Economic development chief resigns


Shawn Ferguson, the embattled chief of economic development for Lucas County, resigned late yesterday to head off being fired today.

County Commissioner Pete Gerken said he planned to seek Mr. Ferguson

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What is behind these job appointments and business deals?


...another political domino is about to fall.

Why it takes the Blade five years to begin digging when if the Blade did it's job back in 2002, this event wouldn't be occuring.

That's the true shame of Shawn's career. Good Luck.

Business as usual in Toledo. Hope Toledoans hold Gerken accountable for this.

Squeaky wheel(Konop) gets the grease, eh ?

Is there any doubt that Konop will run for mayor ?

Not sure what you're referring to but my comment implies that: 1) Konop is probably angling for higher office. 2) May actually earn a shot at higher office such as Mayor if he continues to affect change (even as a result of whining).

Marcy who ? (tongue in cheek for those of you who may be slow).

"Mr. Ferguson

I've got my own thoughts on all this...and my political instincts (honed from years with this kind of stuff) is sending up huge red flags...

shameless plug (promise I won't do this often) - this will be a topic of discussion on Eye on Toledo and I'd love your participation there as well as here.

Maggie summs it up nicely when she says Tell me again why government - instead of the private sector - is supposed to lead economic development????

I'll take it one step further. If Toledo and Lucas County politicians keep insisting on meddling with the economic development of this area, can they point out any successes they've had?

And lets look at some local successes - say, Levis Commons and Arrowhead. Were these spearheaded by the mayors of Maumee and Perrysburg? Their city council? or maybe Wood County commissioners?

It is amazing how local government allows incompetent people to get away with things like this as long as they do and fire those who are educated and experienced. No wonder our best and brightess leave.

Would private enterprise allow that to go on?

So should that maybe guide us toward who should be in charge of things like this, gov't or private enterprise??

Pete Gerken has a long history of hiring incompetent people into city-paid positions, based on his friendship with them. The most infamous case was when he hired Candice Baldwin as manager of the Erie Street Market back in 2001 because he was personal friends with her father and she needed a job. Baldwin was responsible, under Gerken's tutelage, for single-handedly turning that facility from a thriving marketplace into a ghost town and driving out most of the vendors.

Gerken thinks himself a wheeler-dealer and some kind of astute business-minded shrewd guy. The truth is that he has never worked for himself or owned a business a day in his life and knows nothing about business. He's been a Jeep worker and unionizer his whole life... and now a politician. He fits to a T the stereotype of the union boss who gives jobs to his cronies.

The chickens have now come home to roost on Pete Gerken's shoulders.

...consultnt (er)...consultant jobs. Might be a nice addition to my retirement.

Old South End Broadway

Hope you're getting your eggs in a row.

Altho "guilt by association" means not much these days, it's starting to look like someone with the initials "JRB" has lost influence in the political community and the dam is starting to crumble, and all those dems that once enjoyed the "protection" of a certain publisher in the 1990's through 2004, it's looking like a newspaper needs to sell volumes to pay a bill or so.

Good luck and hope you have an empty closet!

This morning's Blade pic of the BCC is very telling. Gerken looks humbled and apologetic. Tina looks either baffled or just plain pissed, I haven't decided yet. And Konop stands in the middle, just like a parent would.

Maggie Thurber has a great analysis of the relationship that (should) exist between the LCIC and the BCC at her blog. Since we seem to be heading in the opposite direction for now it looks like the BCC has a new daddy.

The answer is:"Yes,we do". So why do we continue to question who is responsible for economic development? Hands down:"The Private Sector".

Let's review, and go back to the 70's and 80's. Remember The Committee of 100? Remember the growth of downtown? Remember that people complained about going downtown for "Parties in the Park" because of the traffic jams associated with those CitiFest events? ( Yogi Berra would have said: "It's too crowded, no one goes there anymore!") So what happened?

The Committee of 100 disbanded. The Chamber sponsored Area Growth Committee coudn't agree on whether economic development should be pursued just in NW Ohio, or include SE Michigan. We went from a City Mgr. form of govt. to a Strong Mayor form. And,--- the private sector went away.

The 90's were great! The computer bubble would expand forever! Good times would never end! But, they did!

The Regional Growth Partnersip saw what was happening, so they privatized in self defense (today they cover 11 counties, 9 in Ohio, 2 in Michigan).

So what's the bottom line? In a free market society, leadership must come from the private sector. The public sector role is administration of our tax dollars. The two should work in concert, and if they do so effectively, all kinds of good things can happen.

However, to expect the public sector to lead is a step in the direction of Socialism. So, economic development via the public sector = Socialism. Its that simple.


Lew... I would agree that your analysis is simple. I take issue with your opening statement. We have examples of a free market structure in our economy. Do we live in a free market society? NO! In my area of expertise, the health care industry, I can give you many examples of how market driven choices are continually suppressed, of how some mega corps. control government agencies to do their bidding suppressing the entrepenurial spirit. In our society today, the idea of a free market economy is a utopian concept.

Of course you are correct from a macro perspective. Communism/Free market is an oxymoron, but look at China Go!

I was trying to make a point from a micro perspective, involving our region, and it's potential place in the global economy.

If you go to the Toledo Talk Blog; click on Lake Erie West in the right hand column; then click on Lake Erie West just above SEED; and finally, scroll down to LEW Articles, please read:"Here's Another Story to Knock Your Socks Off". Published in 1993 in "Toledo Technical Topics",it outlined our strenghts and sustainable competitive advantages in the global arena. Sadly,14 years later, the article could be re-published "as is", because we're still "Waiting for Godot".

The bottom line is we are waiting for the public sector to redifine us as a region. Since we are not a Socialistic Society, it will not happen. What is needed is collaboration between the public and private sectors, for us to emerge as a key player in the global marketplace.


..."best to be convicted of a misdemeanor than a felony!"

Marcy ain't a mayor.

Unfortunately, private enterprise does it also, but private enterprise is not elected by the public.

(cough)(cough)What was the Blade doing back then?(cough)(cough)'re thinking "small time" to this joker.

Ben has tried every avenue in the State of Ohio to posture himself to be Marcy's replacement. Now he's a commissioner, so that leaped right over "being a mayor".

I'm not saying anything, I'm just sayin'.

...why it took so long for a JRB buttkisser to finally get a beam of "exposing light" played upon him.

Ben's got other plans, and what better way to posture himself in the community?

I sense some pissed off mimosa drinking in Pittsburg this morning. :)



And to think many can't appreciate the person Maggie is, and not lucidly focus on the politican.

Best show ever.

Vying for the Next Communist On Deck position?

Kaptur will all but hand-pick her successor. And it won't be Konop. And he knows it.

Unless of course the ODP has its own ideas.

What I remember about The Blade then was their smoking ban jihad. What else do you recall, Brian?

The same ODP that can't sort out a juvenile "A" team/"B" team rift?

The way I see it, the more Ben stirs up, the more Ben's name is on the tips of many tongues.

Chris dropped the ball when he claimed he was going to "clean house". The hilariously pathetic claim that Redfern the Coward made falls on the ears of the same people with different titles.

Shoulda swept the lot out and replaced them instead of playing "Musical Titles".

No, the facts speak loudly for themselves, the "Redfern ODP" is inept and incompetent.

What makes you think that Kaptur will abdicate the 9th District throne on Konop's schedule ? She's not going anywhere and he's not going to be satisfied where he's at now for long. The office of Mayor is a bigger jewel in that crown than Commissioner. Sorry, it just is.

You are spot-on about the ODP, though.

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