Toledo Talk

COSI asks for levy on the November ballot

Twice voted down, so naturally, bring it back a third time. It's for the children, after all.

July 21, 2008 WNWO story :

The request is for a five-year, one-sixth (.16) mill property tax levy. This is the same levy COSI has sought in the past two general elections. COSI's request will be reviewed by the Lucas County Citizens Levy Review Committee in the near future. The committee has scheduled a meeting for August 6, 2008. It will then make a recommendation to Lucas County commissioners on whether or not to approve the issue to the ballot. The commissioners must approve or reject levy requests by August 21.


July 2, 2008 Toledo Blade story :

Council voted 9-3 in favor of a request from the Finkbeiner administration to approve an amended lease between the city and the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission, which contracted with COSI to be located in the city-owned riverfront building. Councilman George Sarantou said he supported the measure because the city is responsible for about $6,900 a month to pay for utilities and a security system in the building regardless of COSI's troubles. Councilmen Frank Szollosi, Tom Waniewski, and D. Michael Collins voted no.


Postings at the end of 2007 :

created by jr on Jul 21, 2008 at 06:38:58 pm
updated by jr on Jul 21, 2008 at 06:46:30 pm
    Comments: 34

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tags: moronism   


Comments ... #

I don't think that the levy will pass given the economic times that we are facing right now. I"ve got no horse in this race given that I live outside Lucas County. But I'm curious if you would vote for it if "they" had a business plan?

posted by corky on Jul 21, 2008 at 06:55:45 pm     #  

Son of a BI*CH! What part of 'NO' (TWICE!) don't they understand?

You've got 3 councilmen that actually listen to their constituents! Will somebody please kidnap the other 9!

posted by GraphicsGuy on Jul 21, 2008 at 08:12:02 pm     #  

Maybe the levy will pass and COSI will build an arena to make money.

Sounds just like what the zoo did. They got their levy and built a butterfly exhibit when we have a perfectly functional butterfly house in Whitehouse. I guess it was better for the zoo to take income from that place.

posted by hockeyfan on Jul 21, 2008 at 08:25:50 pm     #  

How many times can something go on a ballet?

The voters have said no twice...this is ridiculous.

posted by karen on Jul 21, 2008 at 08:27:59 pm     #  

Last fall, the Toledo Zoo announced plans to build a $7.5 million playground. A place for kids to romp. Never heard of such a thing. This playground idea must be a new invention. Oh yeah, it's also suppose to teach "children up to 8 years old about their connection with nature." What a load. I guess our excellent, tax-payer supported Metroparks cannot teach children about nature.

posted by jr on Jul 21, 2008 at 08:34:20 pm     #  

If COSI had a real business plan, then they wouldn't need a tax levy.

Re-asking my questions from last November :

I realize this may not be in the same arena as a COSI, but Ann Arbor has the Hands-On Museum.

The Mission of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is to inspire people to discover the wonder of science, math and technology. The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. As a nonprofit in the Ann Arbor community serving southeastern Michigan and northern Ohio, your support is needed and appreciated.
I'm not familiar with this place. Do taxpayer dollars help support it? The museum charges admission, offers a membership, and provides multiple ways to donate. Does this museum have an idea or two that may help COSI?


The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum's 2007 Annual Report (870K PDF).

More about supporting the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum :

An annual gift is an expression of support of the Museum's mission - to inspire people to discover the wonders of science, math and technology. These gifts help the Museum fund the daily operating expenses of 40,000 square feet of exhibits and activities.

Gifts of all amounts are welcome. With an annual budget of $1.8 million, every gift helps. Your gift to the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum will be an investment in the community as we plan for the next 25 + years of discovery.

Gifts of support are used to help students visit the Museum or participate in an Outreach Program. Current economic conditions are affecting every school and social service nonprofits in the area who wish to visit. Staff evaluates each individual request and helps, whether it's a reduced admission rate, free ScienceWorks Lab program or a special need. Gifts from the community support this assistance fund - will you?

posted by jr on Jul 21, 2008 at 08:35:31 pm     #  

Corky, you have to carefully review what you just said, as Jr succinctly critiqued: If COSI had a BUSINESS PLAN, they would not "need" public funds. A real business with a real plan is self sufficient.

The moral vote is NO on this COSI crap. They closed since they only survived all this time by dipping into a large public fund as it was. During all that time, the so-called leaders of COSI merely let the money clock run out, and then went running like little disgusting Socialists to the government for more money.

Let's give these stupid fucking Socialists the final boot out of Toledo, shall we? Yes, let's.

P.S. There is no lack of science education in Toledo. We have a public school system, a host of pseudo-public systems (charter, religious), several colleges and a big university, and as well we have a fine library system. Anyone who thinks there's a lack of POTENTIAL science education in Toledo really have their heads shoved up their asses. And when it comes down to it, all the REAL educational institutions in Toledo could get together and have their students work up a veritable blizzard of science exhibits (for credit!) that can be emplaced in one of downtown Toledo's many, MANY empty buildings. Voila! Instant COSI. So what do we need this COSI parasite for, again? Yeah, that's right: NOTHING. Nothing but as a piece of gaudy ego jewelry for certain mayors to assert their self importance.

posted by GuestZero on Jul 21, 2008 at 08:57:07 pm     #  

So know when it is convenient, the TPS is qualified!?!?!??!

Hysterical.

Post on warrior, post on!

posted by Ryan on Jul 21, 2008 at 09:34:44 pm     #  

Graphics Guy took the words out of my mouth.

posted by JeepMaker on Jul 21, 2008 at 09:56:46 pm     #  

GZ & jr -

Point well made and point well taken.

posted by corky on Jul 21, 2008 at 10:25:21 pm     #  

"...the Toledo Zoo announced plans to build a $7.5 million playground...I guess our excellent, tax-payer supported Metroparks cannot teach children about nature."

Good Grief! Here we go again.

JR...why the dis on the Zoo's education programs? I know you are a strong advocate for the Metroparks and that is honorable. As anyone who knows me, I am an advocate for the Zoo and feel their education programs are comparable but offer different learning opportunities then what the kids can learn at the Metroparks.

Unlike COSI, these two LEW icon have strived to reduce the amount of public support by way of their fund raisings, operational cutbacks, defined Business plans and have a major economic impact on the local economy making them a worthwhile investment for our Tax dollars.

I love both the Metroparks and the Zoo (which work closely with each other) and trying to vilify either by saying one is better or the other is lacking is in my opinion, unfair.

posted by KraZyKat on Jul 21, 2008 at 11:37:42 pm     #  

Typical way Toledo does business, if one economic developement program is good why not 4? Lets have 2 butterfly houses. Lets metroparks with neet things to see them duplicate them around the city. Lets start cosi and then lets set up other places with science exhibits. If I remember right Carty is the one that said that Cosi would NEVER need taxpayer money. Pretty prime real estate they gave away there. I liked it as Portside myself, open back up some decent resteraunts, put in a boating store, use the fricken docks just on the river there. For a decent sized city with direct deep water port to Lake Erie they sure dont take advantage of it. Guess City Goverment dont like boaters.

posted by Linecrosser on Jul 22, 2008 at 01:31:57 am     #  

Wow I typed way too fast there.

posted by Linecrosser on Jul 22, 2008 at 01:38:42 am     #  

"How many times can something go on a ballet?"
This is great in more ways than one.

Toledo should be building a big empty building for some private sports franchises which given all historical evidence are likely to go belly up within a few years. Go volatile team!

They could have built a few places for franchises in other industries... like relocation specialists or something.

posted by charlatan on Jul 22, 2008 at 06:40:48 am     #  

"JR...why the dis on the Zoo's education programs?"

I'm not ripping on the zoo's education programs. Plural? List the programs I'm dissing? I'm specifically ripping on the Zoo's $7.5 million playground that allegedly is suppose to educate kids about nature when a trip to the library to read about nature and a trip to the outside to see real nature would do more.

I'm not a zoo guy. Seeing animals caged in a "natural" setting does not do it for me when I can venture out to our fine wildlife areas, nature preserves, and parks and observe nature in the wild. But I understand that many people don't like to walk. They need air conditioning in the summer and warmth in the winter. They need a french-fry stand, and crap like that nearby when observing critters, and the zoo provides those comfort features for the lazy-types.

"... have a major economic impact on the local economy making them a worthwhile investment for our Tax dollars."

Save your breathe. I'm last the last person that needs to be told about the economic impact of the Toledo Zoo. The zoo can easily justify the need for taxpayer support because of the zoo's proven return on investment to the local economy. I view the Toledo Zoo strictly from a numbers standpoint :

  • Over the last ten years, each levy dollar the Zoo received has returned $6.50 in LOCAL economic activity, creating jobs outside the Zoo.
  • From 1996-2005, The Toledo Zoo had a $664 million economic impact in LUCAS COUNTY.

And here's info I posted in 2003 or 2004 to my old, defunct site ToledoArts.com :

A new study shows the Toledo Zoo is providing a substantial return on taxpayer investment. Executive Director Bill Dennler says the study indicates for every tax dollar the zoo receives, it generates about 8 dollars in local economic activity, and the zoo's annual impact on the local economy is estimated at 70 million dollars. Also, the study says people from outside the zoo's primary market area spend 22 million dollars per year at local businesses when visiting the zoo. The study was conducted by the Center for Policy Analysis and Public Service at Bowling Green State University.

Related to the above study about the zoo, I asked in March 2006 :

Has COSI produced any kind of similar data? What's COSI's annual impact on the local economy? COSI will need more than personal stories to convince people to pass a levy. I hate to say it, but many who believe they are overtaxed like to see cold, hard economic facts.

What will be the return on investment by supporting a COSI levy? How do you quantify the notion that kids do better in school or have more interest in science or whatever because of COSI? How do you chart that?

One part of the zoo study basically says 8:1. It's a nice, simple, understandable stat. Eight dollars returned for every one taxdollar given. Makes for a positive soundbyte. Without some convincing economic stats, I don't see how COSI will get anyone to support a levy.

posted by jr on Jul 22, 2008 at 07:13:50 am     #  

NO NO NO NO!!

posted by stooks on Jul 22, 2008 at 07:41:27 am     #  

COSI was mismanaged both personnel and financially. There was too much a friendship mentality to the decision being made in that place. I spent way too much time at that place to ever support them for what they did to the employees.

posted by hugabugger on Jul 22, 2008 at 08:47:10 am     #  

Stooks, you mistakenly wrote NO 4 times - should only be 3

......or....do you know something the rest of us don't?

posted by GraphicsGuy on Jul 22, 2008 at 08:57:44 am     #  

It's stunning and yet not surprising that David Waterman is still involved with COSI. As hugabugger mentioned, COSI was mismanaged to its death, and Waterman and other COSI management are responsible. They had years to adapt.

Nov 8, 2006 Toledo Blade story :

COSI officials say they need the tax increase to pass to relieve the squeeze of increasing maintenance costs and declining attendance. Gate receipts have steadily declined since 2001, sinking to 211,000 last year. COSI has tried to change directions, away from the tourist-attraction model, by partnering with local schools and colleges for educational opportunities.

If the COSI levy passes this November, COSI will reopen in the same building that it failed in, and COSI will be "managed" by the same person who drove it into the ground. And this is intelligent?

The Lucas County Commissioners should say, "No levy for you! Come back, one year!"

If Toledo does not have enough intelligent people to figure out how to fund a science museum without taxpayer dollars, then COSI at least needs to make a good-faith gesture toward the taxpayers. COSI needs a "change."

Over the next year or two, Waterman and all the others that mismanaged COSI need to be replaced with new people, and a new COSI location needs to be obtained first. Get private investment to find COSI a new home. And then the commissioners can put a new levy on the ballot in 2009 or 2010. And we cannot tolerate any of this, "We'll reopen and then look for a new location." That's an empty promise.

It seems to me that local officials have a bias toward downtown Toledo. If COSI truly supports the region, then why does COSI need to be located in the old Portside building? Why not build a hands-on science museum in West Toledo or South Toledo? Why not Sylvania or Maumee? Or move it to northern Wood County. Find the best location that will attract the most visitors. Clearly, the Portside location has proven to be a bad spot for a science museum.

posted by jr on Jul 22, 2008 at 09:26:08 am     #  

I'm thinking the reason for a downtown location is the mindset of 'Revitalizing Downtown Toledo", jr.

posted by GraphicsGuy on Jul 22, 2008 at 09:36:56 am     #  

Ryan said: « So know when it is convenient, the TPS is qualified!?!?!??! Hysterical. »

Ryan, I encourage the habit of reading, then thinking, then posting. I sure you can tell that I'm implying that YOU skipped that middle step.

I said this:

« POTENTIAL science education in Toledo »

... and even put a word in CAPITAL LETTERS to emphasize it. The TPS has potential to teach the sciences. In fact, since I already credited the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library as being a source of science education, the TPS has another step up from that, since it has essentially the same stuff the TLCPL has, plus teachers who at least make a modicum of effort to teach science.

It's true, and my use of that fact is not some smarmy convenience often found amongst the political set. There is adequate POTENTIAL science education in Toledo -- hence, there is no "need" for COSI. The TPS sucks at overall education, but it remains true that until We The People kick out the losers leeching off the system, each student is STILL RESPONSIBLE for picking up books and READING THEM. That's how I've learned so much in my life. So it must apply to them. The failure of ANY system doesn't abrogate PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

P.S. I don't have larger fonts to resort to, Ryan. Let me know if you're missing any of my emphases.

posted by GuestZero on Jul 22, 2008 at 10:26:08 am     #  

As implied by Jr, it's a no-brainer that COSI needs to relocate, and a Zoo property is more than ideal. Of course, that would oppose Waterman's tiny empire, and would also oppose Czarty's and the Czouncil's stupid plans to "revitalize downtown". So even within the context of synergy with yet another welfare recipient, COSI still won't do the right thing.

I have a sudden idea. Since Tarta runs off of 80% public funding, it's another fucking welfare queen, so why not partner COSI with Tarta? Those buses are large enough. Take out the back 4-6 seats, and install 1 of COSI's science exhibits. The bus can charge an extra 25c for a ride on one of these "science buses". Of course, only Science Buses will be used for taking kids to the schools. HEY HEY HEY! I JUST DID WATERMAN'S FUCKING JOB FOR HIM!! WHERE DO I APPLY?!?!

posted by GuestZero on Jul 22, 2008 at 10:33:19 am     #  

I voted against the 3/4% levy but it passed anyway, and they're STILL closing down my police station...

Dont look for help outta West Toledo, Cosi...

posted by billy on Jul 22, 2008 at 11:56:04 am     #  

I agree, 7.5 mil zoo playground not needed.
However:

I'm not a zoo guy. Seeing animals caged in a "natural" setting does not do it for me when I can venture out to our fine wildlife areas, nature preserves, and parks and observe nature in the wild. But I understand that many people don't like to walk. They need air conditioning in the summer and warmth in the winter. They need a french-fry stand, and crap like that nearby when observing critters, and the zoo provides those comfort features for the lazy-types.

The zoo's for families, mostly ones with small children, some of whom need to be pushed in strollers, all of whom want something from that french-fry stand. Bundling up little Johnny in five layers in winter, for example, so he can experience the wonders of bird-watching or catching the occasional squirrel or rabbit at Oak Openings isn't going to cut it.

I know, now I've pissed you off...

posted by McCaskey on Jul 22, 2008 at 01:22:18 pm     #  

It would be nice if COSI or some other company created something similar to Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center. It's a similiar concept and they seem to be doing well. I went there as a kid and still enjoy going there as an adult when I'm in town.

Though having an IMAX theatre probably helps them a bit.

posted by jshriver on Jul 22, 2008 at 01:40:59 pm     #  

How can anyone estimate what every dollar spent by the zoo gets in return for Lucas County accurately?

Are you actually listening to this crap? That is one of the most far-fetched reports/studies that I've ever heard.

posted by hockeyfan on Jul 22, 2008 at 04:03:40 pm     #  

"Bundling up little Johnny in five layers in winter, for example, so he can experience the wonders of bird-watching or catching the occasional squirrel or rabbit at Oak Openings isn't going to cut it."

Pansies. You're right though. Dragging a kid outside may interfere with some grownup's TV time.

My good friend Al Gore said TV has made us complacent because the average American watches four hours of television a day.

And my name is Johnny. Well it was until I reached a certain age, and then I was just called John. When I was in grade school, I got bundled up in the late fall and winter to head out with Dad, hunting and trapping. I still have vivid memories of those days.

Instead of carrying a gun or number one long spring traps, carry an inexpensive digital camera. Too cold for a camera, carry a pencil and a sketchbook. Observing nature can be done cheaply. And with a little more money, here's my recommended Birdwatching Starter Kit for less than $200 that will last for several years.

And one can observe and learn about nature by simply walking around the neighborhood in all the seasons. What butterflies are bopping around the neighborhood right now? We've got Monarchs coming to our Swamp Milkweed plants. Cicadas have been whirring in our neighborhood, since the beginning of July. On my morning walk the past couple days, I've seen the wicked-looking cicada killer wasp. Acorns have started falling within the past few days. Last week, I saw a few small crickets, which I think were my first of the summer.

Our Tall Coreopsis plant just started blooming a few days ago. Not much bird song exists in the neighborhood anymore, now that the nesting season is nearing its end. But the American Goldfinches will bring young to our yard later this month or August, since they are late nesters. Later, the goldfinches will feed on our Purple Cone Flowers. Got your porch light on at night, check out all the funky insects it attracts. Want a challenge? Try identifying the moths around your home. Only 10,000 species of moths exist in the U.S.

Oh, I forgot, people are not going outside right now because of the mosquitoes. Too hot, too cold, too rainy, too snowy, too buggy.

An interest in nature requires a functioning brain, which may not exist in an adult watching four hours of television a day. That kind of mentally passive adult is probably not likely to get a child interested in nature. Studying nature requires patience, careful observation, research, and curiosity. Whether the temperature is -10 F or 95 F is inconsequential to the working, open brain.

My thoughts last fall :

A controlled exhibit can keep kids constantly entertained and involved in some way, but it's not natural. You're only exposed to so much in a controlled environment. Kids won't get the randomness of nature with this new zoo exhibit. You won't have the fortunate luck of seeing a Merlin snag a Tree Swallow out of the air unless you spend time outside.

Adults play a part in whether or not a kid "connects with nature." I suppose dumping the kids at the zoo is easier for the parents than walking around Oak Openings Metropark. So is this new zoo playground simply a taxpayer-funded daycare center, so parents don't have to parent? I think this new taxpayer-funded zoo project will do more harm to nature in the long run because kids at an early age will only think of nature as some sort of theme park.

Oh yeah, passing a levy to support a Waterman-led Portside COSI is a wretched idea.

posted by jr on Jul 22, 2008 at 04:48:23 pm     #  

If they didn't have enough money to stay open before why do they think they will all of a sudden have a spike in attendance? Because they have stayed closed for a year just to reopen the same crappy exibits that I personally have been seeing since it opened when i was in 6th grade?

posted by jennygirlmarie on Jul 22, 2008 at 05:59:01 pm     #  

Oh and by the way, How is it fair that people who do not own homes, get to vote on how much i will have to pay in property taxes?

posted by jennygirlmarie on Jul 22, 2008 at 06:03:23 pm     #  

Does COSI stand for Costs Overrun Sales Income?

posted by GraphicsGuy on Jul 22, 2008 at 07:13:42 pm     #  

We need COSI! Look at how the academic scores have fallen since the science center closed. Our children will have to learn in school now. Learn in school? Are all you parents crazy?

How long until the zoo builds that kid cage,errrr, playground so parents can dump their kids off in an enclosed environment under the title of "learning" center?

posted by hockeyfan on Jul 23, 2008 at 02:08:07 am     #  

Jenny, think for a second: Is a landlord losing money on his property?

Once you realize the answer, then you'll come to realize that renters pay property taxes indirectly and are entitled therefrom.

At any rate, Toledo's so-called homeownership fraction is about 65%. A 2/3rds majority of you are direct payers of property taxes, instead of being indirect payers via rents. There's no injustice here, backed up by two reasons.

posted by GuestZero on Jul 23, 2008 at 08:14:49 am     #  

jr, agreed, metro parks great (use them all the time for exercising, agreed kids can learn much about nature at same venues).

In fact, I'm sure there are many people who use the parks or anywhere else outside for just those purposes and still find fun, entertainment and knowledge while gawking at the 'caged-up' animals at the zoo and eating fatty foods while doing so.

The 'little Johnnys' who are 3-4-5-6-7 years old are a little young to be learning about and retaining knowledge of the differing species of butterflies and the like and the time spent at the zoo isn't a waste with them or an example of 'laziness.'

Four hours of TV a day? Not my kids. Occasional four hours of computer time, yes; but that probably holds true for some of the adults on here right now, LOL.

posted by McCaskey on Jul 23, 2008 at 10:43:30 am     #  

Would all the people in the county vote on the levy?

posted by nogero on Aug 02, 2008 at 01:10:13 pm     #