A Governor’s job is to make their state’s business environment more attractive than the states around them.
And not too long ago, Governor Strickland’s own Council of Economic Advisors predicted that Ohio won’t recover from the economic downturn as quickly as the rest of the nation.
That means the development model currently in place is not working as Ohio is not more competitive than the states surrounding it.
Today, John Kasich put forth “the first substantive proposal of the governor’s race” to turn that around when he announced his plan to replace the Ohio Department of Development with a private, nonprofit corporation.
Kasich would create JobsOhio and appoint a 12-member board of directors to oversee economic development efforts by the state. The board would be comprised of current and former chief executive officers, including some from small companies. Members would come from different areas of the state and industry groups.
Two things are very clear.
- Whatever the current Ohio Department of Development is doing is not working.
- We need to do something different.
And since Lee Fisher and Ted Strickland failed to do anything to improve the ODOD, Kasich is showing some leadership with JobsOhio.
Kasich’s JobsOhio plan is vastly different. It completely replaces the current bureaucratic nightmare that is the Ohio Department of Development with an incentive-based organization with far greater accountability than anything ever seen in government. If the JobsOhio staff aren’t getting the job done, they get fired. If they do something wrong, they lose their job. Something that doesn’t happen in the Strickland/Fisher Department of Development.
Results are required. Fancy seeing that, eh?
UPDATE: The Strickland campaign is up with their response to Kasich’s plan. It focuses on more attacks of Kasich and defending the status quo. If the status quo is what Strickland wants to run on, fine. But it’s not what Ohioans want. It won’t turn Ohio around. And it won’t win him the election in 2010.