Sunday, August 27, 2017

Waniewski “Strategic Plan” A dessert buffet of “Hot Buttons”

Tom Waniewski rolled out his “detailed” “Strategic Plan” with great flourish; however, if one really delves into the plan, there is virtually no substance. The document is a lengthy list of “hot button” and offers no realistic resolution. As an example, under “Key Priorities”, Mr. Waniewski lists as No. 1: 1. Sign a regional water authority agreement and support the continuation of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to insure our water supply—a catalyst for economic development and a necessity for families and businesses—is never threatened again. In 2014, TMACOG did an extensive 94 page “Regional Water Study Update Technical Report” the basis of many extensive discussions with regional citizens and governments over the past 3 years. As reported in the Blade, Municipalities participating in the Regional Water Planning Committee are: • Fulton County• Lucas County• Monroe County (Monroe South County Water)• Wood County (Northwestern Water and Sewer District)• City of Maumee• City of Perrysburg• City of Sylvania• City of Perrysburg• City of Toledo• City of Waterville• Village of Whitehouse. Other interested parties (that do not currently purchase water from Toledo but share interest in a regional system)• Lucas Township Association (Harding, Jerusalem, Monclova, Providence, Richfield, Spencer, Springfield, Swanton, Sylvania, and Waterville townships)• City of Bowling Green• City of Oregon, in additional to the Toledo Chamber of Commerce and local businesses. However, as reported in the Blade, during a City council review of a regional water system, Mr. Waniewski’s suggestion was the city consider charging users for the water they use rather than using a minimum cost, which is based on 2,000 cubic feet every three months. Either Mr. Waniewski is aware the City is already planning to sign a Regional Water agreement within the next 90 months or he is whistling in the wind. More than rhetoric is needed, explain how he will negotiate a final agreement that will be signed in 90 days for a project that had a study in 2014 and has entailed multiple meetings with multiple entities involved. Another example is Mr. Waniewski indicates there is no source of contact for new business development as he states in item 3: 3. Create an online Toledo Business Exchange (TBX) to provide a single point-of-contact to improve our ability to secure new business partners and offer resources to drive results for existing businesses. There is an Office of Economic Development headed by, Calvin Lawshe, Director, in existence with a Facebook page and other resources that reach out to the community. It would be far more effective to work with this Department to expand and improve its efficiencies. By creating a new title, it adds confusion and difficulty in monitoring results. In a sense, it would hide past programs that were put into place in working with businesses and make results gained under the new program seem fully implemented by a new administration. Being a South Toledoan who watched the Glendale area dug up and properties taken for the development of a 5 lane highway cut through to Reynolds and the building of Southwyck Mall, I personally am interested in his plan for Southwyck. When I asked directly, I was told to listen in on the Town Hall he was holding. Unable to do so, I went to his web page and Facebook page looking for his take on what to do with the property but was unable to find anything. On January 3, 2017, WTOL reported: Councilman Tom Waniewski says there were a lot of strings that needed to be pulled together to make this deal work, (secret buyer for Southwyck that fell through) since multiple parties were interested. "It was not one big mega corporation who could say 'I'll take all of the acres and write a check,' it was a little more complicated," said Waniewski. "Due to the nature of the complicatedness, we probably could have given a little more wiggle room to try to consummate a deal." Waniewksi says he is hopeful another buyer will come along. During a March 2017 Council meeting, the Blade reports Mr. Waniewski stated: The most important thing is for the city to have a comprehensive and detailed strategy for finding a buyer and selling Southwyck to someone who will really redevelop it. The proposed community reinvestment area may be a good part of such a plan, but, as Councilman Tom Waniewski said, the public needs to see more details about that. So Mr. Waniewski, what is YOUR plan for Southwyck? Why is this not a point in the “Strategic Plan”? In “Short Term Initiatives”, he says, End the years-long practice of using capital improvement money for daily operation costs, including police and fire salaries. Keep the city’s general fund in balance. But does not explain how this can take place. Is it time the City review the Capital Improvement fund financing, does it receive too large a percentage of the income? How will Mr. Waniewski garner the additional operating funds to cover salaries, etc.? More taxes? He is also indicating a larger police force to police a smaller population. Where will the funds come from for these additional officers? This is a dessert plate buffet of “Hot Buttons” which does not offer any methods by which to implement a single solution. In the past, Tom has reached solutions, but this document is a solution developed to fool the reader into believing he has a plan. It is disappointing.