I got alot of questions about my stance on Issue 2. It was made to seem like I wan’t a “good Republican” for voting NO. But I learned from my father who learned from his father. Sometimes your party has it right and sometimes it does not, and when it does not, you have to have the courage to stand up and say so.
The administration pitched this as a way to ensure that people were paying their fair share. But what about the volunteers who do it without getting paid? Or the ones who don’t have benefits? I’ve researched and contacted numerous police and fire departments throughout Ohio, so I think I have a little knowledge about what I’m talking about.
At least 50% of firefighters in Ohio are volunteer. We saw what Xenia tried to do even before SB5/Issue 2. “Maybe a fireman should have to buy his own turnout gear.” If Xenia could do that, what would follow? What are you going to tell those volunteers in those small towns all over Ohio? “That’s great that you want to be a firefighter! Please pay the city $2500, then pay for your training and upkeep. Then you have the privilege of risking your lives for strangers!”
There are numerous police departments where the only “full-time” officer is the Chief. They have a few “part-time” and numerous auxiliary officers. Do we get to tell them to buy their own vests? Or where does it stop? “Buy your own cars and the city will provide the lights and logos?” Some of these officers work for nothing and have NO benefits unless injured on the job. And don’t think that’s just South-East Ohio. There are departments right here in Montgomery county that has NO benefits.
Not to mention facts like they do pay percentages of their retirements and large percentages of their benefits.
Nor does this include the cities and villages where the officers have not gotten raises for 7-10 years. Or the FOP who has agreed for no raises in numerous places because of fiscal emergencies in cities all over Ohio.
It is a fairness issue. They wanted a place at the table and were told “No.” So they fought back. Good for them. And it most certainly IS a safety issue. You can talk about how it’s unions wanting to “line their own pockets” if you like. But I’ve been to 2 viewings and a funeral this year and I’d rather not have to go to another one because we as a state could not step up and say what is right.