breaking news

Toxic algae increasing in Kiser Lake, state studying solutions

JobsOhio says it is transparent


JobsOhio on Friday claimed that it faces as many, if not more, ethics and transparency safeguards as any state agency.

Meeting at the Wright Brothers Institute, JobsOhio staff and board members reviewed a checklist of accountability measures: financial audits, a public contract with the state, ethics policies and training, confidential financial disclosure statements, IRS tax returns and quarterly reports.

JobsOhio General Counsel Don Grubbs noted that JobsOhio has to file IRS 990 forms, comply with state Development Services Agency oversight and report quarterly results – requirements state agencies don’t have to follow.

Critics of the nonprofit, private agency argue that JobsOhio relies on public money so it should be more transparent and accountable to taxpayers. They have their own checklist of how JobsOhio is too secretive: it is not subject to Ohio public records laws, annual financial disclosures filed with the Ohio Ethics Commission are confidential, the state auditor is prohibited from auditing the nonprofit and the agency is not subject to all state ethics laws.

The Dayton Daily News reported in July that six of nine JobsOhio board members have direct financial ties to companies that have received tax breaks, grants, loans or other assistance from either the state or JobsOhio since Republican Gov. John Kasich took office in January 2011.

Friday was the first time the board had met publicly since that report made statewide news.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald has said he would make JobsOhio more transparent and subject it to stronger ethics rules to protect it against conflicts of interest and corruption.

Despite drawing scrutiny, the meeting Friday did not attract much public attention. Most of the attendees were JobsOhio and Dayton Development Coalition staffers. The Ohio Democratic Party sent a video tracker to collect footage and only the Daily News showed up for the meeting.

Kasich eliminated the state Department of Development, which had long managed Ohio’s job creation efforts, and replaced it with JobsOhio. Kasich argued that the state needed to be more nimble and turn to business leaders to get better results.

JobsOhio is funded with bond proceeds backed by the state’s liquor profits, state money and private donations. JobsOhio is tasked with marketing Ohio and helping arrange loans, grants and tax breaks for companies creating jobs.

JobsOhio said in its 2012 annual report that JobsOhio and its partners helped 277 companies that committed to create or retain 75,612 jobs and invest $5.8 billion in the state. In its most recent report covering the second quarter of 2013, JobsOhio says it worked with 69 employers that promised to create or retain 36,647 jobs for Ohioans.

Unemployment numbers released Friday by the state show the jobless rate creeping up. Ohio’s unemployment rate for August was 7.3 percent, up from 7.2 percent in July, according to the state Department of Job and Family Services. The national rate for August was 7.3 percent.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Toxic algae increasing in Kiser Lake, state studying solutions
Toxic algae increasing in Kiser Lake, state studying solutions

Kiser Lake State Park — a significant contributor to Champaign County’s economy that draws visitors from across the region — has seen toxic algae slicks in recent year and a state study found the blooms have become more common. The harmful algae often appear as a floating, bright green blob along the water’s surface and...
Dem Head David Pepper: Ohio ‘epicenter of hate group activity’
Dem Head David Pepper: Ohio ‘epicenter of hate group activity’

Ohio Democratic Chairman David Pepper is concerned the state is becoming a hotbed for hate.   His statement, reported by the Columbus Dispatch, came a week after the Charlottesville protests - where a white supremacist from Kentucky, now living near Toledo - ran over a woman killing her; and where several of those identified at the white...
$1.8M road diet discussed for busy north side Springfield corridor
$1.8M road diet discussed for busy north side Springfield corridor

Some Springfield and Clark County leaders believe a $1.8 million project on Derr Road will improve safety and quality of life in the area, while others said it will slow down traffic and affect businesses at the nearby shopping center. Scott Schmid from the Springfield-Clark County Transportation Coordinating Committee and Steve Thieken, an engineer...
Clark County strays, lost dogs won’t go to Dayton shelter
Clark County strays, lost dogs won’t go to Dayton shelter

Clark County won’t send strays and runaway dogs to a shelter in Dayton, according to Clark County commissioners. The commissioners said in a news release that they’re seeking a new place for dogs picked up by the Clark County dog wardens. “The county is in the process of obtaining a facility suitable to house the county dogs,&rdquo...
Clark County council votes against merging 2 clerk of courts offices
Clark County council votes against merging 2 clerk of courts offices

The Clark County Criminal Justice Council voted to no longer examine consolidating two local clerk of courts offices, due at least in part due to the cost to combine computer systems. Council members also questioned the Chamber of Greater Springfield’s motivation for asking local government leaders to move forward with the consolidation. The...
More Stories