Monday, June 01, 2009

Ferris: Columbus' Leadership is Asleep at the Wheel

(COLUMBUS, OH) - "It is clear that Columbus is at a major crossroads in its history. After almost 10 years of Mayor Coleman and City Council being asleep at the wheel, they are asking tax payers for a 25% income tax increase. This tax increase will be voted on during a special election in August that will cost over $500,000 to hold.

As if that isn't bad enough, the citizens of Franklin County may be forced to bail out the Columbus Blue Jackets by paying a "sin tax" on beer, liquor, wine, and cigarettes that would be used to purchase Nationwide Arena. This "sin tax" would affect one of Columbus' top employers, Anheuser-Busch. Anheuser-Busch employees nearly 2,000 people, provides approximately $115 million in payroll to its employees, and is one of the largest customers of Columbus' water and sewage service. So, what does Mayor Coleman have to say about this tax and the impact it might have on one of Columbus' biggest economic engines? You'll probably be disappointed to know that Mayor Coleman's spokesman said Coleman was "neither engaged nor involved in this."

For those of us who realize how Columbus got to this point, a lack of engagement and involvement by Coleman and City Council seems to be an all too common theme. When you've been asleep at the wheel for almost a decade, major issues have a way of sneaking up on you. No wonder we have been asked to bail out the City and a failing sports franchise."