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Friday, October 26, 2007

Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority: Public Accountability or Not?

In my immediately preceding commentary on October 24, 2007 regarding Ben Konop and the whole issue of the accountability in regards to the operations, effectiveness, and efficiency of Lucas County Improvement Corporation and its CEO, I closed with a postscript on a tangental subject when I wrote:

How can I get Ben Konop or anyone else to put the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and its Toledo Express Airport operations under the same microscope as is the Lucas County Improvement Corporation? The Toledo Express Airport operation has been sadly lacking for many, many years. For the amount of public funds involved with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and the airport, there ought to be far more accountability, efficiency, effectiveness, and results. Decades have passed with little or no noticeable improvement.

It is with hindsight I realized almost immediately when I published the postscript comment that the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority deserved to be a subject of its own in a separate message thread here on Roland Hansen Commentary. That thought especially hit home when I read this newspaper article that the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Board of Directors intend to have public tax payers assist the Catholic Diocese of Toledo.

Are any eyebrows being raised about the appropriateness of taxpayer public support for a religious organization? Will the Protestant, Islamic, Jewish, and other religious organizations receive the same support? Will there be any questions raised by non-Catholic religious groups, or agnostics, or atheists, or by the Amercan Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), or by any citizen and taxpayer watchdog groups?

Incidentally, you might find this specific Roland's Ramblings entry 'Resistance Is Futile' or Managing Dissent interesting in-as-much that it is about how governmental agencies and other organizations and persons in positions of power manage to stifle real citizen participation.


Hooda Thunkit said...


Hi, I'm from the Wiccan Academy and I'd like to ask the board about perhaps helping us out by...

One more can of worms for sale, already opened...

Roland Hansen said...

Wiccan Academy? Did you say Wiccan?
I'm sorry, but it is required that you have a powerful special interest political connection and voting block along with some elected officials in your pocket in order to qualify for assistance.
Not only is that a requirement, but you have to believe in .....
Well, let's just say that you don't fit in.

Roland Hansen said...

It seems that questions concerning the accountability of the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority are "old hat" and not something new.
Take a look at this story from a few years back that reported a call for the removal of the president of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

Roland Hansen said...

Apparently, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority involvement with Catholic institutions has a history. I found this December 19, 2003 Blade newspaper article which in part states "the agency is nearing a deal to be a financial middleman for the $12 million to $13 million expansion of St. Francis de Sales High School. The agency would help line up investors who would assume the burden of risk on its tax-free revenue bonds totaling $9 million to help fund the project."

Roland Hansen said...

Wow, I keep finding more and more on the subject of the operations of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. A story I read on-line about a report on the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority that was prepared by a consultant as a result of allegations of mismanagement and lavish spending a few years back really seems to raise some eyebrows. On the other hand, I cannot find anything that shows any follow-through on the consultant's report.
The report was issued by Booz-Allen and Hamilton, Inc, a management-consulting firm based in McLean, Virginia.
Read the story about this report.

Roland Hansen said...

Russ Lemmon wrote "Tell me again how passenger traffic at Toledo Express Airport can be at its lowest point in a decade and James Hartung, president of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, is rewarded with $16,727 in raises over the last two years, bringing his salary to $164,724 annually." as part of his newspaper article entitled Ferner Could Learn From the Catholics.

Roland Hansen said...

Last week, Judy had this to say about the Toledo Express Airport.

Roland Hansen said...

The following appeared as a "Letter to the Editor" in the Januarry 22, 2008 publication of the daily Toledo, Ohio newspaper, The Blade.

Turn airport into solar array

So, the passenger count at Toledo Express is down to its lowest since 1966.

Why don't they just close that sorry excuse for an airport and put in a solar panel array to help defray the high electricity costs for this area?

And to make Mayor Carty Finkbeiner happy, the deaf people can stay.

Michael S. Zawisza

Sandralee Drive