Thursday, December 13, 2007

'Not business friendly' - post #6

Well, just when you thought it couldn't get any worse in terms of sending messages to the business community that they're just not welcomed, Toledo City Councils passes a new Convenience Store Licensing Law with 'minor tweakings' per Councilman Joe McNamara.

There were some positive changes made:

* eliminating the requirement to have VHS tapes for surveillance in favor of just providing some tasks a surveillance 'system' must be able to do;
* eliminating the need to pick up trash and litter from property other than your own;
* changing 'may' to 'shall' issue a license if your application is complete and you've met the qualifications;
* reducing the administrative fine for non-compliance from $200 per day to $100 per day;
* removing the provision that you can be charged criminally for non-compliance of this law;
* allowing yearly renewal without going through the whole application process again if no 'material' changes have been made by the owner;
* in the provision that says the owners has to maintain and operate the business in compliance with all applicable laws and ordinances, they removed the phrases 'environmental health' and 'environmental management';
* and they changed how a license has to be displayed, by saying it must be in a conspicuous place, rather than 'clearly visible' by someone standing in the entryway and with nothing else within 12 inches of it.

All these changes were a result of the complaints and questions raised on Eye on Toledo.

However, some of those 'minor' things, aren't so minor when they include a provision that says you can still lose your license if, after taking all reasonable efforts to be in compliance, one of your customers does something illegal in your parking lot.

Complete details are available on my Eye On Toledo blog.

While the Mayor can veto this, he's not expected to. Sadly, this is the way our elected officials define 'business friendly.'


Roo said...

Makes me wonder what ever happened to:

How can we help your business become more stable?

How can we help you succeed so that your business grows and creates jobs?

Basically............How can we help?

Instead there is a nightmare maze of politics and egos that a potential business owner has to navigate, most of the time without benefit of clear and concise instruction, information or cooperation.

Guidelines (known in Toledo as absolute rules) are helpful in balancing economic development, but flexibility is the absolute key to success in that effort.

To have growth and job creation a city has to ENcourage not DIScourage interest in an area. I fear we are doomed if things don't change and the ability to base decisions on business matters is governed by common sense and sound practice instead of politics and special interest groups - most of which are funded by our own city.

Sad state of affairs we're in. Sad.

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...

Maybe we should rephrase "His Dishonor's" Welcome to Toledo signage to include some generic disclaimer regarding "Business Friendly" is a sort of goal, not a fact of life.

Or, "Think twice, before any proceeding further. . ."

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