Friday, February 18, 2011

How about a twit?

Well, readers seem to love the potpourri posts, so let's just continue with that for the time being. In this era of social media, think of it as a series of tweets, the plural of which is twit. I just made that up. Here goes:

* * *
Gov. John Kasich apparently has apologized to the police officer he called an "idiot." Safety forces throughout the state were appalled that the governor would point to an isolated incident to underscore the need to reform the Ohio collective bargaining law that's been in place 30 years. Can't say that I blame them.

But I'm not going to throw the governor under the bus so soon into his term because I kind of know what he's talking about. But that's bar talk. Not something a governor should be railing about. And he never did say why the cop was an idiot. Was he rude? Was he condescending? What?

* * *
Educators are under the gun right now in Ohio. The governor and Republican-controlled Legislature want to screw with their pension system, collective bargaining privileges, salary schedules and, well, you name it.

Then Buckeye Career Center Superintendent Paul Hickman walks away with an early retirement "settlement" of nearly $130,000.

Although he's an administrator, he's still part of the system and news of Hickman's good fortune doesn't help anyone connected to the public education system.

Hickman said this when asked about his early release from his contract, which was to expire in 2013, and his impending retirement at age 52:

"It was for the benefit of who we serve. It's what I've chosen.”

What the heck does that mean? I'll tell you what it means. It means he didn't retire willingly.

Full disclosure: Never really got to know the man. Early after he arrived in 2005, he and a board member called for a meeting with my publisher in the wake of stories and/or opinion pieces that there might be a drug problem at Buckeye. That was not the way to earn the trust of an editor who supported public education initiatives, i.e. levies (including Buckeye's), over the years.

* * *
Republican Rep. Al Landis of Dover has been in office nearly two months. If he's stated for the record anywhere how he feels about public sector employees and collective bargaining, I haven't seen it. Maybe a reporter should ask him. I'm told this is going to be a big issue in Ohio.

* * *
Is it time to pull the plug on the T-R's "30 Seconds"?

I think "30 Seconds" -- the old wonderful call-in feature that allows readers to rant -- is too labor-intensive in these days of lean newsrooms. Too many "intolerant" messages that speak more to the underbelly of our society than to the state of the common man have gotten through lately. After 20 years, I think the feature has run its course.

In this age of instant messaging, Blackberrys, laptops and electronic tablets, you pick up the phone, dial a number, listen to the message and leave your reply ... Seems so '80s-ish.

A number of people have complained that commenting on my posts is a pain in the butt. Leave a message on my Facebook post or send me an e-mail directly at and I'll post it. In addition, I've changed my Twitter handle to something more professional -- dickfarrel_dover. So, if you want to say something, say it. It's OK that you disagree.


Anonymous said...

The public employee unions and their members who benefit from generous benefit programs funded by taxpayers...WAKE UP AND SMELL THE OUTRAGE! Probably 100% of privately employed taxpayers paying their salaries now pony up 15, 20, or 25% of thier health insurance premium costs. And the coverage they're paying for includes annual deductibles of $2500 and more plus co-pays. There is a very large percentage of people working who can't afford to use their health insurance because the deductible and co-pay are more than they can pay and still have money to pay the mortgage, gas bill, and put food on the table. Public employees should wise up and get on board with the rest of us. Paying an extra $200 to $300 for your family's health insurance coverage is only fair and makes sense. Other than the 12% of the private sector workforce that are union members, private sector "workers" do not sympathize with public sector "workers".

Anonymous said...

Hi Melvin, maybe you should consider getting a union to protect yourself from the greedy corporations. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I am a federal employee and we are facing a five year wage freeze. We do not have a generous benefit program funded by taxpayers. Health insurance coverage for a family costs me $700 a month. For those that think we have such a generous benefit program do your homework we really are no better off than the public sector. There are no year end bonus's State and County employee's have far better compensation packages. Congressmen and their employees are another issue.