My opinion, as a practicing physician and clinical faculty member at the Medical College of Ohio, is that The Blade needs a CAT scan. Or, at least, some form of diagnostic testing that would explain your paper's persistent blind spot when it comes to reporting on the financial crisis facing this institution.
Russell Armistead, MCO's acting chief financial officer, and his $2,000-per-day consulting fee are not the cause of MCO's fiscal woes. The man is working capably and effectively to remedy problems that had already spiraled out of control before he first set foot on campus.
The questions The Blade should be asking, but is not, are the following: Why did it become necessary to bring in Mr. Armistead in the first place? How and when did MCO's top executives drop the ball? Where was the oversight that should have been provided by the board of trustees?
And as for our board members, their sudden displays of righteous indignation over MCO's finances certainly make good press, but they're not fooling anyone. They've been asleep at the switch. And they know very well who is accountable for this mess. MCO needs surgery. They know exactly where the tumor is. Cut it out. Now.
JOHN J. WISNIEWSKI, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Co-Director Managed Care College
Medical College of Ohio
I support the proposed merger of the Regional Technology Alliance and the Regional Growth Partnership.
Over the last five years, our four regional universities, several successful industrial and entrepreneurial companies, EISC, Inc., the chamber, the city, the county, the port authority, and the RGP have actively joined together to create a vision for the RTA. This vision, in part, is to eliminate duplication of effort and to create a common vision.
The RTA board itself proposed and voted unanimously for the merger and believes that the RTA mission will best be accomplished by becoming a more integral part of the RGP, the group charged with economic development for northwest Ohio.
Further, many northwest Ohio university, industrial, public sector, and elected leaders have devoted immense personal energy to nurturing collaborative relationships between northwest Ohio organizations, and with organizations in other Ohio regions. As a result, we have created substantial credibility for northwest Ohio in Columbus over this past year. Rejecting collaboration and insisting on separate economic development organizations will jeopardize that credibility.
In each of my roles as founder of several technology businesses in northwest Ohio, as a member of the governor's Technology Advisory Board, as an appointee of the governor's Third Frontier Advisory Board, as a founding member of the RTA, and as a probable board member of the merged organization, I believe that this proposed merger is in the best interests of northwest Ohio.
We simply do not have the option of creating separate organizations and then hoping that a few of us can push the technology rope up a separate hill.
It is time that all of us focus on creating success rather than working separately without regard to the long-term future. It will be easy to make this proposed merger fail, but wouldn't it be better if we work together to create success in northwest Ohio?
THOMAS E. BRADY
If anyone had a doubt about who sponsors Jerry Chabler on the port authority board it was erased by The Blade's June 30 editorial. It is unfortunate that port board members must risk taking an editorial blast if they dare take on Mr. Chabler for his incessant carping and political grandstanding.
The founders of Ohio's first port authority were steadfast in their determination to keep its board of director chairs filled by independent, nonpolitical, business people with the wisdom to quietly hire and direct an energetic, motivated, professional staff. Bill Knight, Jr., Paul Block, Jr., and other legendary board members of the past must be looking down on today's port scene asking, “What happened to our legacy?”
FRANK E. MILLER
Editor's note: Mr. Miller was the founding publisher of the former Toledo Business Venture magazine and before that seaport director for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
“Unconscionable”? “Despicable conduct”? Who is board member Dan Smith and where does he get off suggesting that Jerry Chabler “strongly consider resigning” from his position on the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority board?
It's small-minded people like Mr. Smith who keep Toledo in the doldrums. His “don't make a wave” attitude would prohibit free thinkers like Mr. Chabler from challenging the “establishment.”
If the port authority can't properly attend to its responsibilities in managing the airport, perhaps it should consider returning the duties to the city.
What the port authority needs is more members like Carty Finkbeiner and Jerry Chabler who ask hard questions and demand straight answers.
GEORGE S. ATHANAS
You carried stories about cars violating motorcyclists' right of way, and once again you made it a point to tell the world that the motorcyclists were not wearing helmets, giving the impression that the motorcyclists were killed for that reason.
I would like to point out that the state of Ohio requires you to wear a helmet during the first year of your endorsement. After that year it is up to the motorcyclist. I also would like to point out that helmets alone do not save lives. A good friend of my sister was killed when a car pulled out in front of him. He was the safest rider I knew. In the middle of the summer, he would still be wearing a full set of brightly colored leathers, a full-face helmet, heavy boots, and gloves.
I say to everyone who drives a car, truck, or SUV, the road is not yours alone. The next motorcyclist you ignore might just be someone you knew.
A recent letter writer said the rich owe us nothing.
Well, my husband worked for 40-plus years at a local manufacturer and was the recipient of nothing. He was a diligent, hard worker who earned his way throughout life and did not rely on handouts from anyone. We were indeed fortunate. But he was one of the millions of Americans who earned a living wage and so was able to purchase many of the items that made the very affluent society that exists today. Where would rich people be if it were not for the middle class who purchase homes, cars, boats, computers, home furnishings, garden equipment, tickets to sports events and theaters, and the list goes on? They owe us a lot. If our buying slows down, so do their fancy salaries, big hefty stock options, and their unbelievable mega-bonuses. If our economy falters, we all fail.
It takes us all to keep our country affluent. Unfortunately we still have those who are not as fortunate and we really should feel the need to give them help. If the middle class can donate to those who have been less fortunate, so can the wealthy. The middle class is noted for its generous contributions to all kinds of charities, etc.
Do we not have a responsibility to those less fortunate? As a taxpayer, I am glad to see some of our taxes go to those in need rather than to those who already have so much.
Holly Glenn Drive
Our elected leaders are so thrifty. Otherwise, we'd see more than a one-cent sales tax increase and a two-cent gasoline tax increase.
Boy, are we lucky.