Should the State Burden Muncipalities With An Additional Expense If It Has Other Feasible Alternatives to Accomplish Its Aim ?
In Northern Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Assn. v. Parma (1980), 61 Ohio St. 2d 375, 15 Ohio Op. 3d 450, 402 N.E.2d 519, the Ohio Supreme Court refused to allow the state to saddle municipalities with an additional expense where the state had other, viable alternatives for accomplishing its goal.
Hence, if the General Assembly believes that it is necessary to subsidize the for-profit businesses of utility service providers and cable operators in order to increase competition, then there is a statewide interest that such subsidy be provided by the state rather than being randomly distributed among the state's various political subdivisions (with varying abilities to afford such costs) based upon where and how various utility service providers might choose to provide their services.
Hence, any statewide concern for increasing competition is not a relevant basis for limiting the power of local self-government to reasonably, and nondiscriminatively, regulate the use of municipal public ways by cable and utility companies.