Friday, August 12, 2011

Republican Council Members Appease Business Owners, Ignore Public Good

If you left the Republicans on council with total control of the city government, they would let businesses do what ever they want. Instead of discussing why the city law requires what it does, they just attack a city department for DOING ITS JOB. We have a building code. We have a government that enforces that building code. We have a process in place that allows for business owners to appeal or seek exemption from the building code. That is how it works, and has worked well for a long time.

If Ghiz, Lippert and Murray seek to end the building code or the means to enforce it, then they are setting up business owners for long term failure when disaster or crime strikes. Yes, those are reasons for the building code. We have building standards that help buildings during disasters and help prevent massive damage and loss of life in those types of disasters. We, as a society, need building codes to exists because if another building on my block catches fire, my building could catch on fire. We need the building codes to require businesses and building owners keep standards that will help the WHOLE community in times when we need to work together.

If the Republicans want to improve the process for appeals or exemptions, then they could draft legislation to make it happen, unless there are State requirements that they must look to Columbus to address.  We don't get that from this effort. Instead we get sound bites that place business as the 'victim' to an evil government, something that appeals to the ignorant fools who think that government is bad, except for the police and fire departments and roads and health inspectors and all of the other services they use.  I guess having logic only a mother could love, is better than no logic, but it makes for bad public policy.

Attacking government departments for doing their job is a typical type of grandstanding, but a specialty for Republicans, with Ghiz as it's primary champion on Council. With a press conference you would think the media would ask questions and print answers that question what laws Ghiz & Co. want to change, why Ghiz & Co. would make a spectacle of this issue instead of making motions in a council session to address the issue, and why Ghiz & Co. are using this a political issue instead of acting on it?  No we don't get that, we get accomplices for the appeasement of business interests.  Business owners give more to Republicans in Cincinnati and business owners buy commercials from the media.  Walking a fine line is what makes reporting here extra fluff and no meat.


  1. Those aren't really the type of issues being discussed in this case, but Hyde Park LOVES their strict zoning & all 3 of these candidates have history with that hood. Are they willing to throw HP under the bus?

  2. Not disagreeing with anything you've written about the importance of building codes and their proper enforcement, but it should be pointed out that this is a zoning code issue, not a building code issue. Two completely different animals.

    Building codes typically deal with life safety issues and handicap accessibility (number of fire exits, structural soundness, electrical requirements, minimum number of toilet fixtures, etc.), while the zoning code tends to deal with more subjective quality-of-life and aesthetic issues (setbacks from the street, number of windows, etc.) In essence, the building code dictates that you can't build a theater with no fire exits, while the zoning code dictates that you can't build a 50-story skyscraper on a residential side street.

  3. It should be pointed out that Ghiz's hot air was all manufactured controversy. Nobody ever thought Skyline would not get their exemption. Most businesses often do. This process exists so neighborhood councils Luke Oakley's can be empowered to have a say in the business's proposed change to the landscape. I am quite sure that if the zoning board prevented Hustler from displaying a large mural containing highly suggestive women in it, Ghiz would not rush to rescue Hustler from the "injustice". There is no controversy here because the zoning board had already agreed to grant the exemption, barring any public outcry against Skyline.

    It is just a cynical ploy for her to appeal to the Tea Party movement following the bruising county commissioners race.


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