Friday, February 2, 2018

Special Districts and Authorities Caucus, Jan. 29, 2018

TMACOG members have asked to learn about what their fellow members discussed at caucus sessions during the 2018 General Assembly held January 29, 2018. See links in the next several posts to each of the caucus session notes. 

Special Districts and Authorities

Call to Order/Welcome/Introductions – Scott Carpenter, Facilitator of the Special Districts and Authorities Caucus and Director of Public Relations for Metroparks Toledo called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone present.  Introductions were made around the room.

Members in attendance included:
·         Scott Carpenter – Director, Public Relations, Metroparks Toledo
·         Joe Cappel – Vice President, Business Development, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority
·         James Gee – CEO-General Manager, TARTA
·         Rhonda Sewell – Manager of External & Governmental Affairs, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library
·         Meghan Gallagher – Regional Business Development Coordinator, Ohio Turnpike
·         Cheryl Johnson – Chairman, Wood County Port Authority
·         Tom Metzger – Superintendent of Transporation, TARTA

TMACOG support personnel included:
·         Lance Dasher – Transportation Planner
·         Kris Barnswell – Water Quality Planner

Election of Representative to the TMACOG Board of Trustees – The caucus voted unanimously to elect the following to serve on this year’s TMACOG Board of Trustees.  Joe Cappel made motion to elect the trustees, and was seconded by Jim Gee.  Jim Gee made motion to elect the alternates, and was seconded by Meghan Gallagher.

Parks and recreation districts and authorities
Trustee:             Neil A. Munger – Wood County Parks District
Alternate:         Scott Carpenter – Metroparks Toledo

All other special districts and authorities
Trustee:             Cheryl Johnson – Wood County Port Authority
Alternate:         Rhonda Sewell – Toledo-Lucas County Public Library

What Northwest Ohio needs is…
·         Self-esteem.  Toledo area residents have the doom to gloom look, while outsiders love the region. 
o   Toledo has great amenities, including zoo, library, museum, and metroparks.  Need to emphasize these more.
o   Younger generation is more excited; however they may be lacking the capacity to sustain develop.  Need to consider senior citizens when planning and developing.
·         Big audacious goal.
o   Metroparks’ goal is to have 10 new parks in 10 years, with all access to all parks within five miles.  This goal will be met.
·         Strengthen neighborhoods
o   Funding in the past has been spread across the board.  We need to focus on one neighborhood at a time.
·         Lending program
o   For equipment, home furniture, art, etc.
·         A new next big thing
o   Downtown had Fifth Third Field, the Huntington Center, and Promedica.  Nothing has been added to the list

Our Region's greatest challenges are…
·         Suffering neighborhoods
·         Safety
o   Negative perception of the city from people living in the suburbs
o   This was of concern when developing the TARTA shuttle centers throughout the region
·         Downtown parking
·         Keeping both young and old in Toledo
o   Seniors retire and move
o   Bowling Green in conjunction with Bowling Green State University offer senior programs
·         Branding
o   Need to develop a brand/slogan for the area and educate others outside the region

One thing people do not know about our district/authority is…
·         The Port Authority is more than just a port, provides services in real estate, cargo, finance, and airport.
·         Toledo-Lucas County Library offers passports, 3-D printing, fines free cards to kids and veterans
·         The Ohio Turnpike and ODOT are mistaken for the same organization
·         Toledo Metroparks will be offering a treehouse village and camping cabins

Summary – The Special Districts and Authorities group is very diverse that consists of members from Wood County Port Authority, Wood County Parks, Metroparks Toledo, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Toledo-Lucas County Library System, TARTA, Ohio Turnpike, and others.

The group agreed that a regional approach is needed to enhance the quality of life and economic growth.  This approach should include a big goal that takes into account all generations.  

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |

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