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Published: Sunday, 1/2/2005

Here s to hoping city makes most of 05

Eight molasses-coated Lemmon Drops to nibble on while waiting for former Lucas County treasurer Ray Kest to apologize to taxpayers:

  • Now that we ve flipped the calendar to 2005, let the countdown begin for the springtime demolition of the Budget Inn.

    Given its proximity to the Ohio Turnpike, the motel at the corner of Reynolds Road and Heatherdowns Boulevard has cost Toledo untold first impression points.

    One can only hope that building a Rite Aid pharmacy on the site, as is planned, won t spark another drug-store construction frenzy, circa 1999.

  • Less than a mile from the Budget Inn is the equally downtrodden Southwyck Shopping Center, which somehow made it through another holiday shopping season.

    In a Dec. 6 article, Toledo Mayor Jack Ford indicated that there s little he can do to motivate Southwyck s owner to improve the mall other than be an irritant and to jawbone.

    That strategy was pretty effective in dealing with the Budget Inn s owner, wasn t it?

    (If you don t commence with some intense jawboning soon, Mr. Ford, it s going to be too late. Loyal reader Howard reports two longtime Southwyck tenants, J.B. Robinson Jewelers and Things Remembered, closed in late December.)

  • While I have long suspected that Mr. Ford has no sense of urgency, this quote in Wednesday s paper removed all doubt: We will worry about 2006 in 2006.

    Although he was talking about Toledo receiving a one-time dividend of nearly $272,000 from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, thus preserving the city s weekly unlimited garbage collection for another year, Mr. Ford has exhibited a worry about 2006 in 2006 mentality throughout his first three years in office.

    Be it building momentum for the Marina District, saving Southwyck, or scheduling uni-gov summits three key components to his legacy Mr. Ford has failed to excite the masses about Toledo s future.

  • Some tough love for Toledoans: You are spoiled by the unlimited trash collection.

  • Like Mr. Ford, Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell is running for re-election in November. One of her top priorities this year, she has said, is to work to bring a casino to Cleveland.

    She sees it as economic-revitalization tool and, therefore, is leading an effort to put a statewide gambling initiative on the November ballot.

    While each mayor is expected to face a tough re-election bid, they are taking different paths to Nov. 8.

    By embracing casino gambling in Ohio, Ms. Campbell is playing offense. Mr. Ford prefers defense.

  • Fourth-grade proficiency tests came up as a topic of conversation a few weeks ago. Later, I reflected on two things teachers told their little lumps of clay in the late 1960s: 1. The United States will have converted to a metric system by the time we were adults; and 2. The world s supply of oil would be exhausted by now.

  • Looks like I won t be spending my golden years in the Midwest. A Web site that teased me with a promise of finding the best state in which to retire, based on my preferences, ranked Ohio 46th and Indiana (my home state) 49th.

  • We can add 2004 to the list of years that General Growth Properties Inc., planned to break ground on the project now known as The Shops at Fallen Timbers but didn t.

    It joins 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003.

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