Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Post-Election Thoughts

For complete results of the Lucas County election results, you can go here, to the Lucas County Board of Elections, who did a nice job of regularly posting updated results throughout the night.

To the winners, congratulations. Now the hard work begins as any incumbent knows. To the newcomers: you'll be a bit overwhelmed at first with all the things you don't know, but you'll catch on very quickly and your constituents are counting on you to keep the promises you made. I wish you success in this endeavor.

To those who lost, my sincerest thanks and appreciation. You offered the voters a choice, which is something not everyone had in this election. You gave of yourself in terms of your time and energy - and often in terms of your own funds - and you sacrificed attendance at other events in order to be where the voters were. Having been through this process, I recognize the great toll running a campaign can have on you, your family, and even your shoes. I hope that, despite your loss at the polls, you are rewarded by your participation, by the supporters who worked hard on your behalf because they believed in you, and the votes you did receive.

Congratulations to the Library and the MetroParks for their replacement levies. While I questioned the amount of the money requested in these difficult (for many) economic times, there was never any question of the quality of your institutions nor of the services your provide. I do hope, however, that you will constantly re-evaluate what you do and how you do it. Your levies will be up again and, at that time, many of the same questions asked this time around will be asked again. It would be nice if you had a list of things you've done to reduce costs and stay within the budget we've provided to you.

Congratulations to TARTA for their win, as well. But...your success at the ballot box should not be taken as a mandate for continuing to operate as you have in the past. Severe dissatisfaction with the way services are provided still exists and you now have yet another opportunity to examine what services you provide and how to provide them more efficiently and at less cost. Instead of reacting or continuing the status quo, it would be nice to see you anticipate and plan for changing needs in the future. It would also be nice to see you provide a financial explanation on the actual cost of operations, how much is offset by rider fees and how many riders (not rides) you actually serve. Your other levy is up in 2011 and many of the same questions will be asked if you don't do something now to address them.

As for COSI, I hope that being rejected two times will be all it takes for you to either decide to close up or find another way to finance your operations. Despite all the claims of how much such a facility is needed, this second vote clearly indicates that the public doesn't want to finance your non-profit organization with tax dollars. The challenge you've had since 2005 when your board first approached the commissioners to ask for public funding has not changed. But as I was told at that time, going to the public for a levy was the 'easier' way to approach your difficulties. You now have to make decisions you should have made two years ago - and it will be even harder to do so having waited this long.

To those who took the time to research the issues and then vote, my thanks. To the 71% of Lucas County registered voters who didn't bother to cast a ballot ... your lack of participation has allowed the other 29% of us to make decisions on your behalf. I hope you're happy with what we decided, because you've earned no right to complain.


Robin said...

Maybe COSI can team up with the school districts and have a penny drive, maybe offer some incentives like passes or t-shirts to the students.

Tim Higgins said...

Congratulations indeed Maggie, to those who attempted to make a difference by running for office, whether they lost or won; and to those who voted, whether I agreed with their decisions or not. Participating in the process is a sacred duty and those who chose to do so deserve high praise indeed.

As for the levies, let us hope that you are right Maggie. Let's hope that these organizations do not take their victories as a mandate to continue down the same path, but an opportunity to review the way in which they serve the community and to try and find ways to do a better job of it.

(Thank you Maggie, for summarizing all of this for us, so we didn't have to put up postings of our own.)

Maggie Thurber said...

Come on now, Tim ... one post here does not absolve you of the 'duty' to blog away about your own thoughts...


but you're welcome, nonetheless

Roo said...

I am disappointed in some of the results, astounded by some and confused by others.

I do applaud the efforts made by the newcomers as the task of campaigning is tiresome from a volunteer standpoint - I can only imagine as the candidate.

And my personal message for those that didn't bother to vote.....Sit down, be quiet and take what's handed to you without complaint. You couldn't bother to be part of the solution so you are obviously part of the problem.

MoveToTheBurbs said...

13ABC is reporting the COSI will now close in "as soon as 6 months". Less than 24 hours to change their tune. I expect a spring ballot for a third try. Seems like thats the only thing they can think of as a way to "fix" their business model.

I'm amazed at the difference between Sylvania City and Sylvania Township. Township residents seem to get it. City residents seem to like paying more. I think the township should impose a surcharge on the city for fire services. City residents have already said they'll pay it! Should be able to wipe out the defecit right away. Sylvania already pays well above market rates for water, why not for fire protection as well?

Roland Hansen said...

Ditto your comments for me.

Tim Higgins said...

OK Maggie, I went and put a post-election posting up. I hope that you are happy now.

~ANT said...

I can be admonished voting for the COSI levy, but after listening to your show on Wed Nov. 7th for me it makes almost equal sense to vote against the levy as it would to vote for it... or I'm talking crazy talk.

I agree with you I believe in that - If I am voting for a levy, I should have the right to see the figures so I know my tax dollars are well spent. According to you and as far as I can tell COSI isn't being forthright to us and the news coming from them doesn't add up. Vote No.

My Mom and Dad, Grandparents, love to take the kids to COSI in the winter. It is a fun excursion and gets the kids out of the house. I don't want to lose this resource. Vote Yes... as I did.

Tough Call

~ANT said...

Tell me where I missed: From your radio show and blog comments it seems to make sense with the COSI levy failure they close up shop.

I think COSI should use this time to concentrate on a business plan they can present to the public so that next time they re-open it will be the COSI that this town needs. Give me a business plan I can vote for... and put it on the internet.

I believe I agree with you Maggie and some of your listeners. I think COSI should move. Where? The ZOO is perfect. A one place destination where Zoo science can mix with COSI science and we would have a unique one of kind experience. I can't imagine most cities have something like this. (last statement has no research)

Maggie Thurber said...

"I think COSI should use this time to concentrate on a business plan they can present to the public so that next time they re-open it will be the COSI that this town needs. Give me a business plan I can vote for... and put it on the internet." ~ ANT

I think many would agree with you on this - but not sure they'd want a tax levy versus a private fund-raising drive.

Another thought would be to the merge COSI-like programs with a University ... it would get kids used to be on a University campus and hopefully be good synergy between the kids, the students, the professors and life-long learning.

~ANT said...

Maggie - I see your point. Merging COSI like programs with a University makes sense. Encourage education by showing children a visual goal, something to aspire to.

Taking your idea one step further: go ahead and build COSI next to the Zoo creating an atmosphere that is kid friendly, but a scaled down University setting, sans the stuffiness.

Kid friendly university? A dichotomy maybe, but it can be done. Plus, we live in the Midwest... if your University doesn't have a faint smell of poo then your obviously in some other part of the country.

Add private donations with public fanfare... like Home Depot, Lowe's, and Wal-Mart. Let's have those big box stores show they give a hoot about our community. Not just say they do... prove it.

All of this from a levy failure! LOL.

Hooda Thunkit said...


Thank you for a more balanced and pleasant post than I was able to muster.

You have the mind of an accountant and the heart of a diplomat ;-)

Maggie Thurber said...

Hooda - you're too kind. Thanks!

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