With an $87 million price tag, Issue 7 is bad news for Columbus

The only ballot issue to appear on the November ballot in Columbus, Ohio, is Issue 7, which if approved would force the city to create an Energy Conservation, Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Education and training fund — and remove $87 million from the city’s general fund. It puts the money and oversight in the hands of a limited liability corporation named Pro Energy LLC.

Dorsey Hager, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council (C/COBCTC), joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss why Issue 7 is bad news for Columbus.

He also discussed the recent Ohio State Building Trades Convention and a combined graduation ceremony for Building Futures and Driving Futures students.

Issue 7 pushed by special interest group

On the surface, Issue 7 appears to be environmentally conscious, but it’s effectively a money grab, stealing from Columbus taxpayers, Hager said.

Members of the C/COBCTC are working with city and community leaders to oppose the measure, Hager said. The issue could take away funds used for projects that keep members of C/COBCTC affiliated unions employed.

Polling is evenly split on the issue, but Hager believes less people would support it if they become better educated on the measure.

Ohio State Building Trades Convention happens in person

The Ohio State Building Trades Convention was recently held in Columbus. It was postponed last year due to COVID-19.

The convention included board meetings and committee hearings, as well as speeches by union and political leaders, including Gov. Mike DeWine, and Ohio’s U.S Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown.

Secretary/Treasurer of the Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council Mike Knisley was reelected at the convention. Mark Douglas, assistant business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 306, was also reelected as President.

Building Futures and Driving Futures celebrate combined graduations

Hager then discussed a recent combined graduation ceremony for the Building Futures and Driving Futures programs. The original graduation was postponed from several weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

The programs had a total of 29 graduates, and all the graduates were already placed in apprenticeships or jobs. For this graduation cycle, both programs had 100 percent graduation and placement rates.

No further classes for the Building Futures program are planned for the rest of the year due to supply chain issues.


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