March 7, 2017-Just days after One Region President Leah Conrady assured Munster Town Council members that they were not pushing for regional government, State Representative Hal Slager appears in the One Region/Times bemoaning the lack of a regional vision. While careful not to call for a regional government, Slager pens a delusional, rambling guest editorial which proposes a solution to a problem that does not exist-the lack of a single leader for northwest Indiana.
Our many towns are unique with residents proud to call their community home. But this also is separating us. Our officials concern themselves with their individual districts while few consider the collective responsibilities. Unlike a big city, we don’t have a mayor to focus on a vision who is concerned for all of our neighborhoods. Even our county executives are elected from different geographic areas with no single executive responsible for all. (See http://www.nwitimes.com/news/opinion/columnists/guest-commentary/guest-commentary-it-s-time-to-speak-with-one-voice/article_5b7a5c4e-25fc-5e18-a937-d127881754b4.html )
What Slager-and the other Visclosky socialists fail to recognize-is that greatness comes from a variety of ideas competing in the open marketplace of government. That One Region, One Voice drowns out the many other voices that will bring innovation and move us forward. The Slager/Visclosky vision for the region presents one problem-population decline-and one solution-building stalinesque apartment buildings with government funds-as the only way forward for the region. From state line to South Bend and from the Lakeshore to Lowell Slager wants to tie up government resources for thirty years on a slow, old train to Chicago.
Residents who are informed have been speaking out against the plan as loudly and clearly as possible. Slager admits as much in his article while telegraphing his intent to continue to push the One Region mantra of “get on board or get out”:
I’ve polled residents in my district, and they are overwhelmingly skeptical of a single county executive because they fear someone with too much authority — or a county government that would limit local authority. (http://www.nwitimes.com/news/opinion/columnists/guest-commentary/guest-commentary-it-s-time-to-speak-with-one-voice/article_5b7a5c4e-25fc-5e18-a937-d127881754b4.html)
Despite this admission that the people who elected him are “overhwelmingly skeptical” of his plans, Slager makes it clear that he will continue his One Region agenda ” If we focus our effort toward common goals, improving our transportation infrastructure and building desirable community amenities, we will once again grow our population and realize success that benefits us all.” (http://www.nwitimes.com/news/opinion/columnists/guest-commentary/guest-commentary-it-s-time-to-speak-with-one-voice/article_5b7a5c4e-25fc-5e18-a937-d127881754b4.html )
What Slager doesn’t tell you is that he is the man responsible for the bill that allowed MAIACO, LLC to take over the City of Gary Department of Redevelopment. He also doesn’t mention that the RDA is busy working on public-private partnerships which will bring in more out-of-state corporations to profit off of the tax dollars taken from our schools, police and fire over the next thirty years.
Fortunately for northwest Indiana, we have an idea how the Slager/Vislcosky One Region plan will turn out. Chicago schools are collapsing as the City teeters on bankruptcy. Partisan bickering divides residents against retired police officers, teachers and firefighters as politicians struggle to balance current obligations with maintaining City services. And most tragically, Chicago is in the midst of the deadliest shooting spree in the history of the world. This is what the Slager/Visclosky plan will bring to northwest Indiana.
Residents are urged to take a look at what the Daley plan did to Chicago and speak up before it is too late. Call your state Senators and tell them you oppose House Bill 1144.
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