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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lindsay Webb: COSI, Gambling, and Governor Strickland

I read with great interest The Blade article COSI Toledo on the brink of breaking lease, Council is poised to help by Blade staff writer Ignazio Messina.

If you recall, Tim Higgins of Just Blowing Smoke weighed in on COSI when he wrote COSI - Titannic of Toledo.

I have made comments on other blogs and Internet forums on the issue of COSI to the effect that I like COSI but COSI of Toledo broke the promise to be self-sustaining; and, I have also suggested COSI merge with the Challenger Learning Center of Lucas County.

However, this Roland Hansen Commentary entry is not about COSI. Rather, it is about an interesting paragraph at the end of the Ignazio Messina article cited in the opening paragraph above.

It’s this part of that article:

Councilman Lindsay Webb yesterday said the city-owned building is not the right place for a children's science museum. "I just wish Governor Strickland would make gambling legal in Ohio and we could put a casino where COSI is," Ms. Webb said.

Lindsay Webb is a good person and I like Lindsay. But, as she has been informed and as most other politicos in the Toledo and Lucas County area know, I say and write what I think. I do not roll over and go-along to get-along. That brings me to the point of this Roland Hansen Commentary.

In addition to being an elected member of Toledo City Council, Lindsay Webb is an attorney. In her capacity as a political person, I understand the motivation for Lindsay Webb’s comments (if they were reported accurately) in regards to COSI, gambling and Governor Strickland. However, in her capacity as an attorney, I would expect her to be familiar with the existing laws of Ohio, the Ohio Constitution, and the limitations of authority placed upon the Governor of Ohio.

Since when has Governor Strickland or any Governor of Ohio had the authority to make gambling legal in Ohio?

Perhaps Lindsay Webb does know something about the existing laws of Ohio in regards to gambling and about the Governor’s authority in legalizing gambling of which I am not aware. Maybe, I am incorrect. Maybe, I am wrong. However, I do not believe the Governor has the legal authority of which Lindsay Webb attributes him. Please, someone, correct me if I am mistaken.


Tim Higgins said...


As usual, your assessment of the situation is correct; and shame on Ms. Webb for not knowing it as well. Of course her confusion might arise from the Governor outlawing some gaming machine in bars and restaurants only to come back later with his own Keno machines.

What Ms. Webb also fails to consider is that even if such powers were the governors to weild, that the Portside building is too small to be viable as a casino.

Let's face it, we have been gambling (and losing) with Toledo tax dollars since the day that COSI opened. It's time that we stopped.

On another note, thanks for the plug, and let me further those interested to a recent fairy tale: .

Roland Hansen said...

I must say that your Fractured Fairy Tales - The Three Little Pigs is quite creative writing piece!

Tim Higgins said...

Thank you kind sir, but I like you I am just another story teller. Unfortunately, the truth is stranger than our fiction.

Roland Hansen said...

Maybe, we should switch to a state monarchy type govenment and then let the Governor make whatever laws the Governor so chooses and exercise power without regard to any ol' state constitution --- NOT!
Incidentally, while COSI is not in Councilwoman Lindsay Webb's district, the mostly vacant Lakeside Centre, f.k.a. Northtowne Mall, is in the district. I sure would like to see some progress there. Why haven't we heard anything from any of our elected officials about Northtowne?

Tim Higgins said...


What, a future without a fearless leader at all levels of government, I am disappointed (sarcasm off)

You must forgive Ms Webb however, as old shopping malls aren't nearly as sexy as COSI or casinos when you want to hold a press conference.

Lisa Renee said...

Lindsay has her law degree but I don't believe she took the bar test and she is not a practicing attorney. Not that it really matters as to the jist of your post but just as an FYI.

Others have suggested Portside as a possible casino, one example. I don't disagree that the Governor is not the one who would make such a decision that it would have to be a decision made by voters at the ballot box.

Personally, I don't believe gambling is the quick fix solution many believe it is, to me it creates the possibility of putting families in even more financial jepordy than they are presently now. Realizing we can't legislate common sense but unless it's a part of a larger destination marketing plan, one small casino, as Tim aptly points out due to the size it would be smaller than most, is not going to have a huge positive impact on our community.