HUDSON: It was a day of comparison and contrasts as State Reps. Kristina Roegner, R-Hudson, and Bill Patmon, D-Cleveland, toured each other’s districts on Monday.
Roegner said Ohioans are “screaming” at their legislators “at all levels of government” and what they are demanding is that their elected officials work together, get along and get things accomplished.
The politicians said that despite being members of opposing parties, they had worked together successfully to get House Bill 437 passed this month in the House to allow school buses to make out-of-state drives of up to 1,000 miles round trip instead of the current 240.
And Monday’s tour was an attempt to “expand their working relationships outside the Columbus border,” Roegner said.
“I see this tour with Rep. Roegner as an opportunity to engage with a district that I would otherwise not explore,” Patmon said.
The day began in Cleveland, where they toured the new Horseshoe Casino, followed by a visit to Lincoln-West High School.
In the afternoon, they met with the government class at Stow-Munroe Falls High School, followed by a guided tour of downtown Hudson and Western Reserve Academy, led by Tom Vince, the school’s archivist and historian. The final stop was a tour of Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores.
Patmon sees the Hudson and Stow communities as “much more focused and organized.”
Cleveland, he said, is large and urban with so many varied interests that it is difficult to formulate a clear agenda.
Roegner observed that social problems are on a much larger scale in Patmon’s district, but attractions such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art are beyond anything her district has to offer.
“We have the [Hudson] Clock Tower,” she said, which turns 100 this year.
Two businesses visited were a study in contrast.
Patmon said the “verdict is still out” on the Horseshoe Casino as to whether it will generate the jobs and income that were projected. He said the Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts headquarters employs roughly 1,200 in Hudson and another 2,500 statewide. Its payroll is $87 million.
A common ground for the politicians was found in the classroom.
The students at Lincoln-West in Cleveland and in the Stow-Munroe Falls school district share a dream — to be able to attend college some day.