Monday, September 28, 2009

It's Okay to Vote Against the Tax Levies

Rich folks, poor folks, and everybody in between have taken a tremendous hit in this recession. And yet government wants an increase, or at least no reduction. That's just not reality.

We've all had to economize, make sacrifices, and figure out ways to do more with less. And we're better for having done so. We're leaner, more frugal, and creative. More importantly, we're grateful for our gifts and have learned to use them more wisely.

Are we really doing our schools, libraries, museums, and county agencies a favor by denying them the opportunity to do the same? We all know they could stand to streamline their processes, right-size their staffing levels, or innovate more. But if we spare them that pain, we prevent them from improving.

For their sake you should vote against the levies. Not to send a message, or to punish, but to help everybody get in step with the times. We appreciate all their fine work and want them all to remain viable well into the future. But to be there for us later, they need to slim down now. It's okay to vote against the levies. If you really can't bear to vote them all down, then pick your favorite and just vote for one.

Despite their protestations, it won't be fatal. None stand to lose more than about 15% of their existing funding if their levy fails. And when it does fail, we promise you'll have a chance to vote on it again next year.

Really, it's okay. Go ahead and vote against the tax levies. It's for the best.

57 comments:

  1. Anyone who votes against the public library levy should be publicly stoned on Fountain Square.

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  2. Glad to know the 17 year old girl thinks it's okay for me to vote against the tax levies. D- on the stock photo choice for this post.

    Public libraries do so much good for their communities. Denying them public funding... it's kind of like kicking a kitten. What did the kitten ever do to you?

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  3. We all know that the "library levy" is really a cover for Obama's Socialist Death Panels anyway.

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  4. Just learned today that the library levy will cost me close to an additional $100 per year.

    Ummm...sorry, that's not going to happen.

    Sadly, like much of what is going on in our communities, the library has become just another place for people to get free sh*t. DVD rentals, internet access -- these are the things driving up demand and costs. This is why the downtown branch is so busy. It sure isn't because a bunch of people have suddenly decided to pursue a Ph.D. (sorry to burst the Progressives' bubble on this).

    I have a problem with the library levy as well because the idea of actually cutting programs is never discussed. Much like the streetcar (if it was really so fab, private developers would be knocking each other down to build it at their own expense), if people love the library so much, then agree to pay $100/year for a library card and use it all you like. Don't ask me to support your internet access or movie rentals -- that's a serious distortion of what libraries have traditionally been utilized for.

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  5. ^Excellent point Bob, while we sit at home typing on our personal computers and high speed internet, God forbid we fund a public place of knowledge where those less fortunate in our community can come get access to resources we readily have on demand. I mean, I don't want poor kids learning how to read, research or use tools like the internet to further their education either.

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  6. Big shocker - Randy Simes is for more government spending.

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  7. Gordon, Jenny, and Randy. Fully 45% of the library's circulation is made up of DVD's/CD's. A vote against this levy is not akin to a vote against the underpriviliged learning. Please tell me what lending out Season 6 of the Sopranos has to do with furthering anyone's education.

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  8. ^Gordon-
    Thanks -- I agree, it is an excellent point. I'm not about to get into a debate over how Cincinnati is guilty of perpetuating generations of poverty with someone as brainwashed as yourself, but suffice it to say that I work for a living, I pay taxes, I own and maintain a home, and I choose to donate my time, money, and energy to those causes I deem worthy -- because, gee, it is, after all, my money.

    At this point, the only people that are "less fortunate" in Cincinnati are those in the middle-class because no one gives a rat's a*s about us except for coming up with new ways to squeeze money from our wallets to fund programs that they deem worthy.

    Mallory, Cole, Harris, Thomas, Qualls seemingly hate the middle-class; that's why come November they must go. We will get the 5th vote.

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  9. Ronald Reagan called, he wants his antiquated, stupid talking points back.

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  10. Once again, COAST is muddling the details to confuse voters and promote middle-class victimhood. They could at least tell you that MRDD is a state-mandated program and if that levy fails it MUST be paid for out of the General Fund. Paying for MRDD out of the General Fund would immediately make it more than 40% of the County's budget. That means they will need to cut the current budget by 40%. What will the County look like after that? Let's not be fooled here, people. Chris Finney's real aim here is to handcuff those elected officials he doesn't like into an ungovernable situation so that he can set them up for the fall come next election. He doesn't give a damn about your tax rate. He really could care less how much a middle class homeowner pays in taxes. He's only interested in getting his buddies in elected office.

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  11. Anonymous -
    Walter Mondale called. He wants his stupid antiquated habit of supporting every single tax increase that comes down the pike back.

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  12. @Gordon/QueenCityDisco and @Randy Simes-

    Do either of you own property in Cincinnati? If so, can you tell us how much you paid in property tax last year? How much will your property taxes increase with the passage of this (and/or other) levy(ies)?

    I paid nearly $3,300 in property taxes last year. I also shelled out nearly $2,000 in Cincinnati city taxes. So last year, I contributed $5,300 to my community.

    How about you?

    If the levies pass, I'll be paying nearly $4,000 in property taxes alone. How will the passage/approval of these new levies affect your income?

    I'm guessing we already know the answer.

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  13. ^Bobby boy,

    You're correct, at present I do not own property, at my current time in college it's easier/cheaper to rent a place to live than it is to purchase my own property or house...someday soon though.

    However, you should also note that I didn't say you should magically support all the school tax levy's, I was talking only about the library initiative and agreeing with you.

    Bris, I don't know what the hell you're getting at. The sixth season of 'The Sopranos,' is one of the best of the series and certainly has high educational value.

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  14. Bris, I don't know what the hell you're getting at. The sixth season of 'The Sopranos,' is one of the best of the series and certainly has high educational value.

    LOL - What about DVD copies of the Mighty Ducks? Seriously though, nearly half of their circulation is DVD's. This is not an issue of education. The library could charge a nominal $1 fee for DVD lending and it would wipe out the need for this tax levy. They won't, because they're more interested in growing their circulation numbers and becoming a government subsidized Blockbuster Video.

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  15. Obviously with an election just about a month away, now is not the time to go and propose new funding systems for our community's most critical resources, but isn't this debate a call for re-looking at how we fund our most vital assets?

    I mean, can someone explain to me why the financial stability of our education system (and library system for that matter) should be tied to property taxes? Seems to me that somebody who rents gets just as much benefit from living in an educated populace as somebody who owns.

    Bob has (sorta) the right idea on identifying the problem, but a dangerously wrong approach on its solution.

    Voting down levies will provide prople like Bob a fleeting feeling that they protected THEIR money. Unfortunately this solution ignores the legitimate issue at hand.

    Let's come up with a solution on how to more fairly finance our educational system (read: our future) so that we don't have these meaningless arguments again.

    Or we can just kick the can farther down the road. Worked so well so far...

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  16. ^David-
    I think I understand the legitimate issue at hand. I don't wish to have $100/year donated on my behalf to subsidize someone else's use of the public library.

    Pretty simple stuff. Nothing dangerous about it. Our family has had to cut back -- no reason government and community organizations shouldn't do the same. In fact, I would argue that they should lead by example in such an effort.

    Don't get me wrong -- I like the library -- and wouldn't mind renewing my library card for $50-100/year if I knew everyone else who was using the library's services was doing the same.

    Until that time when the system is changed, and the costs can be borne fairly by everyone, I will indeed "kick the can farther down the road".

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  17. haha, Bris, I've never never rented any of the Mighty Ducks films from the library system and to be honest haven't really watched them since people started calling me Gordon Bombay, but the Mighty Ducks can teach you quite a bit about life.

    I'm in agreement about regulating how materials are circulated throughout the library system. Last year I was hired to do some stock photography for the city of Fairfield and while photographing their library I was talking with one of the directors who mentioned that DVD's were by far the most popular thing rented from the library.

    It may sound shocking, but I agree with Bob/Bris, something needs to change about the public library system and now really isn't the time to be asking for tax raises and levy's when everyone is being hit hard by the recession.

    I do feel that the public library, especially the main branch downtown provides some great services to lower income citizens who might not potentially have those resources available to them, but something needs to change first.

    My original comment was meant to be sarcastic.

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  18. Gordon - just teasing on the Mighty Ducks comment. Like I said before, not terrible movies.

    The public library is indeed a worthwhile thing for the community as a whole to support. David hits on an interesting point though. Perhaps the funding mechanism is broken.

    The problem is, if we keep funding and re-funding the same broken system with completely new funding sources like a new tax levy, there will never be an impetus for change, and the can will indeed be kicked down the road again.

    In difficult economic times, asking for additional taxpayer support while at the same time refusing to take even small steps to reform your inner-workings is unconscionable.

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  19. I hear you Bob. I am with you in advocating that property ownership ought not be the basis of funding for community assets. And I agree with you that the library system, among other community assets, needs to do its job better.

    Where we disagree, it seems, is how we address that problem. If I hear you right, you are saying that forcing a smaller budget on them will cause them to make smarter business decisions. Perhaps. Or they'll dedicate staff time (read: your tax dollars) to generating PR for "woe-is-me" fund raising drives, which will successfully fill that void for, I dunno, 2, maybe 3 more years. So instead of fixing the problem, we have (ready?) kicked the can down the road.

    I just don't believe that chronically underfunding an asset is a good way to advocate for change. We leed libraries. And yes, I admit that we need libraries to WORK BETTER. But instead of just not funding them and hoping they "learn their lesson," let's consider what we can do to encourage the library to shift their priorties.

    Don't get me wrong: I'm open to suggestions on this. I don't know how to do this yet. But until we figure it out, lets make sure that this asset has our support.

    For the record, I'd gladly pay Bris's suggested $1 for DVD rentals from the library. Magic bullet? Not hardly. A great example of the creative thinking we need? Absolutely.

    I'm all ears for other suggestions.

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  20. ^David-
    $1 == not bad and is exactly my point.

    At least attempt to run it like a business. The non-core stuff (DVDs, CDs, and yes *gasp*, internet service) should be for-fee (or deducted from your card/account) items.

    This is where the demand is. Now determine if the demand is genuine by charging a fee for these services. One of two things will happen: people will keep using these services because they still cost less than what they would pay elsewhere -- or the demand for such services will decrease dramatically, thus reducing the funding needed to operate this portion of the library system's budget.

    The middle-class property owner can no longer afford nor do they desire to subsidize non-property owners' lifestyles.

    There is no way someone like myself -- who uses the library perhaps once, maybe twice a year, should be forced to subsidize a non-property owner's choice to utilize the library system on a nearly daily basis.

    Would Randy still like to throw the first stone?

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  21. Charging for some of these things places a burden on those who might not have the means to afford them on their own. For example, many conservatives bemoan the idea of government-subsidized housing that is affordable for lower income residents. These individuals say that the people need to be working their way out of poverty...how can they do this when they are charged the same rates for day-to-day items as someone who pulls in a seven figure income?

    Now I'm not advocating for price fixing, but what I'm saying is that there is a flaw in the logic behind things like a sales tax only policy. The burden is placed more so on those that can least afford to pay it.

    So are you saying Bob that you would prefer that low-income individuals pay a monthly service fee for the internet which is a major resource nowadays? I know many people have poked fun at the DVD scenario, but would you prefer they just go to the movies and pay $8/ticket, pay for rentals, or just have no entertainment at all?

    I don't see why so many people in this country feel the need to kick dirt in the faces of others who might not have the means to defend themselves. I don't understand why we're so afraid of creating a society that values all of its people based on the fact that they too are people irregardless of social standing.

    My first comment was in jest...I believe that the Cincinnati/Hamilton County public library system is one of the greatest assets we have in the Cincinnati region. To defeat that very system where it hurts most (the pocket book) is an insult to the system, the people that use it, and the lives that are enriched by such a service. Go ahead and talk about efficiencies all you want - I welcome that discussion. What I don't agree with is this payback mentality where someone feels like they have been wronged politically or personally and then moves to take it out on the public. The more I learn about COAST, the more I get the feeling that this is the case.

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  22. I hear ya Bob. That may or may not be the soultion, but I'm still of the opinion that underfunding the resource isn't a smart move.

    I disagree that the library ought to charge for Internet useage. It is too valueable of a tool to put a price on. Maybe the library can somehow ensure that internet useage there is for scholarly purposes only (maybe they already do, I don't know). For the library to charge for Internet acces seems boarderline unethical to me.

    Be careful when talking about 'chice' here, too. Just a guess here, but I'm willing to bet that you don't have any data supporting your claim that people who rent use the library as a higher frequency thant those who own property. Look, I don't have that data either, so let's both be careful about what we assume and what we actually know.

    Finally, please also be careful with your assumption about people's 'choice' to rent. You don't know how many choose to rent and how many must rent due to personal economic conditions. I personally fall into the latter category, but hey, getting a post graduate degree is expensive these days.

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  23. @Randy:

    Before I respond to your comments, please answer mine from earlier in the thread:

    Do you own property in Cincinnati? If so, can you tell us how much you paid in property tax last year? How much will your property taxes increase with the passage of this (and/or other) levy(ies)?

    How will the passage/approval of these new levies affect your income?

    I'm guessing you won't feel any increase in tax, most likely because, like David, you are currently a student, attending university or college.

    It is easy to preach about social justice when your bottom line is never affected. Please give me a call when you're shelling out close to $6k/year in city + county taxes.

    I am not some crazy COAST supporter -- I just posted about how I was considering voting in favor of the library levy until I realized how much more I would be paying if it were to pass. I simply cannot afford that type of increase -- and it is pretty small-minded of you to think that my family should have this money removed from our budget because you think I'm cold-hearted or "kicking dirt in the face of those less fortunate".

    Where is my advocate? Do I not have any rights? Are they not equal to those of which you speak?

    But I've gone off-course and followed your lead. This is simply a matter of numbers -- throw a couple of accounting classes into that social/humanities schedule of yours and perhaps you'd understand how the world actually works.

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  24. David-

    I never made any comment about people making a "choice to rent".

    In fact, this is our first home. We moved to Cincinnati from another state because of the affordable housing stock (we are not a wealthy family by any means).

    And, after owning this home for a few years now (and incurring the expenses of an old-house owner), I can confidently state that renting is underrated. :)

    I have no desire to see the library underfunded -- but I also need to see someone in that organization's management do a much better job of realizing what is driving up the costs associated with running their enterprise.

    Good luck with the post-grad degree!

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  25. This is what's great about anonymity isn't Bob? You assume you know who I am and what I do while you have never met or spoken with me. I do not have to share my personal information with you, but I'll do it anyways to play into your scheme.

    I am not a student at this point. I work full-time and also have freelance work on the side. Both my full-time job and freelance work have me on the road a lot so it makes zero sense for me to own property that I wouldn't be able to maintain.

    With that said, property taxes affect everyone. If the property taxes go up for an apartment building those costs are passed on to the renters...the owner surely isn't going to absorb that cost. The same thing happens with goods...when costs of doing business go up, so do the cost of their goods. So lets please avoid the misconception that the only people being affected by increased property taxes are those who directly own the land themselves. I thought we got over this way back when, when we decided in this country that owning property wasn't necessary to vote on issues.

    Voting down a public resource as valuable as the public library system will not only keep the levy away, but it will lower the value of your property as well. The same thing happens when you damage any public resource that has a positive impact (transit, police, fire, schools, sewage, etc).

    I'm not an advocate of voting for every levy contrary to what some might think, but I do support good public resources. I have yet to find a quality and affordable private library system out there, and until that happens, I believe that we should support the great one we have as much as possible.

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  26. I'll be up front here and state that I work at the library and am in favor of the levy because it will probably save my job.

    That aside, I think the library administration is being honest when they claim that we really need the money. The funding picture for us has been bad and getting worse for several years and we did our best not to ask for too much by spending a lot of money that had been saved. In addition the library has won awards recently for fiscal responsibility and efficiency, so I don't think it's fair to claim that we are not doing anything. The library has been making cuts and doing more with less for years now.

    http://www.cincinnatilibrary.org/info/funding.html

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  27. Good debating you, Bob. We both want the same thing, just disagree on how to get there. That's what makes this nation great.

    Thanks for having a legitimate discussion on here. Always refreshing to hear logical arguments, even when they are against my opinions. I still think you should vote FOR 7 (and NO on 9 too, but that's a different debate for a different day) but respect where you are coming from.

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  28. David-

    Thank you, too, for the debate and discussion. It's refreshing to hear someone argue their points based on merit and thoughtfulness rather than simple rhetoric and/or talking points.

    And again, for the record, I'm all for a strong library system. I've visited both my local branch and the downtown hub on a couple of occasions -- and found them both to be pretty d*mn good.

    The best library in all of Cincinnati, though, is outside of this debate. Tucked underneath the glorious Union Terminal, the Cincinnati Historical Society Library is a tremendous resource and a great place to spend a rainy afternoon.

    You're right -- No.9 is an issue for another day...

    Again, best of luck!

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  29. An apartment or commercial property owner has to pay property tax on their property if it is rented or if it isn't. So renters create the revenue that allows property owners to pay property tax. Renters also indirectly pay property tax every time they patronize any business, be it a grocery store, restaurant, gas station, whatever. Since when did Libertarians stop lathering themselves with talk of embedded taxes?!

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  30. Randy said - "Charging for some of these things places a burden on those who might not have the means to afford them on their own."

    Where does it end Randy? We now have to subsidize people's entertainment choices as well? The taxpaters have to foot the bill when someone who might not "have the means" feels the need to watch Kill Bill Volume 2?

    There are plenty of people (including me) who would like to eat a steak from The Precinct, but don't "have the means". Should the taxpayers subsidize that as well?

    And you say you don't support every tax levy that comes down the pike. Please tell us which tax levy on the ballot in Hamilton County this fall you don't support.

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  31. ^Amen to Bris Chortz!

    I'd like to live in Hyde Park or Indian Hill, but I can't afford to.

    Why can't I live where I want to live? Who are you to deny me a home in a nice neighborhood?

    I do not have the means to afford a home in either of those communities on my own.

    Please send me a voucher or subsidy. Thank you!

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  32. It's not a question of having something better, but rather something at all. Do you actually believe that poor individuals don't deserve to be happy and live fulfilling lives?

    No matter how much you deny them as being contributing members to society they do pay taxes and support the system through their daily lives. While you may not see the value in having DVDs available at the public library, maybe it is worthwhile for a family of five struggling to make it and needs some way to entertain the kids on a Friday night...or maybe the parents have a night to themselves and a little candlelight dinner at home with a DVD is the most they can afford.

    Feel free to mock me and my positions all you want. It's not a soundbite, it's not some trivial belief system, it's people's lives we're talking about here, and personally if I can pay a little more to help make someone's life marginally better then that's a great....and to be honest it seems like the moral thing to do from where I'm sitting.

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  33. Randy said - "maybe the parents have a night to themselves and a little candlelight dinner."

    Looks like Randy also wants to subsidize Date Night. What a joke. If your mythical subjects can afford a candlelight dinner they can afford to lay of $1 for a DVD.

    randy said - "Do you actually believe that poor individuals don't deserve to be happy and live fulfilling lives?"

    Do you actually believe that not being able to plop down in front of a television with a government subsidized movie leads to a less fulfilling life? How about your mythical family of 5 that can't afford a $1 DVD turns the damned boob-tube off and spends quality time with each other. Play games, talk about your days, go on a walk as a family, cook dinner together, etc. None of those things require the taxpeyer to foot the bill for other people's entertainment.

    And you still haven't told us which tax levies on the ballot this year you oppose.

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  34. You must not know the feeling of not being able to afford a night out of the house with the one you love. We could go all day with this...I present a reasonable real-world scenario to explain my point, and you quickly trivialize it for your own personal gain. That's cool, I would just prefer to avoid that nonsensical conversation.

    In the end I feel that a publicly funded library system is a benefit for our entire community. Public libraries offer a host of materials that enrich lives from books, to movies, to internet access and more. If you truly feel that a publicly funded library system is too much of a "government handout" for the poor, then that's your opinion and you can deal with that. If that is truly the case then we disagree and will never see eye to eye on the matter.

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  35. I think I've made my point Randy. Thanks for making your feelings about what are appropriate governmetn expenditures so clear. It's too funny.

    And I'm still waiting for you to tell us which tax levies on the ballot in Hamilton County this fall you oppose.

    Why are you avoiding the question?

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  36. You've answered none of my questions Bhris, plus you don't even use your real name or share any information about yourself. My real name, biography and thoughts are readily available to you. I do not and will not extend the courtesy of sharing any more with a complete stranger who shares nothing about themselves with anyone. Get to know who I am as a person and you'll know perfectly clear where I stand on the issues.

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  37. Translation - Randy supports every single tax levy on the ballot this November. No surprise.

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  38. ^Nice try, but I won't take the bait. If you want to learn more about my positions read the many editorial pieces I write for UrbanCincy, or wait for me to take an official stance. Another option would be for you to actually get to know me and come out from the dark shadows where you hide...Bris.

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  39. The fact that you use your real name gives your opinion no more validity than anyone else on this board. You could post your name, address, social security number, birth certificate, list of likes/dislikes, and baby photos, and your opinion would stil count the same as the next person. At the end of the day, nobody reading this blog would know you from Adam anyways.

    Also, please point out which questions you posed to me that I failed to answer.

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  40. Translation again - Randy supports every single tax levy on the ballot in Hamilton County this November. Oh yeah, and government subsidy for Date Night.

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  41. You're quite capable of reading...go back and start at my comment made on September 29, 2009 at 4:15pm and read through to find the questions that have yet to be answered. I look forward to hearing an actual response instead of a deflected one.

    On another note, while your translation comments are cute and snippy, they add nothing productive to the conversation. Instead of trying to summarize my opinions into a soundbite, why don't you actually defend your position of not having a publicly funded library system. Everyone else can read into our comments and make up their own minds about what they mean. They don't need you spoon-feeding them sensationalism.

    And yes, using my real name does add credibility to my points. I'm not hiding behind anything and people know how to contact me and learn more about me if they so choose. You're nothing more than another one of the anonymous hacks out there spamming the internet with their sensationalist bullcrap. If you believe in what you're saying then put your name behind it like any adult would.

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  42. Appropriate uses of taxpayer funds:

    - Readily available government subsidized copies of Fast & Furious, Transformers the Movie, and Kill Bill Volume II
    - All-white urban professional streetcars
    - Date Night
    - Upscale eatery vouchers for the underprivileged
    - High speed internet for everyone
    - Anything that any government institution asks for through a levy request (except public safety)
    ******************************

    Inappropriate uses of taxpayer funds:

    - Police walk beats
    - Keeping neighborhood fire stations open
    - Vice, Vortex, and cold crimes units within the police dept.

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  43. Randy -
    Did your comment saying that "Anyone who votes against the public library levy should be publicly stoned on Fountain Square" add anything productive to the conversation?
    Heck it wasn't even cute or snippy, just hateful

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  44. And I re-read every single one of your posts on this issue. Not one of your questions to me went unanswered. Not one single, solitary question. Please, for the sake of the entire Blog, point me and everyone else to the ananswered questions you speak of. I don't want to leave you hanging.

    After all, you're Randy Simes! You post your real name on the blog! You deserve answers!!!

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  45. My first comment did not add anything to the discussion and I probably shouldn't have said it at all, but it was my way of saying how ridiculous it would be to vote against the terrific asset we have in the Cincinnati/Hamilton County Library System. It was a comment in jest and if I offended you I'm sorry.

    I'm done with this conversation. I stand behind my opinion that a publicly funded library system is beneficial for the whole community and especially those that can not afford person computers, books, and other sources of media.

    Until you decide whether or not you want to put your name behind your opinions and defend them publicly I will not continue. It appears as though you just want to muddy my name and insult my stances. I'm perfectly fine with debating the issues, but you do not appear to want to do so. Have a good day Bris.

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  46. B-O-O H-O-O
    I don't want to admit that I support every single tax levy on the ballot this year in Hamilton County, so instead I'll complain about the widespread use of anonymous commenting on blogs as if it's unique to this blog and then I'll take my ball and go home.

    Have an awesome day Randy.

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  47. haha, Sandy Rimes. The fact that someone took the time to make that is pathetic.

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  48. Hey, did you guys know Michael Jackson died?

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  49. Yeah CAAST, we were aware of Michael's untimely passing. Randy Simes informed us that he believes the taxpayers should have footed the bills for his zoo at Neverland Ranch. Why should anyone be denied the pleasure of having monkeys and giraffes in their back yards so they can live happy and fulfilling lives?

    As an aside, you can probably borrow a DVD of Michael Jackson music videos at the library. Nothing speaks more for the dissemination of public knowledge and literacy to the poor like free access to Thriller.

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  50. >All-white urban professional streetcars

    What about all-white suburban interstate highways?

    What about the behind-the-scenes effort to keep Section 8 out of COAST's neighborhoods? Lots of Section 8 in Hyde Park and Anderson Twp, I hear.

    COAST accuses streetcar supporters of being elitists/racists, when the streetcar supporters actually live in the city proper, not corny suburban subdivisions.

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  51. The interstate highway is hardly all-white. Nice try though.


    What does Section 8 have to do with Library Levies? Nothing, unless you want to deflect from the issue at hand. Hyde Park was a bad example too buddy. It's chock-full of YP Progressers.

    "COAST accuses streetcar supporters of being elitists/racists, when the streetcar supporters actually live in the city proper, not corny suburban subdivisions."

    There you have it folks, if you choose to raise our family in a suburb you're a racist according to Streetcar advocates. I guess that includes the African-Americans who live in the suburbs too. All a bunch of racists hell-bent on depriving all white urban professionals of their neat choo choo toy.

    The NAACP and the African American community at-large oppose the trolley folley because they see it for exactly what it is: A toy for "choice riders" (elitist, well-to-do, white urban professionals) who don't want to have to pull their Audis out of their 24 hour a day security monitored garages to go to a hip coffee shop, and definitely don't want to use existing mass transit like the Metro Bus system because they'd have to ride alongside the unwashed masses (black people).

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  52. Please explain why black leaders across the country are fighting for rail transit to their neighborhoods. Explain why Washington, DC, despite having a huge subway system, just broke ground on a modern streetcar line last week in a predominantly black neighborhood.

    http://barryfarmremixed.blogspot.com/2009/09/and-weve-got-tracks.html

    So whites who live in parts of the city with lots of black residents are the racists, not those who hide in Anderson Township and pay Chris Smitherman to rally his nutty followers so that their nutty anti-rail plot has a chance of passing. Got it.

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  53. Bordon Gombay says:

    The comment thread has been keeping me entertained all day long, it's a shame it takes so damn long to load on my phone. My favorite part so far was when Bris called out The Provost and said:

    "There you have it folks, if you choose to raise our family in a suburb you're a racist according to Streetcar advocates."

    Yet, he made an equally stupid and ridiculous post about racism in the same post when he said:

    "they see it for exactly what it is: A toy for "choice riders" (elitist, well-to-do, white urban professionals) who don't want to have to pull their Audis out of their 24 hour a day security monitored garages to go to a hip coffee shop, and definitely don't want to use existing mass transit like the Metro Bus system because they'd have to ride alongside the unwashed masses (black people)."

    Since when did anyone refer to African American's as "unwashed masses?" Wow, just wow...

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  54. "What about all-white suburban interstate highways?"

    Where would those be? Please tell me where I can find one of these all-white interstate highway.

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  55. If there was an all white interstate highway I'd drive my Audi up and down that road day and night. I can dream right?

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  56. "What about all-white suburban interstate highways?"

    You can't really be suggesting that the highways around here are all-white. How do you suppose Black people get to work, run through the cotton fields?

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