After November by William N. Washington

Columbus BlackBlog Series Vol. 1, Blog Series Vol. 2, William Washington

After November ImageTurnout in Franklin County dipped slightly from the 2012 presidential election where 71.06% of registered voters participated versus the 70.36% in the 2016 General election with franklin counties 1122 precincts reporting 593,435 citizens who cast a ballot. Excluding suburban local options, charter amendments, tax levies, and focusing on elected legislators, the 132nd general assembly from the 16th to 26th districts were voted in.

Eleven Ohio State House Representatives were (re)elected. Of those eleven, six are Democrats and five are Republicans. Republicans are taking control of the state legislature with more than a super majority which gives them plenty of options when carrying out the execution of the conservative agenda and it being converted into policy.

It seems the only thing standing in the way is Republican Governor and former Presidential Candidate John Kasich, who in early December already had a standoff with the legislature. He vetoed a heartbeat bill which made it illegal to terminate a pregnancy once a fetal heartbeat was detected and instead signed a measure banning abortions after 20 weeks.

Additionally having a super majority allows the option to make legislation referendum proof and in a sense non-reversible. This is worry some to public employees who have heard of the revamping of senate bill 5 (a bill aimed at stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights).

On the county level, the newly (re)elected commissioners, coroner, sheriff, clerk of courts, and recorder are on the job with the recorder making a bold move to protect citizens in his first month in office by calling on local businesses to file notice when mortgages are bought and sold in an effort to help citizens keep track of their mortgage. Also one of the newest commissioners made history by being the first African American elected to the seat. Commissioner Kevin Boyce commented in a Dispatch article about how thrilled he is to make an impact. While many county civil servants have started their terms, there is still one waiting. The newly elected Franklin County Treasurer, Cheryl Brooks Sullivan who will start in Sept after the second half of property tax collection is processed looks to be excited in taking the reins of the position.

The Columbus Board of Education just had three members re-elected and one newly elected member. In a conversation with Columbus Board of Education Vice President Michael Cole, he dispels the rumors and shares difficulties of being a member of the board. He explains “One of the biggest challenges of any school board member is ensuring that there is fertile and abundant opportunities for students to receive a quality education.”

He goes further to explain the Boards methodology in achieving the collective goals of the district, “This is accomplished through a strategic focus on student achievement, proper management of financial resources/investments, and relevant policies.”