Toledo's Future & TPS - Toledo in 5 or 10 years (from ToledoTalk)

Has anyone thought about this? With a constant decrease in population and jobs, what does the future of the city hold?

Decrasing population, lost jobs, enrollment down in TPS, City deficit, the list could go on and on about how the city is in serious trouble. Right now, what does the future hold? I know we can't predict the future, especially 10 years from now. But If we are all so passionate about Toledo and the school system, what are we doing to change that? IS anyone scared to learn what their property values will be in 10 yearS? We all need to make a change together and help Toledo and TPS get stronger, economically and by appearance.

IF anyone has any ideas or suggestions on how to make a difference or get involved, please post it hear. Thanks!

(originally posted by jim30529 on ToledoTalk http://www.toledotalk.com/cgi-bin/comments.pl/6/3616)

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10 years from now, Toledo will have a scattering of failed retail and semi-public projects (like Portside/COSI has always been) from the "fear-uncertainty-doubt" (i.e. hope fueled by fear) period that we live in today. Even then, half of these projects will be used for storage by city and county government offices.

(5 years from now, all these projects will be in full swing, yet will have no financial metric to support their economic validity or longevity (provided the Blade and TFP even bother to report such things, which they WON'T).)

With a constant decrease in population and jobs, what does the future of the city hold?

The future is cloudy and uncertain. Ask again later.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Find the file to download here: http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/SUB-EST2005-4.html

THEIR estimate is with a starting population of 313,619 actual census in 2000, then 311,980 in 2001, then 308,261 in 2003, then 301,285 in 2005.

Assuming history has proven them to be right, then we should be - where now (one of you arithmeticians can you answer where this curve would drop in 2007 and project out five years?)

However when you take the exodus we have experienced and combine it with the highest costs in Ohio in many areas, utilities, city taxes etc. You can see the trend.

City and County government has it in their heads that since there is ever fewer of us - WE MUST PAY MORE!!!!! MORE AND MORE AND MORE......that is the only way. Just lay more taxes and fees on the shrinking populace.

That'll fix the problem...and it won't cause anyone to go where unemployment and living costs are lower...no...oh never.....

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

I know this would be almost impossible to take place, but a truly regional planning committee made up of the neighboring cities and townships might benefit all the entities of government. It will be hard given Sylvania's city and township cannot seem to see the wisdom of joining forces to provide services to their communities.

Perhaps with Gov.Strickland(sp) and the governor of Michigan discussing interstate cooperation a model of cooperation might emerge that could also benefit Toledo.

In my opinion Toledo is a wonderful place with so much to offer but the future is clouded by the nepotism that prevails at every level of city government.

bill

If we continue to walk down the same well worn paths looking for leadership in all the wrong places, and continue to try all the things that haven't worked before over and over again, Guest Zero is probably right.

However, if we take his Formula for Change (posted previously on another topic), we stand a fighting chance.

D x V x F > R

D has grown larger in the last 5 years

R has become smaller in the last 5 years

V is LAKE ERIE WEST (read regionalism)

All we have to do is work on F

And, if we pass F to EPIC, The Aspiring Minds, and other "Young Professionals" organizations,something new and different will happen.

For instance, Toledo can become the jewel of Lake Erie West, and growth will take care of itself.

lew

"I know this would be almost impossible to take place, but a truly regional planning committee made up of the neighboring cities and townships might benefit all the entities of government."

What about a County Commission for Lucas County? The whole county!!! Cities, townships - that is simply brilliant.

Oh - uh, wait a sec'........

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Government can support, but not lead! We live in a free market society, so leadership must come from the private sector.

Lake Erie West is a time based regional philosophy. It covers the geography that can be reached in one hour's drive time from the cross roads of the North American Continent (I-75/I-80/90).

From a Global perspective, time is one of our sustainable competitive advantages.

2 million people live in the circle reachable in that 1 hour drive.

In one days drive, trucks can reach more than 50% of the population of both the USA and Canada.

There are 33 institutes of higher learning reachable in that 1 hour drive.

There are 4 International Airports within 1 hour's drive time from one another (Detroit Metro, Toledo Express, Willow Run, and Windsor).

And, a non time based sustainable competitive advantage is that we live at the edge of 18% of the world's fresh water supply.

Monroe has dubbed itself:"A Lake Erie West Community". So have Oregon, the City of Sylvania, and Port Clinton. This shows government support of this regional concept. As other communities jump on this bandwagon, we all will be living in Lake Erie West Communities, not NW Ohio & SE Michigan.

lew

Toledo will follow Detroit's model of taking out a "second mortgage" out for the city to avoid making tough decisions.

Mayor of Detroit is trying to sell a $1 billion dollar bond issue for their current shortfalls.

After the money is gone and the city is closer to bankruptcy...

City streets will be torn up to separate storm and sewer lines to bring it in compliance with U.S. laws. Toledo will hold suburban communities hostage to pay for upgrades and to garner tax revenue off of new business developments located in suburbs. Business leaders in city will complain about how long streets will be torn up.

Manufacturing Union labor will be in a weaker position due to global market, southern states, and technology.

Blade will be making decisions on survival due to technology or selling out to media consolidator.

Property owners will be paying 85% more for TARTA levies, School Leviies.

City income tax will shoot up to 3%.

State will appoint auditor / educational manager over TPS school board and close failing schools due to enrollment.

Pinkslip will be sending his kids to private schools using vouchers. Kids will get religous and drive Pinkslip crazy.

Toledo will go back to a weak mayor position by adopting a city administrator.

City Administrator will hire ecomomic development director from Ann Arbor who was responsible for getting Google and Toyota to build in Ann Arbor, MI. I'm dreaming here.

City will be forced to stop paying employee portion of city worker's pensions. City workers will be paying $150 per month for healthcare contributions.

City will reluctantly privatize refuse collection due to weak cash flow position.

Suburbs will fight regionalism plan due to Toledo water fights and stealing more business, residents, students, and taxpayers from the City.

Guestzero will host his own morning talk show and live in Perrysburg.

Pinkslip will be sending his kids to private schools using vouchers. Kids will get religous and drive Pinkslip crazy.

Aww...so close..

Looks like you've been Pink Slip'd

Pink Slip

From a global perspective, "fly over" is a positive since our airports are accessable from Europe and from Asia.

"Drive Through" as in distribution from a central location in the North American Continent. That's why TMACOG is planning for an inland port to distribute goods made in China via Canadian rail from Vancouver. Why? Because the ports of Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco are jammed and in gridlock, and also very expensive.

Speaking of gridlock, think of the traffic gridlock on both coasts. It takes more than an hour to drive accross town to a ball game in those cities. Both quality of life and productivity suffer.

As foreign companies consider locations for their North American headquarters, our low cost, mobile region looks mighty good.

lew

I atributed the Formula for Change to a post by Guest Zero. It was actually a comment made by jdmsbyrd on 2/28/07, commenting on the topic:"Progressive Toledo is Back", posted on Toledo Talk on 2/25/07. It's worth a look. It was originally used in business, but it works for both governments and non profits.

This should have interest for brassmonkey, since we don't have to hire anyone from Ann Arbor since it is part of the Lake Erie West Region.

lew

You are so very damn close to getting it. Those that have gone before YOU - specifically thinking about ME - would advise you to think globally and act 'locally'. That's where the power is. Those things you can affect.

Peace

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

is an interesting idea, and an excellent selling point. So is the "Lake Erie West concept". Right now I think the future of our region does depend fully in the hands of the private sector. We are only a "fly over" city because we give people no reason to land.

"This should have interest for brassmonkey, since we don't have to hire anyone from Ann Arbor since it is part of the Lake Erie West Region."--this is true!

Let's start with fly over---because air traffic flies over Greenland and Iceland, here's how air miles stack up to Heathrow Airport: closest, New York; seond closest, Detroit; third closest, Washington,D.C.

And, because air traffic flies over Alaska to get to Tokyo, closest, San Francisco; second closest, Los Angeles; third closest, Detroit, only 500 air miles more than to L.A.

Toledo International already handles international freight; Willow Run is a freight only airport. There are large cargo planes in our future.

As for Mexico, again we have to consider the curvature of the Earth. I'm told that ships from China can sail to Vancouver in one day less than to L.A. ( contact Jim Hartung at the Port Authority). I will assume thet Mexico is an additional day from L.A. By unloading cargo in Vancouver and using Canadian rail to get that cargo to Windsor/Detroit, we can offer the Chinese and Japanese a pretty attractive package.

So, why isn't the world beating a path to our door? Because the world thinks Toledo is in Spain! Seriously, we need a new identity and a global address. Lake Erie West provides both. ( contact TMACOG re. plans for the Lake Erie West Transportation and Logistics Hub).

As the region thrives, so will Toledo and all the other Lake Erie West Communities.

The alternative? Dial up AmericanPie's 3/15 post on Toledo Talk, and read the first comment by WalterAnthony. Do we really want to throw in the towel and become a Schenectady?

lew

We got the ports, rail, air cargo, highway, hubs, workforce and locations. What we don't have is marketing and a sales team to go out and sell it globally. Why not make wins with what we have now so we can evaluate the proper way to invest in a global success position? I'm all for global growth in T-Town.

Everytime you mention regionalism and MI / OH partnerships, I cringe at local tax hikes and loss of tax accountability to voters. Very similiar to TARTA, their lack of accountability to Property Tax owners, and their terrible performance to deliver and attract riders / communities is a perfect example of the regionalism's lack of accountability to return on capital and community need.

Remember we don't elect region officials or authorities.

I also strongly believe that Granholm does not know anything about business, it's leaders, or the MI economy based on her actions and record. She's not a good role model on how to build job creating environments.

I'm also extremely concerned that revenues generated will not go into job creating growth investments linked to the region such as logistics, infrastructure, securing global partnerships but to special projects like police pensions, refuse collections, community pools, or school improvements at failing districts.

Lastly why would Ann Arbor, MI or Cleveland want to share cost and revenue? At the private citizen level, we got property tax, city tax, school district tax, state tax, sales tax, use tax, federal tax, and now you want to add a REGION TAX.

I'm sorry, but I don't buy that transportation is Toledo's saving grace. True, Toledo has excellent transportation options for any type of company, but so do dozens and dozens of other cities around the country. For example, take Cincinnati. It sits on the Ohio river, it has a very large airport, it sits at the confluence of three interstates, and it has more than adequate rail service. What about Chicago? It has everything Toledo has but to an even greater extent. St. Louis? Yep, got everything Toledo has.

To be honest, I also don't think marketing "Lake Erie West" as a transportation center helps any at all. Transportation information is readily accessible to anyone with access to google and mapquest. Marketing things like "Toledo is within one day's drive of 60% of the US population," is pointless as well because essentially anywhere east of the Mississippi River can claim that. Great transportation is a given for any city that has a large population base because that's largely why those cities developed in the first place. I just don't think you can attract business on transportation capability alone.

There has to be some factor other than transportation to set Toledo apart from the field.

In my opinion, the key to Toledo and NW Ohio is the University of Toledo and BGSU. Jobs inevitably follow knowledge creation. The Federal Reserve Cleveland branch released a study a year or so ago that indicated the best predictor of an area's economic success as being the number of patents produced. If UT were able to patent a highly efficient solar panel or revolutionize the hydrogen car or develop any type of new technology jobs will be created in abundance. That's where the long-term emphasis has to be placed.

access to a much larger pool of tax payers.

Toledo has pretty well broken the backs of the tax payers, made the landscape so unpleasant that most of the industry is gone, much of the companies have left for places that were more welcoming - so the cycle of fewer jobs, fewer tax payers, fewer jobs, fewer tax payers is going full tilt.

So, they are asking for ever increasing amounts of taxation on the dwindling pool of tax payers in the city, while looking to regain access to those who have fled to the 'burbs.

Regional cooperation is what built the places you are talking about. Not regional government.

It may have resulted, in some places, in a regional government but you can bet it was started in a desire to improve things and parties within the region who decided to work together.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

but we do need to create a plan.

Where to begin? First of all, there are no regional taxes. Silicon Valley residents don't pay regional taxes. Research Triangle residents don't pay regional taxes. Monroe residents aren't paying any regional taxes, and they have declared themselves a Lake Erie West Community for tourism reasons (contact John Paterson, Director of Tourism).Oregon, Sylvania,and Port Clinton consider themselves Lake Erie West communities and it doesn't cost them a dime in taxes. Private sector initiatives aren't taxed!(ok brassmonkey?)

And,heyhey,I agree with you that we can't depend only on transportation to get us out of our quagmire. The technology corridor between U of T and BGSU is being worked on (contact Mike Carroll, Regional Development Office at BGSU), and the potential exists to link up to Michigan University via Rte 23, which will be renamed BIOTECH BLVD.

kateb, you are so right! Regional cooperation is what built Silicon Valley and the Research Triangle in North Carolina. Why can't we do it here? As I said before, "leadership from the private sector (no taxes), support from the public sector".

So,jdmsbyrd, let's start working on a plan. How about "First Steps" from your Formula for Change?

lew

Lew--is this a citizen led coalition? Is anyone here interested in creating first steps? I am willing to help, let me know.

group together. Bipartisan if you please :-) I don't think we can wait for the government to do it. Or if they do - I'm pretty damn sure we can't afford it.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

For brassmonkey: Lake Erie West is a marketing effort (not ploy) to brand the region with a new identity/global address. For further information, go to Toledo Talk; Jr's post on 3/12 "Bridging the Divide;" click on LakeErieWestRegion; and then click on "Support". While the Lake Erie West web site is woefully out of date,(ran out of money),you can see by the list of supporters on both sides of the border,that there is buy in to the concept.

For jdmsbyrd: I know it's not your formula, but I do know it works in the business arena. Why not apply the concept to Branding a Region? You might consider starting a new thread on Toledo Talk explaining how the concept works (again), and how it could be applied to our region.

Why Toledo Talk and not here? Jr. advises that Swamp Bubbles is for political discussions, and since LEW is a private sector initiative, it belongs on Toledo Talk. Also, he plans to update the Lake Erie West wiki (Lewiki),and begin listing various aspects of progress being made with the concept.

For kateb:We need input from a feminine perspective. So far, mostly males have been involved, and progress has been slow (see LEW web site). We need to speed things up. Any suggestions?

The main push at the present time is via young business professional organizations like Aspiring Minds of Toledo; EPIC; and Leadership Toledo. Whom else can we recruit?

lew

There is a letter to the editor by Jerry Jakes that comments on the progress being made by Lake Erie West.

lew

Puleaz. Don't have an answer to your question. Hit with bronchitis or something. Ick. Post a link and I'll look things over and respond.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Lazy-Boy started a marketing piece around getting a global addresss for the region.

If the Lake Erie West people we're serious, they would update their website prior to making their grass roots movement. Goes against credibility about forming a global address when they can't even maintain the upkeep on their internet address.

So far what I gather they lack funding, have not been able to articulate their message, and been overshadowed with political talk on development zones (which means tax wars). Lastly, no one really knows the boundaries of the Region.

My Brain dump on recomendations for the Lake Erie West people:

Seek capital, resources, and services from foundations, private entities, corporate entities, and grants.

Fix your website, work the Rotary / Kiwanis Groups, attend conventions, host roundtables or luncheons to business leaders, create a logo / link that companies can put on their website that they are a member of the Lake Erie West Region.

Go to claritas web site to add further market insight / content on region that can be used to attract new businesses or corporate jet customers.

Add transporation facts, demographics, medical centers, universities, and region map to connect the hot spots on website. Perhaps get universities to recongnize in-state tuition for region citizens and financial institutions to drop 1/8th of a point for region leaders / members.

Setup an online brouchure profile that business, local government, universities, can do a document on demand with a Kinko's / Copy Max so they can hand out to prospects.

Get airports to add free welcome display by main gates / baggage claim with large map of region.

Get Sponsorship for the local "Race for the Cure" so you're on the T-shirts, have a booth, involved with local goodwill, and harness the grass roots strength of many women and their powerful impact on community and leaders.

Fund a professional video interviewing business leaders, political leaders, and feet on the street what makes the region stand out. Put video on website so businesses, research centers, and universities can market to global customers. Do something similiar to Disney website where there's a Map of the Magic Kingdom and guests can click on the Toledo Musuem of Arts, Levis Commons, MCO, or Lazy-Boy's HQ and get a quick video, pictures, and updates.

Make every business, university, community, and political leader (fed, state, local on political) tied to region "sit down / face time" aware of a professional website / video archive they can use when showcasing region oversees or out of state, maybe get them in an intro video clip or statement.

Follow up with Region leadership by hosting quarterly webinair meetings.

Use universities for talent on marketing, web design, and hosting. Accept interns and master thesis work for MBA's in marketing.

Stay away from commenting / getting bogged down on future tax debates, otherwise you will be associated to raising local taxes. Be careful with TMACOG leadership and their push to raise local / county taxes. Enough for now.

Just to make sure everyone's on the same page. Ohio's Revised Code sets out a loose interpretation for the structure and HR conditions for county commissioners. Our commission has an administrator. Those guidelines are also in Title III.

Under Title III: http://onlinedocs.andersonpublishing.com/oh/lpExt.dll?f=templates&fn=mai...

As on many topics, the agenda and resolutions undertaken by the Commissioners' are left largely for local determination.

For information on what the Lucas County Commissioners choose to address within the loose constraints of that office, you can search the resolutions here: http://apps.co.lucas.oh.us/Agenda/Default.aspx

They've chosen to address everything from youth services to proclaiming November as Veterans' month to grants on homelessness projects to economic development issues. Many of these issues can be found in the March '07 agendas.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

In a time based strategy, there are no boundaries, that's the beauty of the Lake Erie West concept. How fast can you drive in 1 hour? That's your boundary.

The Lake Erie West concept was introduced in 1992. Many of your suggestions have been tried and some implemented in the past. Resistance to change won out. We have brochures. The web site is out of date because we ran out of money.

Dial up LEWIKI to get the latest LEW info. Jr. adds to it in a timely manner.

And,kateb, I think your comment "Ohio/County Commisioners Scope" was posted here in error. Were you commenting on another thread?

lew

Creates new identity for our region
Cost to Taxpayers: $0
Creates Global Address
Cost to taxpayers: $0
Crosses all political boundaries within one hour's drive time.
We all begin to live in Lake Erie West Communities-not in NW Ohio and SE Michigan.

lew

Yes, Lew, but the rest of the United States has little use for those 2 million people. They live in the "fly-over", hence they are so thoroughly dismissed that they no longer impinge upon the coastal consciousnesses. I guess from your terms we also live in the "drive-through".

Hopefully, as oil gets more expensive (since Peak Oil is certainly here, that's sure to happen) national transport will have to return to a reliance upon trains, which will restore a certain level of prosperity to the thin layer of population that lives along those main train lines.

Please don't re-label. We're the "flyover" since people fly OVER US (i.e. they don't STOP HERE). Why would Europe and Asia think of us any differently? Asia in particular is gearing up to avoid America's unionized ports along the West coast, by using much cheaper ports along Mexico's West coast, then simply plopping cargo containers on trucks with Mexican drivers that have recently regained the ability to drive across the USA (notably, without rational restrictions). Again, why fly TO HERE?

As for "drive-through", the emphasis is on "through" -- as in "...without stopping". Once again, stuff and people simply do NOT have to stop here, and there's a shrinking amount of wealth to even convince such people and stuff to stop.

What you say about quality of life makes sense. Yet, people still flock to the coasts and the south (where the jobs, opportunity and culture are ... in other words, to where the population quality and quantity are). If Ohio, NWO and Toledo in particular are so damned attractive in comparison to the "Boston Crawl" (note: I've done a few of those in my time), then we must ask the sensible question:

"Why aren't the coasties HERE yet?"

We've had some serious anti-overcrowding quality-of-life issues here in Ohio, NWO and Toledo for decades. The coasties have had those decades to figure that out ... yet, all during that period, people have LEFT this area. Sure, some of those re-settled to just outside Toledo's taxing authority (note: a CLUE). But in losing 1000 people per year, every year, for over a decade, Toledo is simply bleeding itself too dry of cultural energy and about the only people we're gaining is the 1 "brain" that comes in for the 2 that leave. Net = Loss.

So, please tell us why, oh why, Toledo is a huge blind spot to these foreign companies and multinats for coming here. Take Boeing. They moved from expensive Seattle to ... expensive Chicago! Halliburtron is moving their HQ to Dubai, fer crissakes! Toledo can't even compare to an Islam-drenched nation for a major defense contractor.

Toledo is only going to continue to suffer from "overlookitis" since these glorious and opportunistic companies are choosing the major population centers time and time again. Toledo just doesn't rate. It's therefore scheduled to wither and die off in much the same manner that Detroit is still doing. That means the smart money should bank on a downsizing Toledo.

P.S. For laughs, say "Toledo International Airport", over and over, until you finally see the fundamental absurdity in that name. Why would Lufthansa want to schedule flights to TIA? Why would Korea Airlines? Heck, the way the airport is doing now, DOMESTIC carriers are not happy coming to Toledo. If you're going to blow through a whole heck of a lot of jet fuel hopping "the pond", why drop a load of cargo anywhere BUT a coastal airport? American trucking companies are lining up to move your freight across the land. Sheesh.

I already held out the olive branch to Babbleman (and threw a white dove at his head -- missing, alas), and proposed to name a collaborative talk show "ZeroBabble". Well, HE liked the idea, anyway.

I don't fancy living in P-burg, however. Shouldering a huge mortgage to escape Toledo's taxes and nutbags is simply too farcical for me to accept.

Look, I'm not denying physical truths to Toledo's position. I'm just asking why you think THIS:

"Toledo International already handles international freight; Willow Run is a freight only airport. There are large cargo planes in our future."

... is true? What indicators lead to believe that Toledo's status in the freight lines will change? Will larger planes show up, or will they only show up to replace a larger number of smaller planes, leaving cargoes unchanged or more to the advantage of fluidity of scheduling for the producers? In fact, please point out how Toledo's so-called advantages have increased her participation in commerce. Note that THAT is a leading question, since Toledo has lost population and industry all along.

I keep asking people why they have this level of hope for the future for the area, and I'm unable to obtain an answer. It's not true that if you just build an infrastructure, "they will come". The examples of idled property around Toledo are simply too numerous to ever make a sensible bet on that kind of thing. Once again, I speak of sensible things and rational expectations. In effect, I'm talking about a baseline of fiscal conservatism. In other words, don't expect to have high-flying income, so work your planned austerity program TODAY, and if you're wrong, then you can enjoy a spike of income in the future.

Fiscal conservatism is NOT "throwing in the towel". That action implies that I'm giving up, walking away, and that (please NOTE!) I don't care about the outcome one way or another. I'm only urging people to stop being delusional.

I'm simply talking about making a reasonable anticipation of the future and then preparing for that future -- much in line with my philosophies of not working to be rich, but to be prosperous. Most of the people who try to be rich are provably wasting their lives and investment capital, and just end up a particularly bitter middle class.

In effect, I AM talking about making a larger social investment -- the investment of lower overhead costs for the area by downsizing the size of local government. This is exactly opposite what is commonly proposed for the area, which is that often lauded but obviously failing SCAM called "economic development". Effectively, it's exactly what we were opposing philosophically during the Cold War: the philosophial basis for Communism, that being CENTRALIZED ECONOMIC PLANNING. Although when pressed, the common citizen does acknowledge that CEP doesn't work and no sensible society should indulge in it, much less rely on it. Yet, that same citizen turns around and advocates "economic development" for his area, which is quite simply CEP. It's enough to drive me crazy.

The world and nation are well aware that Toledo is here. It has no particular plans for us other than to sell us stuff while not offering us the overall opportunity to build a wealth base for ourselves. Unions are one reason why this is true, although there a great many other factors of lesser importance but more action in the aggregate.

I must add (without detracting from your insights) that a knowledge base is important, yet without sufficient capitalization it's bound to fail. Equally promoted (largely by a lack of government interference) with knowledge/skill is the capital needed to develop the knowledge. This is why dropping taxes (yes, and accompanying city services) from the shoulders of Toledoans is so vitally important. The military-industrial complex is an aberration; the real sustainable expansion of Human knowledge is in people fending for themselves and collecting their investment energies in voluntary associations.

When you speak of cooperation, I get hives. What cooperation is needed? Companies willing to relocate here already get tax breaks. Note there is a net outflow of companies or prosperous jobs, so at the very least, tax abatements don't retain prosperity. So what possible next step is there of any note but to PAY companies to come here?

Strike me down if I'm wrong, but there's plenty of land along this mystical US23 that a company can buy-n-build on. Literally, no one is stopping them from doing it. But I do believe I do know what's stopping them, and I can use an anecdote about it. Some long-time rich guy (who made his money in the 1980s selling freezers and the service to stock them with meat (probably from the first "wealth effect" of our age)) had bought some land in Dundee, and by "buy" I mean the modern version which is "make payments on". Then, Cabela's moved in, and this guy gets all kinds of aspirations about profiting off his, er, the bank's land. Time goes on and he stubbornly holds out for a particularly high price (about $1.3M as of 2006). Well, lo and behold, due to other aspects of this rich guy, he gets in so much financial difficulty that he eventually is unable to make his payments, he gets foreclosed, and the bank soon sells the plot for $900K. Moral? Stop being such a greedy bastard! I feel that this anecdote shows the problem in all dimensions that it exists. Sellers are greedily holding onto land (which they may not even own! -- by effectively renting it from a bank), and the buyers are greedily expecting to pay next to nothing for the land (which they are achieving more and more due to "economic development" -- check out the 519 Monroe St / Myron Stewart story in the City Paper as an example). The end result is a society of faux entrepreneurs who are so busy trying playing financial brinkmanship that less and less REAL BUSINESS is transacted.

My advice to the so-called entrepreneurs is to stop spending time looking for a handout. You're only wasting time being a welfare queen. US23 can be all the biotech corridor that you (allegedly) smart guys can work up. The responsibility for performing work rests upon YOU, the entrepreneurs!

P.S. That'll teach ya, laddie, to sail the Spanish Main!

Sounds like West Erie Regionalism is simply a marketing ploy to support the TMACOG Tax Spender's Dream.

Tax up the county sale's tax. Tax up the local property tax. Sure work the Fed and State Grants and Handouts, but its the local region's that are stuck with tremedous operating and maintenance expenses to projects not built towards actual local need but on forecasts, hope, and projections.

Does the city really need a $70 MM Downtown Trolley, a $70 MM People Mover, and $100 MM in new buses? Economist, Analysts, Consultants, and Weathermen operate in the same fantasy world.

Again, TARTA is a perfect example of how regional authorities are not held to account when it comes fiscal return on performance and communtiy need. We pay a premium on empty seats, while buffering performance with excessive routes. End game, we're beyond rational fiscal responsibility tied into a lifetime of regional malfeasance.

Boards and authorities are appointed, not elected. I sure don't want someone in Monroe or Slyvania influencing my property taxes over time based on their inefficiencies, poor budgeting, or lack of performance to connect the perceived regional dots with infrastructure.

With that said, show us what you can do with what we have now. Detail the SWOT analysis to the public. I will be sold when new revenues can be measured and are used to reduce risk investing in your future strategic plan. Until then, we already got the boats, trains, plains, and trucks to play with on top of the workforce, communities, and universities.

With all due respect KateB, the county government is limited to its purposes (those that the city and suburbs don't wish to pay for, but do anyway). Indeed, I would support a STRONG county government. People often complain about the strong mayor, and wish for more of a managerial position that has to answer to city council, but i recommend a STRONG county government, in its current form made up of three comissioners. I will tell you, if the burbs are forced to listen to the city any longer, they will make a stronger effort to get their point across, particularly if it's streamlined under one system.

I give up, Lew. What changes did you propose? At least, what ones did you propose that did NOT:

1. cost taxpayers more money
2. cross rational political boundaries

Call me crazy, but when and if you propose spending more taxpayer money, I'm going to resist. The same goes for forming a superregion (that is even less responsive to the taxpayers than ever before).

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