Published January 21, 2010
It's hard to know what to think about the failure to get NSP dollars from HUD last week. Plenty of commenters have blamed "Democrats," but of course many of these people blame "Democrats" for everything. That's not to say there aren't Democrats at fault for failing to bring the money to the Valley, but the inference is it's because they're Democrats.
One community leader suggested to me the recent investigation into MYCAP that may have made granting millions to the area unpalatable. Certainly that investigation does nothing to speak to the region's ability to responsibly manage public funds.
But I'd be willing to accept either of these explanations over the one given by HUD. Namely, that "the application failed to convey the area’s 'strength and expertise' in demolishing houses." It's frankly unbelievable that the application's inability to demonstrate expertise in demolition kept us from getting a single dollar from the process.
Mr. Ryan and Mr. Williams are hoping for new funds to materialize, based on their impressions from the meeting. I'm not holding my breath. It's time we took matters into our own hands. The area has long had a mistrust of the federal government, and with friends like those that refused our Brookings Institute-lauded application, it's not hard to understand why.
It's time to dig deeper into consolidation. How do we more efficiently and effectively manage our municipalities, schools, infrastructure and economic development by eliminating centuries-old boundaries and conserving tens of millions of dollars in the process? This is the only path to addressing the growing poverty and failed school systems. After all, we can demolish every house in Ohio, and that's not going to build a tax base or provide jobs.