Thursday, August 09, 2007

Is this the job of a Commissioner?

According to a Blade article today, Lucas County Commission President Tina Skeldon Wozniak asked a non-profit organization to offer free admission to their event for all Lucas County residents.

I'm sure that the fact that this organization is using county property didn't influence their answer in any way...

As you'll see from the article, the non-profit had offered Maumee residents free admission for some of the time on Sunday of their Rib-Off event - they explained that this was because of the people and amount of traffic they're bringing into the city - sort of a good-neighbor gesture. And it's certainly their prerogative to do so.

However, it's also noted in the article that Comm. Wozniak didn't come up with this idea on her own - rather that the idea came from Toledo City Council President Rob Ludeman who was hoping for a me-too arrangement, despite the fact that the City of Toledo, in response to this event moving to the Maumee due to a lack of space in their previous location of downtown Toledo, decided to create their own 'rib event' the weekend BEFORE the annual Rib-Off.

What many don't know, however, is that last year, after the announcement that the Rib-Off was moving, two county commissioners threatened to shut down the event in retaliation for them leaving downtown Toledo - threatening to prohibit use of the parking areas and extra entrances. (The Ag Society has control of the fairgrounds property so the Commissioners couldn't do anything about their desire to allow the event on that portion of the property.)

Eventually, the Commissioners realized that they really didn't have legal standing and that the publicity about their efforts could be rather negative. The Rib-Off went forward - and the new location was liked by 'all.'

But along comes Toledo who sees that another city is getting something they're not...and like a spoiled child, demands the same...with a county commissioner only too happy to oblige...

Which leads to the question of whether or not it is proper for a county commissioner to ask a non-profit organization to waive their entrance fee to an event for county residents - especially when said commissioner can restrict usage of public property if she doesn't get an answer she likes.

Oh - and for the record, the logic for the request is that all municipalities in the county should be treated the same...too bad our commissioners don't apply this logic in their other decisions.

5 comments:

Roland Hansen said...

Interesting! Thanks for the information.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Maggie,

Who besides Tina Skeldon Wozniak, says she is a commissioner?

All I see is a sock puppet playing a part in a very "B" movie, and I don't think that Rob's hand is making her mouth work.

Let's blame her actions on "The Hildo" ;-)

-Sepp said...

I don't think "lack of space" was the reason the rib-off moved. I think that a better space with better parking and better facilities was the reason they moved the venue to a better town with better politicians. Tina may work for the county now but, still carries the stench of Toledo politics with her.

Maggie Thurber said...

-sepp...lack of space was a major concern as the developers of the old steam plant had fenced off a significant portion of the area (and rightly so - for safety's sake).

But I also recall some increased expenses they were being asked to pay.

However, we can all speculate about the 'better politicians' aspect.

-Sepp said...

Before the steamplant "non-project", the area was snowfenced in smaller and they were charging 8 bucks for admission for the honor to buy ribs and socialize. I felt it was just one more example of the city "leaders" seeing dollar signs and making a grab.

I'll clear up my "better politicians" statement by saying that those in Maumee know that being business friendly is what fuels growth. Most suburban politicians regardless of party cite Toledo government as the perfect example of "what not to be"...and it seems to be working!

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