In a previous blog, we mentioned State Auditor Dave Yost’s new website, “SkinnyOhio.”
“Essentially, the website is designed to be a one stop shop for local communities looking for best practices in order to reduce their costs of doing business through collaboration.”
This was just a warm up for Yost. The Auditor has made many headlines like this one from the Columbus Dispatch.
“With local governments facing sharp reductions in state aid, state Auditor Dave Yost is pushing for proposals that would make it easier for townships and counties to merge.
Yost, testifying before the Senate Finance Committee about the proposed two-year budget, said consolidating government entities would save tax dollars by reducing staff and service costs.
His plan would allow township boards of trustees to approve mergers of two or more townships with a two-thirds vote. Voters could seek a referendum if they want to contest the action.
His plan also would give voters expanded rights to initiate petitions seeking the merger of two or more counties.”
This is big stuff that Yost is talking about. While many local governments are still very important and responsive to their constituents, the fact is that we are entering a new era with a vastly different fiscal reality than many are used to.
By offering tools to various local entities and, just as importantly, to local residents tired of huge taxation burdens, the Auditor seems to be taking a bold step into the 21st Century.
The vestiges of Ohio’s past in no way guarantee a positive future. The economy of the last decade in Ohio is proof enough of that. Its time to get creative about what Ohio is going to look like, not only from a Columbus based perspective, but from the point of view of the smallest of its villages.