Monday, January 30, 2017

What fellow members were talking about in their caucus sessions today

The TMACOG General Assembly was held today. Members met in caucus sessions before the business meeting. Here's what they talked about: 

Counties Caucus
Notes presented by Doris Herringshaw, Wood County Commissioner
  • Heroin/opiates epidemic and its influence on law enforcement and impact on families.
  • Insufficient funding for necessary infrastructure.
  • Water quality and supply discussion recognizes that we have made progress as a region in designing a safe and fair system.
  • County officials are anxious to see what’s in the new state budget particularly in the Medicaid sales tax issue.
  • They discussed if counties of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan should create an emergency plan for zero carbon energy.

City Caucus
Notes presented by Mike Beazley, Administrator for the City of Oregon
  • Agreed that the water discussion was making progress.
  • Discussed a law slipped into a bill that allows microcell towers to be erected in right of way with little warning to the community. Cities are looking at legal options.
  • Like the counties, city representatives are worried about proposed changes to Medicaid which could cost millions.
  • The struggle to provide adequate public services (streets, legal services, criminal justice) is  Recommended that elected officials start talking to gubernatorial candidates now because it will be too late to be effective after an election.

Village Caucus
Notes presented by Gordon Bowman, Mayor of Pemberville
  • ·         Appreciated a presentation from TMACOG Vice President Kurt Erichsen on the regional water planning progress
  • ·         Noted EPA water requirements that are difficult for villages to meet
  • ·         Community policing is a big challenge: cost of training, getting enough coverage from officers, turnover among staff. Some village are having to change part-time to full-time to hold on to staff.
  • ·         Heard from First Energy about the role of Davis Besse to the regional energy grid and tax consequences of closing that facility.

Township Caucus
Notes presented by Mark Hummer, Lake Township Administrator
·            Thanked TMACOG for providing a forum for discussion.
·            Is grateful that townships are heard in the water policy discussion.
·            Noted that townships have room for growth and need to be part of economic discussions.
·            Noted that noise ordinances, zoning compliance are difficult to enforce.
·            Identified firing ranges as a source of complaints.
·            Noted lack of funding for road repair.

Schools, Colleges & Universities
Notes presented by Anne Theis, Dean, Business, Information & Public Services at Owens Community College
  • Community colleges and 4-year colleges are offering new programs in cyber security, agribusiness. Nursing continues to be strong
  • BGSU and the Toledo Museum of Art have been discussing a summer program in technology aimed at young people who live within a mile of the museum
  • The concept of coding boot camps was discussed as a strategy for training a lot of people quickly for jobs that are available now. Private partnership seems to make these successful.
  • Universities said that it is hard to keep faculty in coding and technology because the jobs for people with those skills are very well paid.
  • Community colleges are partnering with industry for non-credit training in pre-apprentice programs
  • New high school graduation requirements in Ohio are a source of great concern. Many current juniors are not on line to graduate.
  • Programs that give college credit to high schoolers don’t know how they are going to handle students who can’t graduate high school and move to college.

Special Districts
Notes presented by Joe Cappel, V.P., Business Development, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
  • Special districts contribute to quality of life which keeps young people in the area
  • ·There are investments paying off right now: Overland Industrial Park, new Metroparks including one in downtown Toledo, Bike sharing program, new libraries
  • The regional water plan is the best solution
  • Regional planning and discussion is vital to economic development, road planning.

Non-governmental Members
Notes presented by Dennis McMickens, President & CEO, Safety Council of Northwest Ohio
  • Business are concerned with protecting their property and employees
  • Caucus members discussed creating emergency action plans including plans to address domestic violence that moves into the workplace.
  • Private industry is concerned about cyber security

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |

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