Meeting in special session yesterday, the board of Toledo's Regional Growth Partnership took only 15 minutes to approve absorbing the three-year-old Regional Technology Alliance.
That was a marked contrast to the partnership's regular meeting two weeks ago, when what was expected to be a routine approval vote was delayed nearly an hour of discussion.
At that session, several directors questioned the need for a speedy decision, and some suggested that the board of the port authority - the growth partnership's biggest financial backer - should at least hear details of the merger before it became official.
Port authority directors, at their monthly meeting last week, got that chance, and debated the issue for more than an hour before giving their blessing to the measure, although the port authority vote was not a legal requirement for the tech alliance to merge with the growth partnership.
Growth partnership directors voted 16-0 yesterday for the measure, which dissolves the technology alliance board and makes the technology agency officially a part of the economic-development agency.
The board of the growth partnership also voted to amend its code of regulations to expand by up to six members, including presidents of four Toledo-area universities and two business executives.
Dr. Christa Adams, who had been chairman of the technology alliance's board, praised the merger vote. “Technology development and economic development are not two separate initiatives,” said Dr. Adams, president of Owens Community College and one of the board members added to the growth partnership.
“We will now have one board setting the policy to attract industrial and high-tech jobs to our community. The priority of technology-led development has taken a step forward through this merger,” she said.