Commissioner Konop to promote Regionalism and (in) Efficiency Mission

TOLEDO BLADE - As is the case with most newly elected politicians, Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop was talking about change when he was sworn in last December...With a mission to challenge the existing structures of government for new efficiencies and greater cost-effectiveness, Commissioner Ben Konop will today launch a

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Matt Holdridge
The Toledo Tattler

I think we do spend too much time complaining and not enough time devising solutions.

On that note, I'm not 100% sure. Two things off the bat that I can think of:

1) Eliminate any living wage laws that are on the books.

2) Get the city out of the business of doing things that private industry can do cheaper and better since gov only redistributes wealth that is already present and does not create it. For instance, get the city out of the garbage pick-up, the street cleaning, property development and now the ambulance business to name a few.

Although, how about this idea; if bigger is not better when it comes to gov, that we can place many of Toledo's problems at the feet of too large a gov and regionalism is obviously not the answer because it would make the problem worse, than how about we look at decentralizing Toledo's city gov?

What I mean by that is dividing the city up into 6 or 9 autonomous municipalities that govern themselves Toledo city limits not unlike Washington Township now. Each area has it's own volunteer fire department and police service while taking care of it's own garbage collection/services itself in whatever way it sees fit.

Would this competition fuel growth and reduce expenditures overall to residents of the area while at the same time bring elected officials closer to their constituents?

I'm going to try and expand on this idea on my own blog in the next few days but I'm interested in your take on it.

Matt Holdridge
The Toledo Tattler

Shane, I honestly don't understand your mistrust of the free market when you use it and participate in it every day.

Do you think a city gov could sell burgers cheaper, faster and better than McDonalds can? McD's posts a profit and pays its shareholders dividends. Are we beign gauged at burger joints because gov doesn't do it? Or is competition in fast food fueling innovation within its industry? If you say yes, than why wouldn't competition in gov fuel innovation in WM? Are you arguing that a city run monopoly in WM would be cheaper or more efficent than a competitive free market?

Matt Holdridge
The Toledo Tattler

SensorG...Way to add substance to the conversation! Well, I have to get back to cutting and pasting!

Matt Holdridge
The Toledo Tattler

Why would paying Waste Management be cheaper for tax payers than having a city-run waste management department? This is what most (all?) suburbs do. And I just don't buy that the 'magic of the marketplace' is going to somehow reduce the costs of trash pickup. In fact, the only difference would be that the residents of the City of Toledo would be paying more for garbage collection so Waste Management can post a profit and give dividends to their shareholders. (Note: i didn't research WM. I have no clue if they're actually paying dividends or even turning a profit)

McDonalds sucks!

"Why would paying Waste Management be cheaper for tax payers than having a city-run waste management department?"

Well, where to begin? Labor costs would be slashed because private contractors have embraced technology to allow one worker to drive the truck and load garbage. Legacy costs will be reduced when the city doesn't have to pay for the pensions of the garbage employees. Environmental compliance costs will be drastically reduced as all permitting is handled by the contracted firm. Environmental liability costs are reduced because it would fall on the contractor, who has established a closure trust fund as part of the landfill permitting process. There's more potential to reduce costs currently incurred by the city, but that's a good start.

"And I just don't buy that the 'magic of the marketplace' is going to somehow reduce the costs of trash pickup. In fact, the only difference would be that the residents of the City of Toledo would be paying more for garbage collection so Waste Management can post a profit and give dividends to their shareholders."

Fine, this can easily be settled. Allow the Refuse Department to submit a sealed bid on the contract. If they can match the bid of the lowest private company or can beat it, they get the contract.

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"When I say your dumb name, please stand up briefly, but then quickly drop to your knees and forsake all others before me." -Ignignokt

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

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