Three years ago, Toledo Mayor Mike Bell first went to China in search of investment and jobs. That was a good idea.
Two years ago, the mayor announced that Dashing Pacific Group Ltd., a Chinese firm that had already bought the nearby Docks restaurant complex, would purchase nearly 69 acres in the Marina District of East Toledo, and would redevelop that land.
Today, many Toledoans are asking: Is the marina development going to happen? Will it happen in stages? When will it start? Will it include the former Toledo Edison power plant on the site?
The mayor has given hints, but the project seems to be clothed in the typical, and mostly unnecessary, secrecy of this administration. The good news is that the Chinese investors appear to remain on board. They are still traveling to Toledo; they are still in touch with the mayor and his deputies, and they are evidently still committed to the marina project.
Some critics are too impatient. These things take time. And the Toledo economy, while it is much healthier than it was several years ago, is not booming.
But why the top-secret routine? Why shouldn’t the administration tell Toledoans what is happening in the Marina District? While Dashing Pacific paid $3.8 million for the land, taxpayers have spent $43 million on cleanup and infrastructure over the past dozen years.
You might say the public is the senior partner here. It has a moral and fiduciary right to know what’s going on.