20 September 2006

County Republicans Put Kibosh On Good Idea

County commissioner Todd Portune and Hamilton County auditor Dusty Rhodes want the county to study the idea of a luxury bus service to take people to the airports in Dayton, Columbus, Indianapolis and Louisville.

Hmmm... interesting. Especially when one remembers that CVG has had some of the highest fares in the nation for many years. I'm sure most readers have taken flights from other cities for price reasons. I've flown out of Louisville and Dayton myself.

But the idea isn't going anywhere:

But the two other county commissioners, Pat DeWine and Phil Heimlich, rejected spending any public money on it, saying it's not for the government to decide.

First of all, DeWine and Heimlich ARE the government, and they ARE deciding. It is not for them to say what the government can and can not decide. That is the people's decision, not theirs. And if the electorate's opinion is any indication of what the people want, then the people want ideas from Todd Portune. He got more votes in Hamilton County than anyone else for any office (including President) in 2004.

Regional airport shuttle service is definitely worth considering. It would serve the needs of non-wealthy county residents who would benefit from better access to competitive fares. In other words, it's not the kind of thing Phil Heimlich would be interested in. He is a special interest politician of the worst kind; his sycophancy to a few wealthy residents has been well noted (e.g. the recent Harvest Home Parade ballyhoo).

The county would probably take bids for the shuttle service and then contract out the job. The county could even reimburse itself by taking a percentage of the profits for X years, so the taxpayer cost could end up being zero.

I commend Rhodes and Portune for coming up with a good idea and for demonstrating a commitment to all residents, not just party loyalists and special interests. Fortunately, we can get rid of some of the latter by voting out the churlish Heimlich and putting in the infinitely more preferable David Pepper, as more people are realizing.


Nemo Wolfe said...

It seems stupid to have to remind the commissioners that they seem not to mind road projects involving pots and pots of public money.

Perhaps we should put them on Superbus to send them to Chicago for a look around at what can be done.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to understand the logic of paying taxpayer dollars to draw money AWAY from a local business where many county residents work at.

Why is that a good idea?

WestEnder said...

Fair question. Short answer: because it's better for consumers.

Suppose a town has only 1 grocery store. Because it's the only store in the area, it can set whatever prices it wants, so its prices are far above average.

Does the store employ a small percentage of locals? Yes. Does the store overcharge a much larger percentage of locals? Yes.

If the town opened a shuttle to the distant grocery stores, the effect would be to make the market more competitive. That will lead to more products at better prices for the whole town. It would not take away jobs from the store workers (if workers can be employed at the distant stores with lower prices, then they can be employed at the town store when it lowers prices, too).

It's not a matter of using "taxpayer dollars to draw money away from a local business" but rather a matter of introducing fair market competition.