Toledo Blade: A tale of two tactics


Toledo Blade



We live in a time of rapid and massive change. How Ohio institutions deal with that change is in the midst of intense debate. The key issue is who should steer the response to change, the people most affected or the people most powerful?

Two recent decisions well illustrate the two poles. The Ohio High School Athletic Association put the issue of name, image and likeness payments, as now allowed in college athletics, in the hands of school administrators. Those leaders voted overwhelmingly to retain the prohibition against payments to players for endorsement deals.

In the state legislature meanwhile, the House State and Local Government Committee voted for passage of a bill that takes control of regulation of temporary rentals such as Airbnb or VRBO to the state level.

If the bill passed, it would preempt local governments from banning or regulating the frequency and time the units can be rented.

Supporters of the bill that now moves to the entire House for consideration say they are protecting private property rights. Opponents of the anti-regulation bill say it’s an assault on the home-rule provision in the Ohio constitution and will be challenged if the bill is passed into law.

Unlike the eligibility rules for Ohio high school athletes, where fairness and commonsense dictate uniformity across the state, Ohio’s multitude of local communities are vastly different and should be trusted to do best by their citizens on quality of life issues like short term rental of residential property.

Ownership rights are important and need to be protected. But so are ownership responsibilities and short-term rentals that change the nature of a neighborhood, at the expense of others. It’s a balance best decided by those closest to the situation.

Regulation from political bodies in Columbus is efficient but ineffective.

As recognized by our leaders decades ago, Ohio is an amalgamation of many communities with vast differences and preferences, without need of uniformity in local quality of life issues.

There are places in Ohio where Airbnb or Vrbo improves existing options and would be welcomed. There are other places in Ohio where property values would be diminished if this becomes law.

Ohio lawmakers are too far removed to be knowledgeable or accountable in either instance and therefore should leave the matter to each community.

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