Sunday, January 18, 2009

Konop proposes living wage for Lucas County

Here we go again - another proposal from Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop that commissioners have no authority to do.

This press release was received at 10:11 p.m.


Contact: David Mann, Public Affairs Liaison

Policy would reflect Dr. King's commitment to economic justice, ensure fair wages for working men and women

Today, marking what would have been Dr. King's 80th birthday, County Commissioner Ben Konop will propose a living wage resolution designed to help ensure citizens receive an honest day's wage for an honest day's work. Konop's proposal would cover the wages of workers who are employed by businesses entering into contracts with Lucas County or getting tax incentives or loans through the county.

Under the living wage program, a worker in Lucas County covered by the resolution would have to earn at least $8.38 an hour based on the calculator developed by Dr. Amy Glasmeier and the Pennyslvania State University.

"This initiative is based in fairness and social justice, so I think it's appropriate to propose it on Martin Luther King Day," stated Commissioner Konop. "This is not going to put anyone out of business, but what it will do is help ensure that workers receive decent pay for a day's hard work," added Konop.

Though Dr. King is primarily remembered for his groundbreaking work in the civil rights movement, he focused much of his later career on the pursuit of economic justice for all Americans. In the years before his assassination, he worked tirelessly on the Poor People's Campaign and called for an economic bill of rights. In fact Dr. King was in Memphis supporting a sanitation workers' strike for better wages when he was assassinated in 1968.

Commissioner Konop will be available for this afternoon, after he takes part in the MLK Unity Celebration at Savage Hall. Please contact Lucas County Public Affairs Liaison David Mann at 419-410-4215 to coordinate.

As Comm. Pete Gerken will be able to explain, County Commissioners have no authority under the Ohio Revised Code to implement or set a policy that requires a living wage. One of Gerken's first ideas upon becoming a commissioner was to institute a living wage requirement in Lucas County, as he had supported for the City of Toledo. As I explained to him at the time, commissioners cannot do this. My position was backed up by the County Prosecutor's Office which agreed, and so informed Gerken.

No county in Ohio has the ability to institute a living wage requirement, because the Ohio Revised Code gives counties no such authority.

Being an attorney, you'd think he'd check such things ahead of time. And, considering the public 'smack down' Gerken gave Konop in this letter to the editor (third letter in the link), I'm expecting Gerken to have a bit of fun in the way he 'educates' his fellow commissioner on this topic.


Hot Dog Man said...

After reading Commissioner Gerken's letter to Comm. Konop I can only say that Comm. Gerken is wrong to assert that Comm. Konop is a leader in any way shape or form. He is, as they say in the business world, a gadfly. One who frequently spouts off at shareholder meetings but with little of value to add. Young Ben's plan is as transparent as Saran Wrap...keep his name in the public venues so he can run for mayor of Toledo by touting all the programs he tried to achieve but was blocked by "the establishment". He might be that dumb but most of the Citizens of Toledo aren't...well except for that recurring case of Carty-itis!

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...


"Comm. Gerken... Comm. Konop

Q. is Comm. the correct abbreviation for Comrade?

I would have thought it to be Com., but that's just me ;-)

For the record, I've never thought of Tina as a Comrade, merely a Comrade follower.

And, while I'm on the subject of County Commissioners, why is it that we so often end up with former City of Toledo office holders, when there are other County (as in, NOT Toledo) potential candidates?

With the recent history of County/City politicians, is seems rather redundant...

Timothy W Higgins said...


Someone needs to get Ben Konop interested in a hobby. Maybe if he could find something other than press conferences to interest him he would stop this nonsense. I hear that stamps and birdwatching are popular in the area.

Hot Dog Man said...

Let me clarify, I was not trying to comment on anyone's political affiliations, though if I remember correctly Mr. Gerken did have some association with the American Communist Party...I might be wrong about that...anyway I was just trying to cut my opportunities for typos. Though if the shoe fits...

LibClubber said...

With only three jobs left in Toledo, planting flowers should at least pay well.

Iprefervintage said...

Poor Ben. All I can do is laugh and shake my head again. He would be of better service filling pot holes.

Mad Jack said...

Which only serves to illustrate the serious flaw in the idea that anyone can be elected to office. There should be some kind of minimum qualifications.

Hot Dog Man said...

You know I was just thinking about this and Commissioner Konop has designated a County Poet and a County Fat-Czar. I think there is one position for which Commissioner Konop is overly qualified and that would be County Jester...otherwise known as the County Fool! Sometimes it is just best to keep one's mouth shut!

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