannabes think of that?

Anonymous said...

What would our Dearborn County Donald Trump wannabes think of that?

Trust me, the wannabes will reserve an Indian Hill-like area for themselves, septic systems and all, after they force the rest of us on sewers to subsidize their fortunes!

Anonymous said...

Raise your hands if you heard the same anecdotal story from the wannabes about the wrecker driver, hip deep in Indian Hill raw sewage, while winching a car out of a some Indian Hill ditch. Major Indian Hill septic tank failure!!!

Alan S.Freemond Sr. said...

Trust me, the wannabes will reserve an Indian Hill-like area for themselves, septic systems and all, after they force the rest of us on sewers to subsidize their fortunes!


Naw the wannabes wouldn't be confortable on Indian Hill and who'd want them as nieghbors?

Anonymous said...

You are probably right.

The first time the “Wannabes” paid a visit to their Indian Hill neighbors, they would be directed around back to the servants’ entrance.

Unless, of course, it was Brett Fehrman.

Then, they just would call the law complaining of vagrants.

Anonymous said...

Then Ralph get a job here
I hear Engeeniers are needed HaHa

Anonymous said...

Then Ralph get a job here
I hear Engeeniers are needed HaHa


Following this logic...Jeff Hughes...after the next primary...can work with Vera Benning at any McDonalds in Hamilton County or Northern Kentucky.