I submitted an opinion piece to the Community Press over 3 weeks ago, well within the deadline to get published, and for some reason they decided not to run my piece. They didn’t even post it on Cincinnati.com. For this reason, I have decided to post it here, in its entirety, for you to read. Unfortunately I don’t have the same reach as the Enquirer, but I feel like I still need to put the information out there.
Springfield Twp Residents Deserve Fresh Leadership
Career Trustee Joe Honerlaw has been a Springfield Township trustee for 21 years. What do we have to show for it, other than having the second highest property tax and the worst roads in Hamilton County? He has voted 14 times to raise taxes, yet we are mysteriously $40 million behind in road repairs. Honerlaw claims to be a fiscal conservative, but even a tax-and-spend liberal would be more conservative.
Under Honerlaw’s leadership, some cuts were made in anticipation of $2.5 million in state reductions to local governments. Now that the JEDZ tax has completely replaced those cuts, the township suddenly claims to be able to fix our roads, but something isn’t right. Where was that $2.5 million being spent before the state cuts? Certainly not on roads.
Joe Honerlaw has become a career politician, having been an elected official for most of his adult life. He has failed at being a steward of our taxpayer dollars. We need new leadership that can save, invest, and spend our limited tax dollars efficiently and wisely.
What about Mark Berning? Mark wrote a letter that was published in the Community Press on November 2, 2011, asking residents to vote for him because the township “needs leaders with fresh ideas.” He portrayed himself as the candidate of change and said that we had “little change in management in the township in the previous 15 years” and that he wanted to “help with the change that is needed.”
Ironically, after running uncontested and being elected in 2013, at his first board meeting the following January, Mark Berning voted to create a new income tax. Mark Berning is not the candidate of change, he is the candidate of status quo and new taxes. A vote for Mark is a vote for more of the same.
Another distressing issue is that elected office seems to be the Berning family business in Springfield Township. Mark’s brother, Dan Berning, is the Fiscal Officer. There are three Trustees and one Fiscal Officer. That means the two Berning brothers hold half of the elected positions in the township. These positions are separately elected so that we have officeholders keeping each other in check and holding them accountable. However, with a wink and a smile our trustees have been allowing our township to crumble while raising taxes.
My opponents are now going around making up rumors and attacking me personally because I am threatening to upset their apple cart. It’s clear that they are worried about losing their power. As your next Trustee, I’m going to focus on making our community better, not just saying whatever I have to in order to win the next election.
It’s time for real change here in Springfield Township. I will bring much needed transparency and accountability to the Springfield Township Board of Trustees. I will make sure our taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and efficiently. I will help to elevate every resident and your quality of life. I respectfully request your vote on November 7.