Hager: Issue 7 is bad news that could cost Columbus millions

On his monthly appearance on the America’s Workforce Union Podcast, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Dorsey Hager discussed Issue 7 and why it could cost Columbus millions of tax dollars with AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc.

Dorsey Hager

Dorsey Hager, C/COBCTC Executive Secretary-Treasurer

The only issue to appear on the Columbus ballot for the Nov. 2 General Election is Issue 7, which would force the city to create an Energy Conservation, Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Education and training fund. If Issue 7 passes, it would remove $87 million from the city’s general fund and give it to a limited liability corporation named Pro Energy LLC, who would have little oversight.

On the surface, Issue 7 may seem positive and environmentally conscious, but it is actually the work of a special interest group instigating a money grab on the city’s treasury, Hager stated.

Municipal elections typically have a low turnout and polling currently weighs 50-50 on the issue, so there is a certain amount of danger of it passing. However, members of the C/COBCTC are working with city and community leaders to educate voters about the issue. The more people understand what Issue 7 is truly about, the less support there will be, Hager added.

Ohio State Building Trades Convention meets in-person

America's Workforce Radio Host Ed "Flash" Ferenc

America’s Workforce Radio Host Ed “Flash” Ferenc

Hager also talked about the Ohio State Building Trades Convention, which recently met in-person at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Columbus after being postponed last year due to COVID-19.

In addition to board meetings and committee hearings, the convention featured a number of speakers including Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Delegates voted to retain Mike Knisley Secretary/Treasurer of the Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council and Mark Douglas as OSBCTC President.

Building Futures and Driving Futures celebrate graduates

Hager also discussed a combined graduation ceremony of 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.

Another Driving Futures class is scheduled to begin in two weeks and features a $12,500 signing bonus. The average yearly wage for a first-year driver in Central Ohio is $105,000.

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