This is incredibly arrogant

Mayor Carleton S. Finkbeiner hand delivered a letter this afternoon to the board of directors of COSI and copied each member of the board.
The letter begins "On behalf of the citzens of Toledo and Lucas County". I don't know about you but I spoke on my own behalf on Tuesday when I voted against the COSI levy. I neither want nor need the mayor to speak for me especially when his position is so obviously opposed to the one I took when I voted. The mayor in his letter, signed also by all three commissioners, urges COSI to stay open "until al logical future funding plan can be discussed." The mayor promises that he and the commissioners will "work to seek help" to make this happen.
I don't know about you but this makes me very angry.

No votes yet

... or because you fear that a new levy might be approved for that purpose? If COSI stays open without a levy on the citizens of Lucas County what would be the problem for you?

Old South End Broadway

This has nothing to do with whether or not COSI stays open. I have met with members of the board and given them ideas for fund raising so they could stay open. COSI staying open is not a problem for me and your question is irrelevant to my posting. Like a lot of lucas county/ toledo voters you will miss the bigger issue. Voters have gone to the polls twice now to say no to the levy. For the mayor of the city to then presume to "speak on behalf" of me or any of the other voters who said no is simply arrogance of the nth degree. It isn't any more complicated than that.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

He was voted in to "speak" for the citizens. By definition, Fink must speak for all of us, that's part of his job don't you think? Now, liking what he has to say is often a diffrent matter altogether. As far as I'm concerned, he can offer any suggestion he likes to Cosi so long as it doesn't involve using tax dollars to fund this private entity.

You know I'm not a fan of the Fink, but it seems reasonable to me that he would plead the case to stay open while searching for private funding. Many Toledoans enjoy Cosi and arrogant or not, he was voicing a desire to see them try harder before throwing in the towel. Just a thoought.

Yes, he was.

And all I see is another attempt to prop up something that do not want or do not want to use. Erie Street Market, deja vu all over again.

What else can he do, accept hold on to what little we have now and hope that something pays off soon.

http://toledoohioneighborhoodconcerns.com/blog

I voted NO, with pleasure, on Tuesday for this so-called levy proposal.

I also experienced a deep disgust, since the public has NO BUSINESS putting ANY private business on the public payroll. This levy proposal should have been laughed off the ballot by the voters. (Yet, half of Toledo's dippity-doo voters voted YES. What buffoons! What do they think makes our economy run? -- free money?!?!)

Any business that cannot work its business plan must bankrupt and have its assets bought up for pennies on the dollar. It doesn't matter how many people say "aww, that's terrible!" after the collapse. It's incumbent upon REAL capitalists to use fiscal discipline and achieve operational stability. Anything else is simply Communism, or a very strong Socialism.

COSI is NOT a public asset or agency. I suggest to the confirmed losers and wackjobs who run COSI: Get off your Communist hands, adjust your thinking, and start running the business like A BUSINESS, for a change ... or you'll be out of a job and will find a plethora of fast-food positions open to you.

COSI's leadership disgusts me. Everyone who (unfortunately) owns property in Toledo should be EQUALLY disgusted. We are NOT cows just waiting to be milked by the voter. Hell, I don't even own property, and I'm completely ashamed by that ~50% who thought that milking my landlord was a GREAT IDEA!)

Multi personalities or speaking for someone else?

I said I read it and it was in passing that COSI was created with some stipulation as to what could be done in the location.

Maybe some of the long time public servants can chime in.

You needn't demand anything...

http://toledoohioneighborhoodconcerns.com/blog

The Toledo Hegemony is severely out of touch and this goes to show it more.

This levy failed by more votes than the last one. The the tune of 700 more votes and this was in an election with no major state or federal races to help turn out.

This should show the politicans of the area that clearly a publicly funded COSI is not what the people wants.

BTW I'm tired of hearing how over 250,000 people go to it each year. That's not that high of a number for a year round indoor exhibition. I found out that over 300,000 people a year visit the largest ball of twine in the world (it's actually the 2nd largest). And it's outside in the cold. http://travelvideo.tv/news/more.php?id=A3921_0_1_0_M

So instead of publicly funding COSI I say we all donate some old twine and bring in 50,000 more people a year instead.

MikeyA

MikeyA

I'm surprised that you all seem to be missing the big picture here. Circumstances aside, the bottom line is that if COSI closes, Toledo becomes a major city unable to sustain a children's museum. Y'all do want to be considered a major city, right ? Does 'attracting new business to Toledo" ring a bell with anyone ? This won't go unnoticed by corps & medium-sized business looking to relocate or set up. At least by those who matter.

Yes, COSI's Board has failed in its business plan, One Gov Center has failed to advise, and now the taxpayers have spoken loud & clear that they have no interest in funding to the extent that they'll risk it closing. It reflects poorly on all of you.

I suspect that in the end Toledo will get what its paid for...

As much as I hate grammer nit picking - I believe the word is "moot", not "mute" chad. (Lest somebody take offense that COSI is being accused of not having a voice.)

So do I, but the word is grammar.

The levy for COSI was defeated by Lucas County voters, not Toledo voters.

http://toledoohioneighborhoodconcerns.com/blog

Fred calling someone arrogant... kettle meet mister black.

A private non-profit business coming before the voters and asking for a levy to keep operations afloat...or is it or was it a non-profit formed to serve the people with public funds?

http://toledoohioneighborhoodconcerns.com/blog

fyi:

Only three jurisdictions voted, overall, in favor of COSI: City of Toledo, City of Sylvania, Village of Ottawa Hills.

Toledo's win was by 1583 votes. (by 1529 in 2006)
City of Sylvania's win was by 429 votes (by 702 in 2006)
Ottawa Hills' was by 611 votes (by 804 in 2006)

Every other jurisdiction voted, overall, against it.

Even though Toledo is the largest jurisdiction, it wasn't enough to overcome the other areas.

While I was over here missing the big picture I took my $5 I saved in tax money and am buying twine.

BTW the ball is up to two inches.

Anyone else want to join me for a "roll in" where we sit outside One Government Center and roll a ball of twine to show Carty while we're not about to waste money on a already failed endeavor we do however still believe in the city and are trying to create an attraction that will bring more people to the city per year.

I have no problem spending the $5. I'm doing it for the children. They will get as much out of seeing a ball of twine as they did not going to COSI.

MikeyA

MikeyA

The Mayoral letter I mean.

Clinging to something that is not really an up to date idea.

Let COSI move to another place in Toledo and expand and grow.

But I read somewhere that COSI has a state ordered mandate...for its purpose, etc.

http://toledoohioneighborhoodconcerns.com/blog

Not to put words in her mouth, but according to Mags, the COSI folk don't "try" that way. They were always expecting to rely on a levy and just get money that way. Performing fund raising is probably too much work for that pack of losers and layabouts.

Since the vote was nearly 50/50, I predict COSI will "limp" along (and NOT CLOSE, regardless of all the previous threats they would do so -- hence making the COSI folk filthy little liars) and then go right back on the ballot.

Some other poster here was right. There oughta be a law limiting such things. We already have laws limiting the issuance of baseless or repetitive lawsuits. A waiting period after a failed levy is well in line with that sentiment. 2 years sounds fine.

Another COSI levy will probably be slipped in for an early-year vote in 2008, to count on the small turnout for such votes. We should also keep an eye out for Carty slipping them money on the sly. I strongly doubt the Blade would report that.

I agree that it seems mute now especially in light of the defeat served. The ESM...now that is a City Owned and run business..run into the ground no less. Cosi is supported in that the city provides the building and costs there in. While the city has obsorbed the overhead, Cosi was/is still unable to come up with even operation costs...which I find ludicris. If you have only payroll, attraction and insurance...where is the rest of the $$$$$$$$$$$$$?

Finkbeiner is likely just talking, which is just that..talk. He says a lot of things, most of which are not helpful. What the Fink should be "doing", rather than speaking is contacting area business and seeking their imput on how to best assist Cosi with funding. But then, he'd have to have an amienable relationship with business, which he doesn't. As a result of his many years of running his mouth, he has less ability to garner support for anything, especially things the city is only partially involved in.

Saddly, I don't believe that this Mayor will be able to provide the leadership required to save Cosi, ESM or much else. And the really sad part is...his egoness is planing to run again....Lord help us all!

I'm surprised that you all seem to be missing the big picture here.

I'm surprised that you're surprised.

"Toledo becomes a major city unable to sustain a children's museum"

or perhaps Toledo will become known for having the gumption to tell a failing enterprise that enough is enough and, until you show you're not going to squander the money you do have, you're not getting more.

Besides, whoever heard of a company saying - sorry, you don't support a tax for a children's museum so we're not moving there...

Remember when we were kids and we'd ask our parents for money and they'd reply "money doesn't grow on trees"? Maybe, when it comes to this issue, the voters have shown that they're capable of being the grown-ups...

I think a business might like this message.

Toledo's standing as a major city has nothing to do with whether we have a successful children's museum or not. There are numerous examples around the country of cities much larger than Toledo losing museums over the years.

I would be willing to be half my bank account that no business has ever relocated to Toledo because we have COSI. And I would bet the other half of my bank account that when COSI closes there won't be any businesses looking to locate in Toledo that change their mind and locate elsewhere. Government has long perpetuated the myth that businesses locate in the places that offer the most services or activities (like COSI). However, in reality businesses only locate and thrive in locations that make money. Before COSI and other cultural destinations develop you have to have the business and population base to support those places, it's not the other way around.

Surprised? No.

The voters spoke and they did not want more levies.

It is not a city problem so much as it was a lack of interest on the part of the voters in the county to allow another levy to support the operation.

We have a new arena being built by the county and perhaps the county will act in ways the administrations in the city have not.

http://toledoohioneighborhoodconcerns.com/blog

I vote for the ball of Twine. A real big ball!! Toledo will become a major city able to support a ball of Twine. Our ball will also have a bell. People will notice our ball and bell. Everything will be glorious!! Build the ball and they will come!

... the property with the tenant? COSI could just die right out of there, and the stipulation would still be obeyed. We're not obligated in the slightest to pour public money all over COSI in order to support the TENANT.

And to clarify, speaking in public and making assertions DOES produce a demand for proof. The demand is cultural and there's no mental illness associated with it.

... that you continue to miss the big picture here, in that a private business has no right to use public money to fund its operations. This is not a "circumstance" that can just be laid aside. THAT is the bottom line.

If COSI closes (and note they still haven't done so, despite all their lying threats) then it only emphasizes that the company leadership needs to rejoin the workforce as burger flippers. Succeed or fail -- that is the essential promise of Capitalism.

You DO know what Capitalism is, don't you? It is NOT just getting money from city hall once your business plan proves unsound.

All those businesses that are looking for a city to support their bottom lines can just KEEP MOVING. Their presence here would indeed reflect poorly on all of us.

Now, take the following advice to heart, and I mean it most sincerely, Jrs:

"Move to a nation where your Communist sentiments are welcomed."

:^)

It's a private business, non-profit or not.

If you doubt, then post their charter that states it's a public agency. I'd be very interested in seeing it, and given the postings here, I'm sure others would too.

When will Toledo put COSI back on a Toledo-only ballot?

Did Toledo avoid that in the first place due since COSI needed to steal money from the county base instead of just the city base? Toledo DOES have an awful lot of tax-abated property.

How ironic!

Those were the same cities that voted FOR TARTA. The other six voted against. Perhaps Sylvania and Ottawa Hills needs a ball of twine too.

Don't know that I want to sit outside for any extended period of time in this weather...but I'm happy to stop by, contribute my twine and then take pictures of everyone and post them on my blog!
LOL!!!!

We're going to have to demand a link for that one, NC. COSI is a private business.

If COSI took some OTHER public funds -- say, from a state loan -- then ONLY COSI is obligated to make good on it, not the public!

I have been to several afterhour adult only COSI fund raisers over the years. I always had a great time and we did raise a lot of money for COSI.

...they have tried fundraising and they did turn to 'angels' to get them through since the last levy. The problem isn't the fundraising efforts (maybe the results) but the lack of a good business plan which allows them to be self-sufficient - and notintention of changing the failed plan even with public support.

As I write today in my blog, they've got multiple bank presidents on their board...bet none of their banks would lend this operation any money based upon the business plan or their past financial history. Perhaps these board members ought to insist upon the same criteria for COSI as they do their own loan recipients - might be the best thing that ever happened to COSI.

But I'm with you on the expenditure of other public funds to keep them afloat - NO!!!!

btw - carty was not voted in to 'speak' for me - but to 'represent' me and the rest of Toledo. Considering the decision that's been made at the ballot box, to go against that is not 'representing us' or 'speaking for us' ... it's defying us...

If the city were to offer tax breaks to attract businesses, would this in effect be the same as passing a levy?

The handling of the entire situation from the floundering museum/city attraction years ago to its ultimate failure most certainly reflects on Toledo's political community and its citizens. Do you think this will be lost & forgotten amidst all of the other Toledo attractions ? You all can't afford to lose this one.

Oh, and "the company" won't be thinking in terms of Toledo's taxpayers having the balls to stand up, or that they're grown-ups...they'll be wondering how the hell the city of Toledo(its gov and taxpayers) ALLOWED this to occur. You bet a good 'company' looks at the general health of a city before setting up. This goes to the general health (particularly its mental health) of Toledo.

There's 'what is', and then there's 'what should be'. I find that dealing with 'what is' is more productive and efficient. So take your stand on principle, Ms. Thurber, wallow in the failure of a business plan that never was and allow COSI to close its doors. It will somehow, somewhere come back to haunt Toledo.

BUILD THE BALL!

"And to clarify, speaking in public and making assertions DOES produce a demand for proof. The demand is cultural and there's no mental illness associated with it."

Ya sure...communist states and communists...

Who's culture?

http://toledoohioneighborhoodconcerns.com/blog

Nice.

All that I can find is this;

http://www.cosi.org/about/history/

I am not staking a point to anything.

A claim is made that it is a private business and I do not see the statement nor can one seem to be found to either prove or dis prove the point.

COSI Toledo was funded with state money and needed a public levy to continue and when the levy was turned down, the attraction closes.

http://toledoohioneighborhoodconcerns.com/blog

"and there's no mental illness associated with it."

One reviews and looks back to some posts and sees a trail of contentedness with others misfortunes and down turns.....

mmmmm....there is something amiss some where.

http://toledoohioneighborhoodconcerns.com/blog

Well I would suggest doing it in the lobby of One Government Center but we would probably be forcibly removed while Carty's dog gets to remain.

It's not that I don't have freedom... it's just that Carty's dog has more freedom.

MikeyA

MikeyA

"Current Project

The state appropriated an additional $1.9 million for a three-phase project in Am. Sub. H.B. 16 of the 126th General Assembly. The first phase, using $320,000 of the state funds, includes an initial set of exhibitions, new flooring in the caf

Speak/rep..much the same. Part of rep is speaking as a go between. We spoke with our votes to trash the idea of public funds for the private business. It's a wee premature to assume that he'll dig up some unknown monies from our coffers, he may just being trying to help with the private investment.

Now as we all know, he's no good at this, so it's mute don't you think? It's just Fink doing what Fink does..chattering as an advocate after the curtian has fallen.

...and it doesn't make it right, either...

...cultural amenities count for less than 2% of the decision a company makes on where to locate or expand - just above 'risk of natural disaster' and 'mass transit availability.'

Other factors - like access to transporation, availability of skilled workforce, proximity to customers & contractors, taxes, available/suitable land...all count for much more.

I agree with you that a good company looks at the general health of a city before setting up. The presence of a children's hands-on museum is certainly not a major factor in the 'general health of a city.' In fact, having been a business owner and worked with numerous ones, my perspective is that they judge the general health by the cost of living, cost of taxation, infrastructure and maintenance of such, educational levels, median incomes, median housing costs, etc.

Yes, I'm taking a stand on principle...think that's where most people should take their stand. However, I'm not 'wallowing in the failure of a business plan that never was' nor allowing COSI to close its doors. I'd love for the community to decide it's worth their support and to give generously to keep it open and I'd encourage people so inclined to do so. I think THAT would say more about our community than any tax levy ever will.

...any 'good' company won't blame the public for this ... they'll blame the board for not making the tough decisions necessary for sustainability years ago...if they bother to worry about this at all.

Your suggestion that the public is to blame for this failure would be akin to a company's board blaming their customers for failing to buy their product...

... over the years, I've never heard of any such fund raiser event. It sounds like they need to either hold more of them, or get the word out more.

You can slice it any way you'd like. When faced with the prospect of a significant Toledo attraction having to close its doors, the city and its voting taxpayers have said that's acceptable. That's what they said with their votes.

Sometimes you grin & bear it with a short term solution whil working on a long-term fix. Is this concept beyond Toledoans ? I understand that no one wants to pay more taxes but no self-respecting, proud city allows the doors of a museum to close for this kind of reason. A self-respecting and proud city would do whatever it takes til a better solution is found.

COSI has obvioulsy been in trouble for years.

No one inquired about that, no stepped in, no one organized, no one pulled their fat out of the fire. And there you are.

It speaks volumes. About Toledo.

I agree. I'm just trying to get a sense of why it's so much better to offer tax breaks to attract business (and to be considered business-friendly). But the idea of using a levy to attrack business is wrong?

... then are you my slave? No. A state grant (which is another unwise expenditure) doesn't mean that COSI is a public agency. It's still a PRIVATE BUSINESS. As such, it's still responsible for making a profit or otherwise surviving, and if it can't, then it must bankrupt and have its assets auctioned off or otherwise sold to satisfy its creditors.

They were corporate sponsored events; tickets where $100 each and I got mine through work (for free). They'd have all the exhibits on, as well as bring in a bunch of high end

Toledo's citizens aren't responsible for what a private organization does with its money. If Toledo's citizenry were required to step in and solve every private organizations' financial troubles then there would be no end. Toledoans properly stood up to the incompetence that COSI has become and said enough is enough. The citizens of Toledo can use their $1.5 million better than the board of directors at COSI can.

Personally, if I were a business owner I would be more drawn to a community that is willing to stand for fiscal conservatism than a community that tries to tax its way to prosperity. No community taxes its way to prosperity.

I had thought that self-respect and pride were linked to rejecting welfare!

Your postings instead speak volumes. About Toledo ... about Toledo's entrenched entitlement mentality, and how that is destructive to Capitalism.

Toledoans aren't responsible for creating the financial mess that COSI is in. The point I'm trying to make is that they might want to take part in some type of resolution so as not to have a big, empty building on a prime piece of downtown riverfront real estate. One that used to be a museum, touted as a Toledo attraction.

This private business is somewhat unique in that it's percieved and marketed (by Toledo itself) as a museum. I would understand taxpayers not wanting to help out a failing downtown oil-change shop. This is different and if you don't understand how then the whole argument is lost on you.

... is lost since nothing you said after "[t]his private business" mattered. If all it takes is for a private business to be "unique", then you open the floodgates for esoteric shops demanding to be put on the ballot for their share of the treasury. Cargill is unique in Toledo. Should they be able to get a share of our treasury? Etc.

To wit, you need to pay strict attention to this quote, whose author is alas under great contention:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship."

LOOSE. FISCAL. POLICY. Read it an' weep, Jrs.

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