New version of Toledo Talk

    January 12, 2006

Toledo Powertrain Expansion - NBC-24 just reported GM Powertrain in line for a $500 million expansion project that means hundreds of new jobs for Toledo.

Deal apparently contingent on a tax abatement deal from city, Lucas County, and state of Ohio. Powertrain would build a new building for a new transmission line coming to town.

But we're apparently in competition with other GM plants around the country, because they have empty floor space they could put the transmission line instead.

Carty supposed to make a big announcement Friday afternoon.

posted by sparky to business at 6:21 P.M. EST     (25 Comments)

Comments ...

Yeah, it'll be Carty, f---ing things up like normal. If not him, then some other whiny group in Toledo.

And like Jeep, GM won't honor any agreements on how many they'll hire/transfer etc.

posted by anonymouscoward at 07:36 P.M. EST on Thu Jan 12, 2006     #

Looks like after being on the job only a week, 'Carty Gets Results.'

Gosh, how DID he pull that off?

posted by limedrops911 at 07:36 P.M. EST on Thu Jan 12, 2006     #

"... contingent on a tax abatement deal ..."

Look out. How big of a tax abatement? The tax abatement for the new Westgate is $2.5 million. Something like that. And the Westgate redevelopment is "only" a $35 million project. But people got upset over that tax abatement deal.

What will be the reaction to the tax abatement amount for this GM project?

posted by jr at 07:58 P.M. EST on Thu Jan 12, 2006     #

I have two questions: How can we afford to continually give Tax Abatements?

Was it mentioned what the wages would be for the New Hires if there actually are any??? I have an idea...I am thinking one/half what present employees those two-tier wages...

Yes, anonymouscoward...good point...Jeep did NOT keep their deal why should anyone else...

posted by MARIELORA at 08:03 P.M. EST on Thu Jan 12, 2006     #

Link to the NBC 24 story.

limedrops, maybe this Jan 5 Blade story provides the answer:

"Carty Finkbeiner, who made Toledo-made Jeep the focus of his first two terms as mayor, plans to get behind the wheel of a different make of car this time - a General Motors."

If Carty started using a computer, would that mean a hardware or software company would invest in Toledo?

posted by jr at 09:11 P.M. EST on Thu Jan 12, 2006     #

More from that Jan 5 Blade story:

"Mr. Finkbeiner's chief of staff, Robert Reinbolt, said the mayor made a commitment at two campaign events to drive a GM vehicle if he were elected. He said he would take bids on a sport utility vehicle, possibly a GMC Envoy, so the mayor has a four-wheel drive."

"Oscar Bunch, president of United Auto Workers Local 14 representing the Toledo Powertrain Plant on Alexis Road, said he never heard the campaign commitment from Mr. Finkbeiner but welcomed it. "I've always been after the city officials to buy GM cars because GM is a big part of the community. They put $140 million into the community every year in payroll," Mr. Bunch said. Mr. Bunch said the Powertrain plant makes the vehicle's transmission."

posted by jr at 09:14 P.M. EST on Thu Jan 12, 2006     #

...GM won't honor any agreements on how many they'll hire/transfer etc.

I'll bet they would if customers would honor agreements on how many cars they'll buy :)

There is a slight dependency there you know.

posted by babbleman at 11:36 P.M. EST on Thu Jan 12, 2006     #

If Carty started using a computer

Why thank you for that image, jr... for I first pictured him using the Unspeakable Name Brand of computers that strikes fear into the hearts of computer techs everywhere... and then I pictured him using a rhymes-with-Hell, which upon him touching the power switch, magically turned all rhymes-with-Hell computers everywhere into a poor imitation of Unspeakable Name Brand.

Carty has the Inverse Midas Touch.

posted by anonymouscoward at 04:23 A.M. EST on Fri Jan 13, 2006     #

The best case scenario for an expansion would still be overrated. There is no way that GM should receive large tax abatemenents. It's not like just anyone will be able to just apply and have any hope of landing one of these new positions. They only exist for those who have connections.
posted by nick44 at 08:41 A.M. EST on Fri Jan 13, 2006     #

Imagine this: the mayor of a large urban center does not own and cannot use a computer.

What does this say about his preparedness for urban technology, wi-fi, and other technological upgrades which bring a city into the 21st century?

He is pathetic. He thinks that his mouth will be sufficient.

posted by limedrops911 at 09:53 A.M. EST on Fri Jan 13, 2006     #

I was wondering if it was really true that Carty didn't use or own a computer, but a quick search here turned up this thread that pointed to an April 10, 2005 Blade article that said of Ford and Carty:

"Both are heavy news consumers, getting most of their information from newspapers. Both said they read several per day, including the major papers of the region, plus nationally distributed editions."

"Neither turns to the Internet to get their news. Mr. Ford said he helps his daughter do school research online at home, but otherwise seldom surfs the Web for himself."

"Mr. Finkbeiner does not own a computer."

Holy hellfire. I could easily give up TV because I can listen to football on the radio and watch DVDs on my laptop. But I cannot imagine now not owning a computer and not having Internet access.

From that April thread came this tidbit:

"... a recent report commissioned by the Carnegie Corporation, a philanthropic foundation, [showed] 44 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds say they use Web sites at least once a day for news."

It would be easy to find all kinds of stats showing how much young people and really anyone of any age uses a computer and the Internet. How does Carty relate to the information world without owning a computer? How does he plan to keep the 18-to-34-year-olds from leaving Toledo when he cannot speak their language?

From the Jan 6 Blade article about the Carty bus tour of the city:

"In early December, Mr. Finkbeiner announced that he wasn't naming an economic development director, but instead would head that department himself."

Toledo's economic development director does not own a computer and does not get news from the web. How many other cities can also make this claim? Does Carty use a computer on the job? Surely he must send and receive e-mail at work.

posted by jr at 10:38 A.M. EST on Fri Jan 13, 2006     #

Jan 13 Blade article:

"In five of the last six years, the Toledo plant has been ranked No. 1 in productivity by Harbour & Associates Inc.'s annual report on North American transmission and powertrain plants. The plant ranked No. 2 in 2005."

"Gov. Bob Taft told The Blade the state is helping to assemble "a strong incentive package," but he declined to divulge details. An incentive package must be submitted by the end of January for consideration by GM corporate management."

"Mr. Finkbeiner has scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m. today to announce the city's and state's support for the local plant's bid to land the investment."

"The Powertrain plant, still called Hydramatic or the Chevrolet plant by many Toledo-area residents, got its start in 1916 at 900 West Central Ave. GM moved to the present location in 1955, where the transmission factory now has 1.8-million square feet of production space."

posted by jr at 10:45 A.M. EST on Fri Jan 13, 2006     #

OK that is it. The jack ass does not own or use a computer? Something has to be done to get this guy out of office before the end of his term. Any ideas?

I thought that my opinion of Carty could not get any lower. Now it is really starting to hit me hard.

posted by nick44 at 10:59 A.M. EST on Fri Jan 13, 2006     #

Yes, because cities were NEVER run effectively anywhere in North America before the home computer was created.

And city leaders NEVER got anything done without the aid of the internet in their homes.

Clearly, having access to websites like, containing such high-brow, intellectual, thought-provoking commentary like this--is a prerequisite to providing effective city leadership.

You idiots.

posted by yepyep at 11:25 A.M. EST on Fri Jan 13, 2006     #

yepyep- I do not know why I am even responding. Obviously you are one of Carty's little followers. Cities compete for resources. We have a leader who wants to take everyting on himself, but does not use the technology available to access information quickly- assuming that most other city leaders realize the value of acquiring as much information by the fastest means possible.

If you can't comprehend that I could alwalys draw some pictures for you. Just post your email and I will send them as an attachment.

posted by nick44 at 12:20 P.M. EST on Fri Jan 13, 2006     #

For the past and present mayors of Toledo to talk about bringing technology to the area and then to not own or use computers... that says a hell of a lot right there about what's wrong with this area.
posted by anonymouscoward at 01:15 P.M. EST on Fri Jan 13, 2006     #

>>that says a hell of a lot right there about what's wrong with this area>>

Yes it does.

yepyep, you can call people idiots but I think this one flew right over your head.

I don't think it has to do with how efficiently one can consume news online vs. hardcopy. I think it is much bigger. It has to do with being an active participant in some of the biggest cultural changes in human history. Changes that are going to affect our region significantly - one way or the other.

Digital media is going to completely change the distribution and consumption of entertainment content. Blogs are de-centralizing how mind share is made. The old media is falling fast. Supply chains are getting more connected and automated every day displacing people who used to do things manually.

Everybody knows this. You don't have to use the Internet to know it - but there is no way you can fully understand it if you are not an active participant with the rest of the culture that is. And there is certainly no way that you can be a visionary that is at the wheel of a region steering it through the earthquake.

posted by babbleman at 01:30 P.M. EST on Fri Jan 13, 2006     #

Dude, Lloyd is posting to this site while stuck in traffic.

Im just now getting used to playing Need for Speed Most Wanted on my PS2 while driving to work in the morning.

But now you can post to this site while waiting...

To me, that says a WHOLE lot!



posted by BrianInFlorida at 07:19 P.M. EST on Fri Jan 13, 2006     #

Cities compete for resources. We have a leader who wants to take everyting on himself, but does not use the technology available to access information quickly- assuming that most other city leaders realize the value of acquiring as much information by the fastest means possible.

Are you people serious? You think because Carty chooses not to use the net that he doesn't get information "as fast as possible"?

Are you that unimaginative?

Do you honestly think that when the mayor wants to know something asap that he waits for it to come on TV or in the paper? The man has a staff! It's called delegation of responsibility! If the man wants to know something immediately, it's as simple as picking up a phone and telling his staff to get him the info! THEY can use the web, their phones, or the pony f**king express for all he cares, as long as they get him what he needs to know.

As I said earlier, surely NO city has ever been run effectively before the Al Gore (tee-hee) invented the internet, right? Jeez, use your heads, won't you?

posted by yepyep at 11:12 A.M. EST on Sun Jan 15, 2006     #

The problem is that Carty doesn't delegate. He interferes. And what follows is that it's Carty's way or the highway... which is the same attitude that ends up filling all the positions around him with yes-men.

In that situation you could have a team of scientists and God Himself telling Carty's people the truth, and Carty's people wouldn't tell Carty anything other than what Carty wants to hear... and even if they did tell Carty the truth, Carty still wouldn't hear it.

Of course, that's pretty much the same problem Toledo's had for the past 15 years now... look at all the studies done by consultants and experts and how they keep doing the same studies over and over.

posted by anonymouscoward at 12:08 P.M. EST on Sun Jan 15, 2006     #

"...use your heads, won't you?"

How many executives at any company don't use a computer or don't own a computer at home? Hell, most higher-ups get the latest and greatest gizmos and gadgets because they can. These people have underlings that could get the info for them too. But the bigs I know all use computers and Internet technologies because that's how so much of the communication and day-to-day processes within the company are done. So in this information age, the mayor of a mid-sized city is fair game to be rediculed for not owning a computer.

posted by jr at 01:14 P.M. EST on Sun Jan 15, 2006     #

The senior execs that I know that don't use computers don't do so because they can delegate. They do so because they are retiring soon and they don't care.

The ones that I know that do use computers are curious about the potential of the technology and interested in being a part of the culture that is driving the future rather than the one settling into rocking chairs to watch it go by.

posted by babbleman at 08:51 A.M. EST on Mon Jan 16, 2006     #

Why complain about tax abatements? The city should eliminate all taxes on businesses to begin with. Then you would see new businesses come to Toledo (in droves) rather than leave. The new found revenue from personal income tax would cover any losses from business taxes.

Sorry to sound like the Libertarian that I am, people are going to whine about something no matter what. If it isn’t businesses getting “richer” than it will be unemployment. Toledo and übermayor Finkbeiner should concentrate on bringing jobs to Toledo. So far Carty seems to be doing just that. (Yes, I know, it’s still very early in his term and this development isn’t his alone).

posted by PimpDaddy at 11:29 A.M. EST on Mon Jan 16, 2006     #

Jan 17 Roberta de Boer column about Carty accessing the web:

"Start by thinking back to the televised mayoral debate of Nov. 1. Remember? The one at Stranahan Theater? Toward the end of that face-off between you and your opponent, I asked you to give voters a peek into how you stay informed (and how you frame the issues) by telling us how many newspapers, magazines, and - especially - which Web sites you checked each day."

"You said: "I will have to confess, Roberta, that I don't check Web sites on a daily basis. I have friends who do that for me." "

"Apart from the fact that it sounds as if you've actually gone and outsourced your reading (at least it's shunted off to friends, and not in abstentia readers in New Delhi), the trouble with this strategy, Carty, is that it makes you seem so … old."

"And you, who at age 66 has never looked better - never looked more fit, more fightin' trim - than you do today! Carty, shouldn't your brain catch up with your bod?"

"Data from a September '05 survey, conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, tell us that 71 percent of people between the ages of 50 and 64 use the Internet. But people ages 65-plus? Just 30 percent, Carty."

"But you're not just some nearly 70-year-old guy who needs Medicare info. You're the mayor of a medium-sized city that's struggling to make the leap from a one-time manufacturing mecca into the Information Age. You'll need to talk the talk sooner or later, sir. Surely you know some 13-year-old who could guide you online in exchange for a little extra credit at school."

Good one.

posted by jr at 11:12 A.M. EST on Thu Jan 19, 2006     #

You'll need to talk the talk sooner or later

That reminds me of Bush's little comment about "rumors on the Internets".

I can't figure out how he could take on Al "Father of the Internet" Gore and still not know that there is only one Internet.

Of course, this just confirms that Carty's information is filtered by his "friends". Wonder if any of his "friends" are reading this? What with them being "friends", I expect they wouldn't want to pass along a hearty "double eagle" salute to him from me, cause "friends" don't like passing that sort of thing along to other friends, not if they want to stay friends.

But in any case, I'll just sit here and wait to see if Carty's friends (or Carty himself) will respond... should be fun. :)

posted by anonymouscoward at 12:07 P.M. EST on Thu Jan 19, 2006     #

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