Mr. Escobar, do the math; jobs count
Nine bite-size Lemmon Drops to nibble on while waiting for Dale Jarrett to take the checkered flag in today's Daytona 500:
Somebody had better tell Louis Escobar, president of Toledo City Council, that now isn't the time to be playing chicken. With one of the city's best corporate citizens, no less.
More than a year ago, Fifth Third Bank announced that it wanted to tear down three buildings on Huron Street to install a surface parking lot and an off-street service lane for its armored trucks and couriers. It finally ran out of patience with Mr. Escobar's stall tactics and demanded that the issue be brought up for a vote.
Mr. Escobar says a new 300-space parking garage near the bank is the solution. It could be built in 14 months.
Fifth Third says that's not a viable option; so it's pressing for a thumbs-up or thumbs-down vote on its downtown plan.
In an article in Tuesday's paper, John Szuch, chairman of Fifth Third Bank of Northwestern Ohio, couldn't have been more clear: "If it's a no vote, we'll move to Sylvania."
Two hundred jobs are at stake. It's not like the city -- which will lose an estimated 340 jobs if Owens-Illinois Inc. moves its headquarters from downtown to Perrysburg -- has a lot of leverage.
Lest Mr. Escobar forget, Fifth Third Bank ponied up $5 million for the naming rights to Toledo's baseball stadium, substantially reducing taxpayer risk associated with the $39.2 million facility.
The University of Michigan's football stadium will receive a $200 million upgrade, yet Lucas County's political leaders can't come up with a plan to foster construction of a $40 million arena? Makes no sense. But it is a great example of the importance of goal-setting -- or, in Toledo's case, the lack thereof.
No surprise that Owens-Illinois employees listed parking as one of the reasons they'd like to move from downtown to Perrysburg. If parking truly is a determining factor, then I have a suggestion: Try TARTA.
Riding the bus will eliminate the hassle of parking inside a garage and, best of all, cost just $1.60 a day (assuming you buy a roll of tokens).
Hugh sent an e-mail with a one-sentence response to last week's headline -- O-I shock may wake city to action.
"I wouldn't count on it."
Dennis Duffey, business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 8, is the interim Lucas County treasurer and interim chairman of the Lucas County Democratic Party. Hey, no one ever said becoming a political power broker was easy.
Quick, Mr. Escobar, what's 200 + 340? (You are directly responsible for the 200.)
At the Erie Street Market, the name of the former Frog Town Square soon will be changed to Civic Center Promenade. As part of a $150,000 project, the hall with be decorated with reproductions of original paintings and historical photographs. Although the strategy has a smoke-and-mirrors feel about it, at least city officials are trying to inject some life into the venerable facility.
With school-funding issues creating crises in communities throughout Ohio, I'm thinking state legislators should have put "Choose Life" and "One Nation Under God" license plates at the bottom of their to-do lists.
Vik Kapoor's 17 months as University of Toledo president is the standard by which I measure all crash-and-burn tenures. Sandy Isenberg lasted 14 months as leader of the Lucas County Democratic Party.