11 December 2006

Clermont County Illustrates Fiscal Management, GOP Style

Clermont County is a mix of suburbs, exurbs and rural-urbs. And they like their Republicans. They gave Jean "as dependable an airhead as American politics has ever seen" Schmidt about 60% of the vote. All twenty county officials are Republican, as is the overwhelming majority of municipal officials.

But suburbs are having problems. To make matters worse, there are hardly enough blacks, gays, Mexicans and Democrats to blame it on.

In the suburbs, poverty increased from 7.1 percent to 9.4 percent, a jump mirrored by national trends, said Alan Benrube, a fellow and research director with Brookings' metropolitan policy program.

Liz Carter, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul, said residents shouldn't be surprised by the report's findings. "A lot of the work we do is out in the suburbs," she said. "It's exactly in those areas where a lot of people are thinking that the poor people are all downtown and far away from me."

Clermont County is one area where St. Vincent de Paul's calls for help are increasing, she said, but Ohio's continuing economic slump, coupled with higher fuel and utility costs, means lower-income families everywhere are hurting.

Wow, that must suck. Thank goodness Republican government isn't made up of hurting families:

Even though revenues are down, Clermont County commissioners on Tuesday approved a $56.3 million budget for general operations in 2007 - a 2.7 percent increase over spending for this year.

Most interesting decision: increasing funding for the court system but decreasing funding for public safety.

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