Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Economic Development Debate? Maybe...

Filling in for Fred Lefebvre for three hours each day on NewsTalk 1370 WSPD has put me a bit behind in my internet reading. So it wasn't until I read the Carnival of Ohio Politics #124 that I learned of a possible economic development debate - featuring ME.

Roland Hansen, Roland Hansen Commentary, read my column in The Toledo Free Press and then read a column written by Commissioner Ben Konop in rebuttal. Roland thinks the two of us should have a public debate on the issue of economic development. He suggests a neutral setting with a neutral moderator.

I think it would be a good idea and would do my best to arrange my schedule in order to participate.

I guess it's beside the point that Comm. Konop has an open invitation to come on Eye On Toledo and discuss, debate, challenge just about any topic - which he continues to decline. I suppose he could suggest that the studio with the two of us and a board operator is not 'neutral,' but his explanation for not taking advantage of this open invitation is because he feels no moral obligation to appear on my show. I have no idea whether or not he feels a moral obligation to participate in the suggested debate - or if he will even respond to the suggestion Roland has made.

I don't think there is any disagreement between anyone in Lucas County that economic development is a top priority for the area. The major disagreements and differences of opinion are in HOW to accomplish the goal.

I am confident in my ability to discuss the decisions, options and approaches (absent personal attacks) on the issue and would welcome a similar confidence from Comm. Konop.

I doubt either of us will convince the other to change, but a good discussion and debate on the issue will only benefit us all.

12 comments:

Roland Hansen said...

I cannot imagine any reason for Ben Konop not to agree on such a debate on economic development should such a debate be held in a neutral forum and moderated by a neutral person.
A debate between a former Lucas County Commissioner and a current Lucas County Commissioner on such an important issue as economic development in a non-election year for the current Commissioner 's seat would indeed be a great community service to us all.

Tim Higgins said...

Maggie,

If you are looking for a neutral site, I hear that the Portside building is currently available.

Getting a neutral moderator might be a little more difficult. I am sure that we could only find a couple of dozen candidates willing to take the job.

Then again, we could make it more interesting simply by making it a cage match and selling the Pay-per-View rights on BCN. "Two people enter, one leaves." My money is on you.

Maggie Thurber said...

thanks, Tim, for your confidence in me...

neutral site is easy - the Library has terrific facilities...

neutral moderator is a bit more difficult as I'm sure it would need to be someone we both would agree to...

we'll see. Ben has refused conversation with me in the past, I can't imagine why this type of discussion would be any different...

navyvet said...

Neutral site s/b no problem...Ben could get there on the Tarta Shuttle....s/off

Tim seems neutral to me. He is/wise/smart/level headed/wise...and neutral.

Would be fun to see/observe & chuckle.....at the appropriate time of course.... :)

Tim Higgins said...

navyvet,

I have been called a number of things in a long and "extinguished" career, wise has never been one of them. Neither am I sure that I would be qualified as a moderator, but might be willing. After all, I have committed social suicide before.

Roland Hansen said...

How about Jerry Anderson as the moderator and the Lois M. Nelson Theater in the Collingwood Arts Center as the location?

Roland Hansen said...

Thank you, Maggie, for your responsiveness to the suggested debate. You have been responsive even before late last night (Sunday) when I sent an e-mail with the link to the thread on my Roland Hansen Commentary entry to you and to Ben Konop, as well as to Jerry Anderson of WTOL TV Channel 11, to Tom Troy of The Blade, and to Mike Miller of the Toledo Free Press.

Now, if only an organization such as the the League of Women Voters or the Chamber of Commerce, or similar type organizations would come forward to sponsor such an event!

Mad Jack said...

I cannot imagine any reason for Ben Konop not to agree on such a debate on economic development

Then I submit that you don't have much imagination, or you're being facetious. Ben Konop has everything to lose in a debate about local economics, and very little to gain. Mr. Konop has already been stung a few times when his harebrained ideas about economic development were voted down by the other two commissioners; likely Mr. Konop sees his defeat as a partisan issue instead of a development issue. The secret fear for Ben is that he'll be made to look ignorant and ridiculous. Granted, no one enjoys that feeling. Therefore, the much publicized Ben vs. Maggie debate will never take place.

Roland Hansen said...

As of this date, I haven't heard or read anything from Ben Konop about participating in a debate on economic development with Maggie Thurber.
Maybe, Ben Konop is on vacation and hasn't had an opportunity to respond to the call.
I wonder if the Toledo Free Press will do a follow up on this whole thing.
I say persistence is the better part of valor. Why not continue to give the issue the attention it deserves.

Roland Hansen said...

It is now the evening of Friday, July 11, 2008 and still no word from Ben Konop.

Roland Hansen said...

I guess it's just pie in the sky. Too bad.

Maggie Thurber said...

Roland,

Ben has nothing to gain by participation in such a debate and everything to lose. His decision to ignore this idea and refuse to comment or agree to the debate is a very good 'political' move and strategy.

Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Google Analytics Alternative