I strongly encourage Toledo Mayor Mike Bell, City Council, the Regional Chamber of Commerce, development agencies, and the United Labor Committee to appeal the 2010 U.S. Census numbers for Toledo, Lucas County, and this region.
My administration did just that in 2007-2008, appealing a 2005 Census report. With the aid of a professional census count organization, we presented evidence that supported our contention we had not been accurately counted. The firm we hired estimated Toledo's census count at 328,664 citizens.
The U.S. Census Bureau officially raised Toledo's population count to 317,800 residents in 2009. There is no way Toledo's population declined to 287,000 residents in 12 to 24 months.
Federal money comes to various regions based on census counts. The more citizens a city has, the more federal money it receives.
There is an excellent team in place to organize this appeal. Other cities such as Detroit and Cincinnati will be doing exactly the same thing.
This is too important to simply accept that the government has been accurate and thorough. I do not believe it has a good track record in this field, and I urge the above organizations to join hands and work to get an accurate count of our city's and region's population.
Editor's Note: The writer served three terms as Toledo's mayor.
If 'leap forward' is confusing …
If Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken can't "100 percent" figure out what day to put his garbage out ("Mayor says fee breaks for senior citizens should go on" April 1), how can Mr. Gerken make any 100 percent decisions for the people of Lucas County?
Addressing risks for heart disease
Lucas County ranks 72nd among Ohio counties in a survey done by the Population Health Institute of the University of Wisconsin ("Study ranks Lucas County as unhealthiest of N.W. Ohio counties," March 31). The leading cause of death in Ohio, as elsewhere, is cardiovascular disease, mainly heart attacks.
According to figures from the Ohio Department of Health, Lucas County ranks 11th in the state for cardiovascular disease mortality. The county oscillated between 11th and 24th from 1990 to 2008.
Since 1990, Lucas County has had an absolute cardiovascular disease mortality decrease of 116 deaths per 100,000 people, a 32 percent decline. That's less than the average for Ohio during this time frame: 34.4 deaths per 100,000, or a 39 percent drop.
A decline in cardiovascular disease mortality rates by simply having available multiple tertiary care centers for rescue procedures (bypass grafts, stents, etc.), as Lucas County has had for years, is less than ideal. The initial manifestation of the disease is in many cases sudden death -- its victims don't get a second chance.
The ideal method of decreasing mortality from heart disease is risk-factor modification. The chief risk factors are cigarette smoking, high cholesterol, and hypertension.
Treatment of any or all of these risk factors will decrease mortality.
W.E. Feeman, Jr., MD
Make our region a shining star
It's bad enough that our region suffered more than any other in the country through the recent recession. Thanks to the leadership of the governors of Ohio and Wisconsin, we have made our region even less attractive to those considering moving their businesses here.
There is nothing like combative, divisive leadership to drive people away. No tax credits or economic incentives can possibly overcome the damage these governors have done.
Toledoans live here because we love the people, the region, and the city. We want our children to stay in the area to help bring their youth and perspective to what we hope will become a growing, more vibrant area.
We all need to be more vocal in demanding leadership that promotes communication and cooperation among all groups in our communities.
We need our leadership to stand up to the poor example set in Columbus, to put partisan issues aside, and work together to make our region the shining star it could be.
Andrew L. Mahler
Cheshire Woods Road
Let's put an end to business as usual
The voters' message last November was loud and clear: Get government spending under control .
We now have capable governors in at least eight states (Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maine) with impressive private-sector backgrounds. They were elected to cut spending, reduce deficits, and set a course for balanced budgets.
These governors barely started to take action when the wailing began. Boisterous demonstrations across several states have been staged by government employees who want to continue business as usual.
Reining in bloated government spending will not be done easily. But significant reductions must be made, because we simply do not have the means to continue feeding government's voracious appetite. The problem has been ignored far too long.
With several states awash in red ink, business as usual is, at last, being vigorously challenged by these governors. I applaud them for taking bold and decisive action. Ohio's Senate Bill 5 is a case in point. It not only cuts spending but restores some measure of control to the people.
The task is daunting. Sorting out true needs from bureaucratic overlap, red tape, waste, and inefficiency is not easy, and it will not be accomplished quickly.
Don't be misled by the diversionary tactics of protesters. Business as usual must be replaced by an efficient, slimmed down, and responsive government that lives within its means.
Governor's bus has reverse gear
Ohio Gov. John Kasich enjoys running us over now. But in four years, his bus will be put in reverse and it will be the end of his totalitarian control.
When workers get together, he will be a one-term governor. You can count on that.
Joyce A. Burkes
West Central Avenue
Kasich budget will add to problems
Your March 21 article "Officials say budget sets them up for fall" aptly demonstrated that Gov. John Kasich's proposed budget will increase the problems affecting local organizations that shape our futures.
With our schools and libraries -- the primary place people go to seek education -- stretched to their limit, Mr. Kasich's plan to force local communities to carry more of the support of these institutions is not only unsound, but also a poor investment.
Who does Mr. Kasich think will teach his children and grandchildren? To whom do our politicians attribute their own experience of rising to positions of power? Educators and institutions of learning are our most vital asset.
Your article said that Mr. Kasich's budget director, Tim Keen, conceded that there probably will be local tax levies as a result of the budget.
How does this solve the issue? It doesn't.
The problem always rests upon the people of the community. Whether something is supported by state or local taxes, we pay those taxes. The only difference is that poorer communities will now have even less support because their tax revenues will be less.
Is a world in which the rich continue to succeed and the poor continue to founder really where we want to live?
Editorial page cartoon divisive
I found the March 26 editorial cartoon by Drew Sheneman highly offensive. Its broad-brush painting of all Republicans as having "love for bombing Muslim nations" is not only divisive but dangerous to the welfare of our country.
How can anyone continue to support a local business that expresses such blatant disdain for a large percentage of America's population?