Portsmouth City Councilman and candidate for Scioto County Commission Kevin W. Johnson reacted strongly to the Portsmouth Daily Times’ report that the county commissioners passed a resolution to relinquish its building permit and application process to the state.
“I not only question their decision to give up local government control to ‘distant Columbus,’” Johnson stated, “I must also at this time doubt their commitment to our economic development.
“Commission Chairman Mike Crabtree is quoted as stating that ‘We’ve had a lot of complaints from our economic development department…’ yet a request of information from the Southern Ohio Port Authority finds there have been no complaints forwarded to them and that SOPA’s position is that ‘local government control is preferable over state or federal.’
“I agree – whole heartedly – with SOPA. And I am most concerned that members of our county commission would ignore SOPA, would not consider consolidating such service with the City of Portsmouth and would instead turn over a very important economic development tool to a typically distant (in attitude and time) state government bureaucracy in Columbus.
“Mr. Crabtree mentioned that ‘giving the program back to the state was the consensus of several people outside and within county government.’ Who in the heck are these people? I and others would certainly like to know.
“Bottom line, given what information has been provided the public, there is little to justify this decision by our county commission and much, all too much, by which to criticize them for a very poor decision which shall result in all future county building permit applications being more costly and time consuming for any who choose to develop or re-develop in the county. This does NOT bode well for future county economic development.”
Kevin W. Johnson is First Ward city councilman and candidate for Scioto County Commissioner