Your June 2 article “Owens looks to change charter” says that Owens Community College leaders are thinking of seeking a local property tax levy to offset losses in revenue because of enrollment declines and cutbacks in state aid. This idea should go no further.
Property owners are weary of being the go-to revenue source for every public undertaking. Unlike local school levies where voters identify with and have loyalty to a specific neighborhood, there is no strong sense of neighborhood with Owens.
In lieu of a levy, Owens leaders should develop strategies for dealing with the loss of revenue by more closely monitoring and adjusting manpower needs, course offerings, and tuition levels.
The suggestion by The Blade that Owens relocate its campus to downtown Toledo to better serve the low-income population is a stretch. Owens’ Perrysburg Township campus is a short drive from downtown, and there is transit service.
We can not realistically expect Owens to abandon millions of dollars of infrastructure and move downtown to develop a new campus on the chance of attracting an untold number of enrollees from a supposedly underserved income group.
If transportation is a major obstacle to the enrollment of low-income students, a more realistic and less-expensive solution would be to develop an enhanced Owens transportation system.
Downtown not a site for Owens
I have a problem with columnist Keith C. Burris’ June 10 commentary, “Owens, city can make lemonade,” in which he espouses the benefits of having Owens Community College relocate to downtown Toledo. He says a number of people have suggested that Owens have a presence in downtown Toledo. He says: “These voices have included The Blade, editorially, and Rep. Marcy Kaptur.”
I disagree with The Blade, Miss Kaptur, and those unidentified voices.
Miss Kaptur, the Democratic U.S. representative from Toledo, says many urban youth can’t get to Owens at its current location because they don’t have cars. But Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority buses service Owens’ Perrysburg Township campus.
Another consideration that The Blade and Mr. Burris so blithely espouse is to go to the public for support in the form of a levy. I’m sorry, but most of us are overwhelmed with multiple levies.
Owens needs to solve its financial problems without asking the public to subsidize its enrollment shortfall. Urban youth can get to Owens, one way or another, if they are motivated.
Owens is fine right where it is
I find it ludicrous that The Blade is calling for Owens Community College to move its Perrysburg Township campus to downtown Toledo as you are cutting production jobs at your downtown building (“Quid pro quo,” editorial, June 5).
You should put your money where your mouth is and lead the way to revitalizing downtown, rather than calling for others to do the job for you.