New version of Toledo Talk

    July 17, 2005

Between the years 2000 and 2004, Ohio ranked 49th out of 50 states in job creation - Saturday's Blade claims that Carty lifted that comment from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. So what if he did? How is it possible?

What he didn't say is that Michigan ranks 50th out of 50 states in job loss! And, here we sit at the cross roads of the North American Continent (I 80/90/I 75)!

We are within one day's drive of 50% of the population of the USA and Canada; we are a transportation hub; we sit at the edge of 18% of the world's fresh water supply; we have access to 33 colleges and universities within an hour's drive; and our quality of life is among the highest in the nation! How is it possible for two states with so much going for them to be ranked so low?

As you know from my previous postings, I believe regionalism can be the answer to most of our problems. The question is: what's the best way to begin implementing regionalism? We know it is not through politics! How then?

posted by lew to commentary at 6:05 A.M. EST     (14 Comments)

Comments ...

From Friday's Blade:

"Carty Finkbeiner released an "entrepreneurial game plan" [Thursday] that will serve as one of his core policy proposals during his run for Toledo mayor. The plan called for working with Detroit and Ann Arbor to create a region that would work together to lure investment and research, particularly the "technologies of the future:" computers, robotics, and the health industry. He declined to give specifics about incentives he would offer potential businesses, saying he would do so later."

Ford wants unigov. Carty wants regionalism. Ludeman wants to be left alone.

posted by jr at 09:42 A.M. EST on Sun Jul 17, 2005     #

Ford wants to control the whole county (Unigov, is sorta like being a Big City Mayor).
By pushing Unigov, JFo is, of course promoting himself as the “obvious” leader.

Carty wants regional regional control many counties (Regionalism, is sorta like being a Governor of a medium-sized State).

We all remember Carty’s previous attempt for more power (higher office, at the State level), don’t we?

I’m pretty sure that Carty does (still licking old wounds)…

Of course, Carty used to be a Republican, and then, an Independent, and now…

Ludeman wants to be the Mayor of Toledo.
The job/office that he is running for…)

My concern is that some of these candidates are really running for “other” (currently nonexistent) offices than the one that they find themselves in, or currently campaigning for…

Q. Dishonest?
A. Too strong of a characterization.

Q. Disingenuous?
A. Probably…

Of these three candidates, whose vision, motives, and goals do YOU trust?

Lest anyone forget, I am a Ludeman backer, and I will be voting for him.

I realize that others are running, but I am responding to the subject of these three (as per the previous post).

If anyone believes that the New Carty is a mellower, kinder and gentler Carty, then I have some prine beachfront property in Florida that I’m interested in selling you.

If anything, Carty has just become slower to react. His famous "short fuse" has become just a little bit longer. We have yet to see the suppressed Evil Carty this time around.

The EVIL Carty, is older and slower, not more statesman-like.

Rather, The EVIL Carty is more "spoiled child like."

If only those closest to him would “fess up…”

As always, YMMV :-)

posted by Hooda_Thunkit at 11:52 A.M. EST on Sun Jul 17, 2005     #

How about a rental? You know ala Noe style?


I'm thankful in a way that I don't have to make the choice because really none of them thrill me. I had hopes for Wilkowski but not sure about him at this point.

It is obvious the Blade is going to pounce on anything Carty does, just like Noe, just like Kest, and the never ending list of who they don't like.

If it came down to Ford against Ludeman? I'd probably rather see Rob Ludeman get it.

posted by psyche777 at 06:12 P.M. EST on Sun Jul 17, 2005     #

Interesting comment made by Ludeman quoted in today's blade..

Mr. Ludeman meanwhile spent most of the day with family who are about to move overseas and appeared only at the St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral's Middle Eastern American Summerfest in the evening.

Neither he nor his wife, Elaine, wore a campaign badge or T-shirt.

"We just do our thing and people know who we are," he said.

I'm very disappointed that the Blade didn't tell us what Mr. Ludeman was wearing, or how many shirts he sweated thru...


posted by psyche777 at 07:11 P.M. EST on Sun Jul 17, 2005     #

Its funny how the same people that defend Jack Ford about inheriting a lousy economy were/are quick to critique President Bush for "wrecking the economy" when he also inherited an economy going into recession.

The economy excuse can probably be made for JFo, but the fact that Jack Ford is a very low key person is going to hurt him, and the fact that Carty is very outspoken and excitable is going to help him.

It’s also funny how so many Democrats are excited about Carty when he sounds like such a Republican and holds a lot of Republican views. Come on, a Democrat supporting tax break (especially for businesses! they're inherently evil according to many dems;)). Also monitoring TPS Levy requests, I thought Dems wanted to give schools endless streams of money.

Another irony is when JFo went to the Democratic convention saying Bush has cost Toledo jobs, but is now is claiming positive creation on his taxpayer supported campaign website (

I'm just playing Devil's advocate but I think Carty is exactly what this city needs. If he can unite both Democrats and Republicans (which it seems he is), more power too him.

I hear a familiar chant that probably annoys many people:


posted by lloyd at 11:14 P.M. EST on Sun Jul 17, 2005     #

Not sure about the accuracy of the content on this site, but here it is anyway.

State of Ohio Economic Problems:

"The State of Ohio Economic Recovery has been slower in Ohio because of the decisions that were made by the Ohio Legislators in Columbus, Ohio, not by actions that occurred in Washingtion, D.C."

"Bob Taft, Larry Householder, Doug White, Chuck Calvert, Ron Amstutz, Sally C. Kilbane, Eric Fingerhut, Robert Spada, Bill Harris, Louis Blessing."

(All Republicans except Fingerhut.)

"All of the above supported the TWENTY PERCENT SALES-TAX INCREASE, supported expanding the Sales-Tax to include many services, increased the FEE's in Ohio to DOUBLE all FEE Revenues, supported a 124 percent tax increase for cigarettes, increased the Driver-License and License-Plate renewals by $11.00 (each), voted for increasing the Ohio Gasoline-Tax by 2 cents per gallon each year for 3 years (second increase coming July 1st 2004), supported Ohio's entry into the Multistate Tax Commission and into the Streamline Sales Tax Project to eventually require all "out-of-state" retailers to charge you the Ohio Use-Tax if you choose to shop via the Internet or Mail-Order (this SSTP has already been partially required of Ohio businesses (when dealing with Ohio Consumers) putting the Ohio Business at a still further uncompetitive position with the Ohio consumer), and, they have all expanded the "tax-breaks" (in the name of Job Creation) to continue to errode Ohio Tax Revenues and FAIRNESS which will make it almost impossible to perform any "real" Tax-Reform in Ohio."

posted by jr at 11:26 P.M. EST on Sun Jul 17, 2005     #

With the Economies of both Ohio & Michigan in the tank, in spite of our many sustainable competitive advantages, I will support any candidate who comes out in support of Regionalism, regardless of political affiliation.

If our new identity (Lake Erie West) becomes a true Global Address, then Toledo can grow just like San Jose did regardless of who our mayor is,(as long as he supports regionalism).

posted by lew at 10:55 A.M. EST on Mon Jul 18, 2005     #

You know, Ohio's unemployment rate in May 2004 was 6.1% (Michigan's was 7.1%)... and a year later, in May 2005 --- 6.1% for Ohio, 7.1% for Michigan.

So, in the last year Ohio & Michigan have had no growth in their labor market. No new net jobs!

Yet prices for our utilities, gasoline, health care, and education keep rising.

We had a word for that condition in the 70s: STAGFLATION.

posted by timault at 11:33 A.M. EST on Mon Jul 18, 2005     #

I know exactly why Ohio is struggling....Ohio is not business-friendly! I just moved to Toledo after growing up in the South, the most business friendly area of the country, and the differences are readily apparent. This comes from both government and the people. One of the first commericals I heard on the radio was a union protesting the arrival of a Wal-Mart, and soon after I see them protesting outside. Wal-Mart brings 200-300 jobs to a community paying wages above the national average for retail, and they provide benefits even though they aren't unionized. It seems the unions would rather have no jobs at all as opposed to 300 jobs that aren't unionized.

I considered buying a house for a while until I discovered that taxes for a $100,000 house in Toledo run around $1900-2000 a year. I lived in a $200,000 house in the South, and we payed ~$900 a year. I had to move to Ohio for a few years, but do you think people voluntarily would move here based on taxes?

The city of Toledo collects ~$1400 in taxes every year per person. Cities like Louisville, Indianapolis, and Memphis collect ~$700 per person.

Toledo needs to cut spending in half, and then they can more effectively target corporations and individuals to move here. Ohio, with its dismal weather and high taxes, can't compete with the South's warm weather and low taxes.

posted by HeyHey at 01:25 A.M. EST on Tue Jul 19, 2005     #

"Ohio, with its dismal weather and high taxes, can't compete with the South's warm weather and low taxes."

Damn right. We don't get enough snow around here. The last three winters have been real nice. Lots of cold and snow, but that's not the norm. I wish we were in a snowbelt, then we could do more cross-country skiing. I want to live in northern Michigan someday where there are real winters.

Weather as a factor in determining where someone lives is overrated. If weather was that important, then cities like Columbus, Minneapolis, Boston, and Seattle wouldn't be thriving. You can have those 90+ degree days, day after day after day in the south.

Taxes? I'll give you that one. But along with taxes being a real problem around these here parts, don't forget our outrageous utility rates. If you haven't lived here long, wait until you get your gas or electric bill in the winter.

Columbia Gas invents excuses for raising their rates. They probably hire creative writers for their Excuse Dept. I think it was the 2001-2002 winter, but a few years ago, we had one of the warmest and least snowiest winters on record. From Dec 1 to the end of Feb, Toledo recorded less than 10 inches of snow. We had lots of sunny, 50+ degree days. Columbia gas raised their rates anyway because of the lower than normal demand. The warm weather hurt their bottom line. Then the following winter, which was colder and snowier than normal, Columbia Gas raised their rates twice because of higher than normal demand. Columbia Gas has to be one of the best scams going.

posted by jr at 09:20 A.M. EST on Tue Jul 19, 2005     #

Good point about the utilities. Forunately my apartment pays the gas bill (I guess I do in an indirect way, but I'm detached from it), but most people don't have that luxury. Another great example is cable and phone rates. While not traditional utilities, they are de facto utilities in today's culture. Buckeye Cable's cheapest digital pachage (~60 channels) is $53 a month. My parents down South pay $100/month for the top Charter digital cable plan with EVERY movie channel and option (minus the adult channels..haha) which ends up being something like 300 channels. In addition they also get braodband internet included. That's a huge difference, and is the reason I've got Dish Network.
posted by HeyHey at 08:46 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 19, 2005     #

The July 20th edition of the Toledo Free Press contains an article about Columbia Scam.

"Columbia Gas of Ohio requested another rate hike last Friday — a record rate the company expects will go into effect July 29."

Yeah, these bitter cold 90-degree days have our furnace running constantly. And I love baking goods in this weather too.

"Columbia Gas [excuse maker] Ray Franks said the average customer could expect a bill of $32.28 in August. The average bill in July was estimated at $31.23."

Creative writer Franks said:

“Prices are going up because of the volatile marketplace that exists."

Where would we be without the vague excuse? Franks added:

“These prices are not unique to Columbia Gas of Ohio.”

Of course not. Now he's weaseling out of it.

"Franks cited higher production prices, speculation in the natural gas commodities market, and the impact of hurricanes as major factors for the price increase."

Well, of course, the hurricanes. Blame everything on hurricanes. Cold winters, warm winters, and hurricanes cause our prices to go up. I would have asked Franks for specific details on what two hurricanes have done to cause prices to go up. More from the article:

"He couldn’t speculate if more rate increases would be made before the year’s end but did add, “We’re hopeful that prices will decline, but I don’t see any indicators that it’s ..." "

It's what? The web article prematurely ends. It's a cliff-hanger. No it's not. We know how it ends: More rate increases this winter.

posted by jr at 11:39 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 19, 2005     #

Frank's subtle support for unigov.

"Not only has Toledo's business income tax reciepts gone down the past five years, Oregon, Maumee and Sylvania have seen decreases as well. It underscores the importance of the public and private sector working together across geographic and political boundries in a cluster approach to development."

Ooo, new term: cluster. Yeah, I can think of another phrase that uses the word "cluster." If the Toledo empire gets its way and bullies the rest of Lucas County into unigov, it will be a cluster f*ck.

From that same posting, Frank tried to underscore Toledo's continued economic growth under Mayor Ford.

"Thursday afternoon's Toledo City Council Finance Committee will include a report about a continuing, significant increase in city income tax reciepts versus last year. So far, small business has been the real driver in the economic boost."

Um, how much did the strict smoking ban implemented in the summer of 2003 hurt tax collections last year? How much has the new ammended smoking ban that went into place at the beginning of this year helped? 11-0, that was the Council vote for the strict smoking ban. We'll never hear how much it hurt Toledo. Maybe some of the credit for an increase in city income tax receipts should go to the citizens who got the smoking ban ammendment on the ballot and voted for it. Maybe this is another example of something good happening in Toledo in spite of local government.

Excerpts from a couple of the comments in Frank's blog about this posting of his:

"marshall - While the economy nationwide is growing at a phenomenal rate and unemployment is low, Toledo is lagging behind significantly. I think this should bolster the groups pushing for regionalization and increased focus on attracting biotech, alternative energies, and other emerging industries. Only after we do that will we see our economy become strong again."

"Anonymous - It seems that whenever there is some bad economic news, Frank blames President Bush and the Republicans. Whenever there is good economic news, it solely due to the efforts Jack Ford and the Democrats. This is why people hate politicians."

"marshall - Bush's policies have allowed small and large businesses to expand. Like it or not his tax cuts for the "wealthy" (as Dems say during elections) has spurred business growth, employment, and investment."

posted by jr at 10:40 A.M. EST on Fri Jul 22, 2005     #

I tell you, focusing policy on attracting industries like biotech, alternative energy, and other emerging ones is putting the cart before the horse.

Attract the people who work in these fields instead. Make NW Ohio somewhere they WANT to live. People with backgrounds in these fields bring with them their own ideas, skills, and knowledge of their field. Many start their own businesses, especially in consulting and research, or around a new discovery they have patented. You want the people to feel comfortable here so that they take root and let their entrepreneurialship transform the area's industry.

Research shows that these new and existing businesses in these industries relocate to areas where they can find a good labor pool, not to where they can suck the most from tax abatements and corporate welfare. The labor pool of these fields are highly skilled and not easily replaceable. These aren't factory jobs that you can ship off the Dixie or the 3rd world to save money on payroll. These are intellignet, well educated people - technicians, engineers, doctors, scientists, etc...

California has a state-wide ban on smoking, yet people in these industries flock to California for employment. If we want them to come here, I don't think a smoking ban is going to deter them.

posted by timault at 11:13 A.M. EST on Fri Jul 22, 2005     #

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