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Provincial Thinking Equals Lost Funding

By Terry D. Wright

In the May 14, 2009 edition of the Dayton Daily News, the Opinion page (A18) published two thought provoking articles:

Joint Effort Could Turn Down Cost of Lights

Education Without Politics? Not This time

Both articles emphasize the need for cities to use regionalism in their approach to secure the most equitable financing. The first article emphasizes the possibilities of communities banning together to create leverage through negotiations to bring down street lighting costs. This article points out that “the Miami Valley Cable Council already acts as an agent for Englewood and seven other cities to negotiate cable rates, those communities also use the council to negotiate the rates for street lighting. Then a host of other cities usually follow with copycat contracts, and generally accept the same rates that were agreed to in the council’s talks with Miami Valley Lighting.” Without regional negotiations the result is that municipalities are not happy because street lighting rates vary throughout the state.

The article concerning Ohio’s education examines U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s visit to the Buckeye State in discussions over school reform financing. A possible coalition is examined concerning “needy Midwestern states that might apply for a big education challenge grant together – say Ohio, Michigan and Indiana (where Republican Mitch Daniels is governor).” The article points out that those three states were battleground states that went for Obama in 2008. Again, regional negotiating for funding is seen as a definite advantage.

Locally, we have already discovered how a regional approach could have benefited Piqua in applying for federal stimulus funds.

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