The Working Poor

Filed under: SOMC,Uncategorized — tkm January 29, 2008 @ 16:0 pm

Just recently both the Columbus Dispatch and the Portsmouth Daily Times ran articles related to poverty stricken counties in Ohio. Both articles pointed out that Scioto County has the second highest percentage of people living in poverty in Ohio. The percentage in 2005 was 25.3%, up from 18.9% in 2004.

The Columbus Dispatch observed that, “In lightly populated counties across Ohio, the closure of a single employer can have a dramatic impact on the number of people living in poverty.” But what the Dispatch failed to point out is that large single employers don’t have to close to increase the numbers of people living in poverty. A big expanding employer like SOMC contributes to poverty by paying the low hourly wages it does.

Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) is proud of being one of the largest employers in our area. But SOMC has fulltime employees who live below the poverty level. At SOMC some support staff employees, such as clerks, housekeepers, etc., qualify for state and federal assistance because they fall below the poverty level.

In early fall of 2007 I had a chance meeting with Dr. Khoury, who is a surgeon at SOMC and is also on the SOMC Board of Directors. I raised my concerns to him about SOMC’s pay practices, since he is on the SOMC Board of Directors. I told him about the less than adequate wages associated with many of the staff positions at SOMC, as compared with other hospitals in a 100 mile radius. He told me SOMC had no problems staffing these positions at the current wage rate and felt SOMC was doing all it needed to do. This was not the answer I expected from somebody who represents what is supposed to be one of the top 10 employers of our area.

It makes it clear to me how SOMC, though it is expanding and has many employees, contributes to the poverty in Scioto County. Instead of lifting employees out of poverty, stimulating our economy and lowering hardships in our community, SOMC helps keep us a statistic for the second highest percentage of people living in poverty in Ohio. Arnett is one of the highest paid hospital chiefs in the state, and some of his employees, down at the lower levels, are among the lowest paid in the state. SOMC is certainly where you would want to work if you were an Arnett or a Khoury, but not where you would want to work at the lower levels, which is why there is a large employee turnover at SOMC and why there is a 25.3% poverty rate in Scioto County.

For information about an ongoing investigation into Nonprofit Hospitals:

CLICK: Investigation on Ohio Nonprofit Hospitals 

Portsmouth, Ohio City Council Meeting

Filed under: PORTSMOUTH,Uncategorized — tkm January 22, 2008 @ 15:0 pm

Monday, January 28, 2008, “Regular” City Council meeting has been changed to Tuesday, January 29, 2008 @ 6:00pm. This change is due to a Mock Trial already being scheduled in Judge Kegley’s courtroom on Monday.

So, don’t forget to mark your calendars:

Portsmouth, Ohio “Regular” City Council Meeting

Tuesday, January 29, 2008, @ 6:00pm

Judge Kegley’s Courtroom, 2nd floor City Building

Mayor Jim Kalb: A Fool and a Tool

Filed under: Jim Kalb,PORTSMOUTH,Uncategorized — tkm January 17, 2008 @ 19:0 pm

As was evident at the January 14, 2008, Portsmouth City Council meeting, Mayor Kalb continues to blame others for the city’s financial difficulties instead of doing his homework on how to successfully manage a budget; click the 1-14-08 Council Meeting video of Mayor Kalb on the following link http://portsmouthcitizens.info/blog/?page_id=47.  It is no secret that I have a low opinion of Kalb’s ability to run the city and sometimes wonder how he ever kept a fulltime stock boy job at Kroger’s.  But it may come as a surprise to most people to learn that perhaps the most influential and wealthiest person in Portsmouth, C. Clayton Johnson, doesn’t think much more of Kalb’s abilities than I do.

On Wednesday, October 24th, 2007, my husband Bob and I were eating lunch at Williams Restaurant on Chillicothe Street, and we were seated next to C. Clayton Johnson and his guest from out of town.  We recognized Johnson, but based on the content of his conversation with his guest, in a voice loud enough for others in the restaurant to hear, he obviously didn’t recognize us.  At least I don’t think he would have dared to express the opinions he did if he knew the woman sitting at the next table next to him was Teresa Mollette, who was responsible for getting his sale of the Marting building to the city invalidated in the courts.

During this lunch I overhead some very critical opinions expressed by Johnson about Portsmouth, about Mayor Kalb, and about others. I am not sure who Johnson’s younger guest was, but he might have been from a development company.  What became clear in the course of their conversation was that Johnson and his guest were both graduates of Ohio Wesleyan University, and very proud of it.  His guest apparently didn’t know much about Portsmouth, and Johnson was filling him in.

About Mayor Kalb, Johnson said that he was only an uneducated stock boy from Kroger’s.  Kalb’s predecessor, Mayor Bauer, was doing an adequate job for us, Johnson said, but he had been recalled as result of voters being stirred up by some agitators.  As a matter of fact, Johnson told his guest, one of the individuals involved in getting the City Manager fired in the 1980’s was then-councilman Harald Daub, who was still causing trouble now.  Johnson told his guest that he, Johnson, had led a group in the 1980’s that got Daub and two other councilmen recalled, and Johnson said it was probably a good time for that group to be reorganized.

The problem with Portsmouth, Johnson said, is that we have many ignorant residents who do not even know how to set an alarm clock.  Both Johnson and his guest chuckled over that characterization.  Johnson was willing to admit that there were some successful people in Portsmouth besides himself.  He said there were about a half a dozen lawyers in Portsmouth who were very successful.  Johnson also noted there are a couple of doctors who are making a million dollars or more a year in Portsmouth, but he failed to point out they are making millions from the citizens of Portsmouth.  It is revealing but not surprising that Johnson measures success by money and whether or not a person is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan, as if Ohio Wesleyan was the Harvard of Ohio.

Kalb, of course, is not a graduate of any college.  He is not even a regular high school graduate.  He attended a vocational school.  There are some very smart people who are not college graduates and who are vocational school graduates.  But Kalb is not one of them. Kalb is, unfortunately for the citizens of Portsmouth, a fool, but he is also a tool, a useful tool to Johnson and the other unelected officials whose interests he serves so obediently.  You would think Johnson would have at least a little respect for Kalb, since he is so useful to them, and that he would have a little more respect for those who aren’t millionaires, instead of ridiculing them to out-of-town guests as people who don’t even know how to set an alarm clock.

Isn’t it time we took back the city of Portsmouth from millionaires like Johnson and tools like Kalb?

“2008” Operational Budget

Filed under: City Business,Uncategorized — tkm @ 13:0 pm

During dialogue of the 1-14-08 “Regular” City Council Meeting concerning the “2008” Operational Budget for Portsmouth, Ohio the public learned that a $1 million difference existed between the Mayor’s projection and the Auditor’s projection for the “2008” revenues.

During this same dialogue the auditor explained his figures were achieved by using past history and calculating them into numbers that reflect present conditions.  Also, during this same meeting the Mayor explained how he came up with his projections for the “2008” Operational Budget.  How he calculated the city’s needed expenditures and then plugged in numbers on the revenue side of the equation to create a balanced budget without cutting back on city expenses.  Individuals know that just because you spend money up front does not mean the money will be there when the bills are due or does Mayor Kalb realize that?

The Mayor is also using $300,000 from the Insurance Line item to reduce the gap between his figures and the auditor’s figures.  By the mayor’s actions he is gambling the money will be there and no insurance claims will be filed against this account.  This is a poor way to run a business!

Due to the “2008” Operational Budget receiving just a 1st reading at the 1-14-08 “Regular” City Council Meeting an ordinance needed to be approved to pay salaries and make appropriations for the months of January and February (see ordinance and video below).

I have given you a couple of reasons why I feel the city’s “2008” budget is hosed, but I feel the public should be able to reach an opinion of their own.  Watch the videos.  See for yourself if you don’t think the city is in for a rough year and the Mayor is doing nothing to help it?

CLICK:  Video clip of the Operational Budget “2008” and temporary ordinance to pay salary for January and February dialogue.

Marting Building

Filed under: CBC,Uncategorized — tkm January 16, 2008 @ 0:0 am

We all know a decision has to be made about the location of City offices’.

During the May 2006 election the citizens of Portsmouth, Ohio spoke loudly (2 to 1) by saying, “NO Marting Building”. It now appears we still have several public officials that are still pushing to use the Marting Building as City offices’.

What are our options:
The existing City Building
The old Adelphia Building
The Marting Building?

What do you think?

This is a New Year – let’s ensure the citizens of Portsmouth, Ohio are heard and listened to.

Get involved!!!!!!!!

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