The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has recommended the city of Gary merge with another political entity to ward off financial shortcomings.
The recommendation comes as a new state law will lower the allowable tax rates in the state, threatening the impoverished city’s revenues.
Which begs the question, what city, county or other political entity is going to voluntarily merge with Gary, Indiana?
When are midwestern states going to stop treating their cities as enemies?
This isn’t leadership, this is negligence.
As the Rust Belt takes in hockey and football season, news of local troubles and successes beyond the rink and field keep percolating in the national media. What were the hot topics about our already-frosty region this week?
While MSNBC suggests that the Rust Belt has something against environmental protection, their sub-headline is more appropriate for understanding our attitudes: “It’s All About Jobs.”
Another month, another Forbes list pointing out the problems with Rust Belt cities. Ease up, guys!
Crain’s Detroit highlights some solid regionalism: Pittsburgh‘s mayor lends some advice to ailing cousin Detroit.
BusinessWeek lauded the efforts of Canton, Ohio’s Timken manufacturing company to diversify its steel output.
This one’s from the previous week, but we didn’t hear ’til now: the Newseum in Washington, DC will enshrine the Buffalo loving Tim Russert’s Bills-bedecked office in a new exhibit.
Buffalo Weekly Art Voice has an interesting piece about the obstacles Anti-Poverty workers face in caring for the poor as their ranks swell.
Author Bruce Fisher points out that experts in the area have determined that the stimulus will have no impact on the region’s long term problems, unless it is tackled through a region approach.
Anti-Poverty workers are already battling uphill, with more and more families falling under federal guidelines for low-income.
Adding to the insult, county legislator Robert Reynolds deferred to public employees rather than casting the vote that would have consolidated land-use planning for the region.
County Legislator Robert Reynolds
“Did the one single county legislator whose vote was needed, whose vote could have broken the county executive’s insane endorsement of regional economic death, really think that he would get the town elected officials (most of them allies of the county executive) to break ranks?,” Fisher writes.
“The 25 towns, 16 villages, and three cities inside Erie County are all empowered to do lots of things on their own. That’s how it’s always been around here in the 1,000 square miles of our county. We started evolving toward regional governance in the 1950s, but that evolution stopped when the towns and villages and cities all stayed put even after the county legislature and executive system was instituted in 1960.”
I hope anti-poverty workers in Buffalo and throughout the Rust Belt don’t give up. They’re needed so badly.
Cleveland’s Eaton Corporation is asking the Cuyahoga County Port Authority to loan it $170 million so it can move its corporate headquarters from downtown Cleveland to move to suburban Chagrin Highlands, The Plain Dealer is reporting.
Eaton's Cleveland headquarters
The industrial manufacturing giant received $71 million in tax breaks from the state of Ohio in October for the move, which the company says is necessary to provide room for growth. The state provided the funds after Eaton threatened to move to another state.
The port authority is expected to approve the loan at its meeting June 23, The PD reports.
I’ve heard some people comment that this is necessary to prevent Eaton from becoming Cleveland’s NCR.
But I think it’s time for Ohio cities to stop desperately hoping giant corporations will save them. This $170 million could provide $50,000 start-up loans to 3,500 businesses. To me, that’s smarter, more sustainable and more equitable economic development.
Also, why are we subsidizing sprawl? I guess in Ohio, we’re about 30 years behind Portland and other more viable cities on these issues. Next, the Eaton Corporation will be complaining it can’t attract talent to Cleveland.
What ever happened to corporate citizenship?
This is the second time this week I have heard someone publicly advocate for a single government in Cuyahoga County, the jurisdiction surrounding Cleveland.
In this Plain Dealer editorial, Chris Ronayne, head of a community development nonprofit known as University Circle Inc., advocates for a dramatic overhaul of regional and statewide development and tax policies.
If greater Cleveland doesn’t stop sprawl and its population continues to decline, we could be looking at municipal insolvancy in the central city, he says. Continue reading