Monday, November 19, 2007

NBC 24 Exclusive on COSI - UPDATED

NBC 24 is reporting that Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak met today with COSI board members to discuss keeping Toledo's Center of Science & Industry open for another year -- and then placing a third levy request on the ballot.

NBC 24's Aaron Brilbeck spoke to COSI Chairman David Waterman this afternoon.

Watch NBC 24's news at 6 p.m. for more details!.

This will be Tuesday's topic on Eye on Toledo at 6 p.m. on NewsTalk 1370 WSPD.

From NBC 24:

A new plan to save COSI

By Aaron Brilbeck
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2007 at 5:43 p.m.

(Toledo)--Twice, voters have said they don't want any more tax dollars used to save COSI. But today, a "top secret meeting" was held to do just that. Mayor Carty Finkbeiner called the meeting today with local business and political leaders.

That despite taxpayers sending a clear message by turning down not one-but two COSI levies. The most recent just a few weeks ago.

But NBC24 has learned the mayor held a secret, closed door meeting to discuss having the county and city use tax dollars to keep COSI's doors open at least for the short term. We're told city and county leaders at the meeting also talked about possible long term solutions to keep COSI open.

And while COSI Board Chair Waterman says there seems to be a lot of support, no real concrete answers came out of the meeting.

Waterman says if there is a taxpayer funded bailout, it would have to be enough money to keep COSI open for at least a year
.

12 comments:

KraZyKaT said...

While I voted for the COSI levy, a majority of the voters said NO. I respect that vote and it should be honored in the tradition of American Democracy. For the Mayor to go behind the voters back and provide ANY TAXPAYER monies towards something they most obviously have said NO to is akin to saying to your constituants..."Go ____ yourself. I know how better to spend your money".

Mayor Finkbeiner, If you take this path towards "Strong arming" the voters and disenfranchise their votes, you are violating the spirit and rule of the Constitution. IMO.

We voted to have a Stong Mayor...Not a Strong Arm Mayor. Guess I will look for property outside Toledo.

Tim Higgins said...

Maggie,

I am disappointed! I leave the city for a couple of days and things get dramatically worse than when I left.

Don't make me reach back and straighten this out or someone will be sorry.

Roo said...

This is wrong. Just plain wrong.

What does it take to get the current administration to realize that there is no room for grandstanding? Our population is declining, homes are in foreclosure, businesses are failing and we are in a constant deficit process. We, the taxpayers, are tired of casting our votes only to have them ignored and circumvented by this administration.

Carty attempted to keep Gene Sanders by interfering in a matter that did not concern him. Now he's doing it again. Just where does he think this money is going to come from?

Dear Mr. Mayor:

WE, YOUR CONSTITUENCY, ARE BROKE. WE DON'T HAVE ANY MORE TO GIVE. STOP TRYING TO COERCE US INTO ONE MORE TAX. PLEASE!

-Sepp said...

Carty going against the wishes of the voters? Would you expect anything less?

Robin said...

How freaking thick can these people be? This highly irritates me. We've already said "no" twice! COSI needs to find a different way to get money. Maybe COSI should hire someone with more imagination than "tap the taxpayer".

-Sepp said...

There was some talk a while back about COSI possibly merging with the zoo. Anyone else heard that one or, any update?

John Spalding said...

I think it takes a lot of nerve to stand on the news and actually say "Sometimes government makes better use of taxpayer money than people do"

My wife was offended by Carty's stance and I was in shock that he is that audacious enough to make those comments.

The people voted no.

Where is that recall petition when you need it.

Frank said...

Maggie,
I would encourage everyone who visits your site (and any other site similar to this) to email, call or physically show up at One Government Center and tell King Carty he better follow the wishes of the voters or he will find himself in a massive PR fight. It was the majority of our votes who elected him to be our mayor (although I did not vote for him) and it was the majority of our votes that told him no to COSI (which I did vote no on as well).
As a homeowner, I do not make the kind of money that Carty does (not even close) and can not afford more taxes to my home.
Like others in the past few years, I am looking to move out of Toledo due mostly to the economic climate, the socialist government here in Toledo and the leaders of our local government acting like kids.
Of course the other idea is to have ordinary citizens run for governmental positions and get rid of some of the current officials in office.

Aaron said...

It was very shortsided to turn down the levy. There should be some regional coordination to keeping the thing going and I'm personally very pleased to see the brainstorming to keep it going. The best, family friendly, "livable" cities I've been to all have science centers. Furthermore, those that are worth going to are all funded by the community (even Columbus has done this to keep theirs going). It is a wonderful addition to the Toledo lineup (e.g. Zoo, libraries, museum, metro parks, Opera theater) that make it an attractive city to the types of people Toledo needs more of, young professionals who are starting out their families.

Maggie Thurber said...

Aaron - things like COSI and other 'quality of life' venues are the RESULT of economic development - jobs and the people who hold them - not the CAUSE. When did you ever hear someone say they were moving to Toledo because of COSI, or the Zoo, or the Library, or anything similar. They move here because of JOBS.

And without the jobs, the people who are currently here cannot afford to be continually taxed as a result of this backward thinking.

I, too, am grateful for all the brainstorming. But it should have happened years ago - and not after two failed levy attempts.

Aaron said...

I respect your view but believe differently. Most young professionals that I talk with today (not just in US) look first at the qualities of a city that they want to live in before looking for jobs there. Those that are having trouble finding a job in their chosen profession may settle for living in a city that is less than ideal.

Maggie Thurber said...

Aaron - I think there is merit in what you say about 'young professionals' and their search for a great place to live. But the reality is your last statement:

"Those that are having trouble finding a job in their chosen profession may settle for living in a city that is less than ideal."

The most important thing is the job - and especially so if you have children to support. What good are 'quality of life' amenities if there is no job? And that's the point I keep trying to make about economic development. These things don't lead to economic development - they are the RESULT of successful economic development.

And what makes a company want to come here or grow here? Their ability to make money, the proximity to their markets (customers/suppliers), the availability of qualified workers to meet their employment needs, etc. Very last on any list are 'quality of life' amenities - and long before such things as COSI, Zoo, Parks, Library, etc. come schools - again, another area in which Toledo is lacking.

I'm not saying such things are not important, but in the long list of priorities, they're certainly not near the top if the issue is JOBS.

And, when you have an economy like we have in Toledo, additional taxes to support non-essentials just don't make the grade.

We'd all be better off focusing on how to make Toledo 'business-friendly' (again, another area where Toledo falls short) rather than figuring out how to use tax dollars to support COSI.

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