Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Non-governmental Members Caucus - 2019 General Assembly

2019 General Assembly Non-Governmental Members Caucus
Monday, January 28, 2019
Holiday Inn French Quarter Perrysburg

Call to Order/Welcome/Introductions – The Non-Governmental Members Caucus met on January 28, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. in Depot Track 5 at the Holiday Inn French Quarter, located at 10630 Fremont Pike in Perrysburg, Ohio. Facilitator of the Non-Governmental Caucus and Safety Council of Northwest Ohio President & CEO Dennis McMickens called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone present.

TMACOG Members in attendance included:
·         Laurie Adams – Managing Principal & Traffic Engineer, DGL Consulting Engineers, LLC
·         Meg Adams – External Affairs Manager, FirstEnergy/Toledo Edison
·         Edgar Avila – EVP, AAA Northwest Ohio Region/AAA Club Alliance, Inc.

·         Zane Daniels – Manager, Local Government Affairs, Columbia Gas of Ohio
·         Meghan Gallagher – Regional Business Development Coordinator, Ohio Turnpike
·         Tom Galloway – Political Advisor, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
·         Traci Hernandez – Director of Marketing and Business Development, DGL Consulting Engineers, LLC
·         Dennis McMickens – President & CEO, Safety Council of Northwest Ohio
·         Hans Rosebrock – Manager, Economic Development and External Affairs, FirstEnergy/Toledo Edison
·         Philip Rudolph – VP New Business Development, Rudolph Libbe Group
·         Laura Saunders-Kowalec – V.P./Govt. Banking Relationship Manager, Huntington Bank
·         Kathy Streng – Business Development, DLZ Corportation
·         Yvonne Thoma-Patton – Executive Director, Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce
·         Julie Thomas – Senior Project Manager, CT Consultants, Inc.
·         Lisa Wagner – Commercial Loan Officer, Monroe Bank and Trust
·         Sandy Wiechman – Coordinator, Wood County Safe Communities
Non-TMACOG member(s) included:
·         Lu Cook – Northwest Ohio Regional Liaison, Office of Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted
·         Ed Heilman – Pastor, Park Congregational United Church of Christ
  • John Krochmalny – Science Alliance-SAVE & MFC of NW Ohio
·         Destrey Roeber – Sales, Advanced Drainage Systems
  • Stephen Way – Regional Marketing Director, Bergmann Associates

TMACOG support personnel included:
·         Roger Streiffert – Transportation Planner
·         Lisa Householder – Transportation Planner/Database Analyst

Nomination of Representatives to the TMACOG Board of Trustees – A motion was approved by Zane Daniels and seconded by Tom Galloway to elect the following people to serve as trustees and alternates on the Board of Trustees for 2019; the motion was approved unanimously.
Trustees include:
·         Meg Adams – FirstEnergy/Toledo Edison
·         Edgar Avila – AAA Northwest Ohio Region/AAA Alliance Club
·         Rachel Bach – President and CEO, ConnecToledo
·         Frank Butwin – Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor
·         Larry Fioritto, Perstorp Polyols, Inc.
·         Michael Jay – Regional Growth Partnership
·         Thomas Mackin, Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority
·         Dennis McMickens –Safety Council of Northwest Ohio
·         David Nunn, Eastman & Smith Ltd.
·         Laura Saunders-Kowalec – Huntington Bank
·         Roberta Streiffert – Great Lakes Community Action Partnership
·         Yvonne Thoma-Patton, Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce
Alternates include:
·         Ruthann House – Great Lakes Community Action Partnership
·      Bob Kazmierczak – AAA Northwest Ohio Region/AAA Alliance Club
·      David Kuhn – Feller, Finch & Associates, Inc.
·         Tiffany Whitlow – Safety Council of Northwest Ohio
Discussion Topics – The caucus members spent a majority of the meeting discussing various discussion topics, including the purpose and benefits of the non-governmental caucus, the impact of Lake Erie water quality, and public transportation as it relates to economic vitality. Some commentary included:
·        Purpose and benefits of the TMACOG Non-governmental caucus –
o   At the request of AAA, TMACOG formed a new committee dedicated to planning for autonomous vehicle technology and related infrastructure needs in this region. The committee had its first meeting earlier in January.
o   Input from non-governmental members is important for TMACOG as staff develops projects and policies in the long range transportation plan.
o   TMACOG convened with several stakeholders to apply two regional projects for DriveOhio grant funding. One involves parking and transit in downtown Toledo and the other involves roadside units on I-475 that will sense traffic incidents and construction slow downs (during the Dorr Street interchange project). Both projects are currently under consideration by DriveOhio.
o   There was a request for TMACOG to map electric vehicle charging stations throughout our region. The data has been collected and a draft map exists.
o   Non-governmental partners are involved in TMACOG committees, such as the Maumee Valley Adventurers Club is a member of the Bicycle and Pedestrian committee.
o   TMACOG and the City of Toledo have put money towards a study looking at implementing passenger rail service between Toledo and Detroit.
o   Dennis noted this caucus is a great opportunity for networking with each other and creating important partnerships throughout the region.
·         Impact of Lake Erie water quality on tourism and economic development in the region –
o   The Science Alliance for Valuing the Environment (SAVE) has taken the position that Lake Erie will see a similar future that has occurred in the Grand Lake St. Mary’s region (cannot swim or eat fish from that water).
o   Is anyone developing technology to address the algae? Some technology exists to tackle the algal blooms, but it hasn’t taken off in our region yet. There is a filter being used in the Chesapeake Bay area that has seen some success. There is another technology that targets storm drains so the water runoff is treated before it reaches the natural waterways. A professor at a university in Florida developed a system to filter phosphates on agricultural fields.
o   There is a direct economic impact when the lake us unhealthy.
o   Many farmers on family owned farms work additional part- or full-time jobs. So, it is important to separate smaller, family owned farms from the much larger commercial farms when applying these technologies.
o   Septic systems are also an issue. The University of Toledo is using satellite imagery to look at blooms during times of low or no rainfall (when there is no runoff) and it can be detected on the imagery that septic tanks contribute to the blooms.
o   It is the responsibility of everyone to think of solutions to this problem, not just representatives in government.
o   A suggestion that TMACOG get the agricultural community involved in TMACOG committees to tackle this problem (including farmers and companies, such as The Andersons, that are large fertilizer producers). In addition, the AgVenture event held biennially by the Wood Soil and Water Conservation District would be good to be involved in.
·         The importance of public transportation as it relates to economic vitality and development –
o   A group in Wood County is trying to get seamless connectivity countywide.
o   TARTA needs to be a truly regional system.
o   There is a transportation gap for many college-aged students.
o   Some companies have difficulty attracting and retaining employees, so they are setting up their own transportation systems to get people to/from work. One example is Quicken Loans based in Detroit, has a bus that transports employees to/from the Toledo area.
o   There is not enough money allocated toward public transportation in the state of Ohio, so the state legislature needs to look at this funding issue.
o   A demographic that relies on public transportation are the elderly. Many reach the age they should not drive anymore but still need a means to get to doctor appointments but have no other option to get there.
o   A demographic that relies on public transportation are people getting out of jail (re-entry). Some prisons/jails will not permit a newly-released prisoner to leave on foot, so if they cannot find a ride will rely on public transportation to get them away from the prison/jail.
o   It is so important that public transportation is an option from a safety standpoint as it will help in alleviating the number of drunk/drugged driving and distracted driving crashes.
o   One of the reasons this region lost out on the bid for the Amazon expansion was because there is not a regional public transportation system in place (it was a deal breaker).
o   There needs to be more education on the benefits of public transportation so people who don’t need it understand why it is important for those who do need it.
o   Big technological changes will drive the future of public transportation, such as autonomous shuttles.
o   The mentality in the Midwest must change – public transportation is important and needed for all demographics. The education should start at a young age, so they understand not everything needs to revolve around a car.
Other Topics or Announcements – TMACOG staff discussed the various benefits of being a TMACOG member. Staff reviewed the council and committee structure and stressed that anyone may attend and be involved in these meetings. Staff can create maps, collect traffic counts, coordinate events, etc., that is a benefit of being a TMACOG member.

Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 9:49 a.m. 

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org

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