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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

University of Toledo: A Non-Responsive Bureaucracy

Do you remember the Roland Hansen Commentary University of Toledo: A Force or A Farce? of last autumn in which I detailed the aggravating and frustrating experiences I had been having as a result of what I perceive as the incompetence of so-called ‘professional’ paid staff of the University of Toledo Alumni Association?

During the course of those events, I had sent e-mails to several of The University of Toledo bureaucrats. I was hopeful that perhaps someone involved with the University of Toledo administrative team would respond to my concerns. As a matter of fact, one of the e-mails I sent to University of Toledo President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs even included a message alerting him of the Roland Hansen Commentary as referenced above with the link to it.

Amongst the people who received one or more copies of my e-mail were:
Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, President of The University of Toledo
Diane Hymore, Administrative Assistant to the President
Penny Poplin Gosetti, Executive Assistant to the President
Lawrence J. Burns, Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing & Communications
Lorraine Hansen, University of Toledo Alumni Association, Phoenix Chapter President

It is now approximately four months later, and not one of those people mentioned above has ever responded to me in any way. How responsive is that? The University of Toledo receives millions of dollars in Ohio taxpayer dollars and untold of millions of dollars in donations. The University of Toledo has an extremely well paid staff. You and I should be so fortunate to get the kind of money that is paid to the ‘professional’ administrators!!!

Hell, the University of Toledo President is provided a compensation package that includes salary, traditional fringe benefits, housing, vehicle, travel allowance, expense account, and more that exceeds the compensation of most, if not all, individual elected officials in the United States of America! It’s a matter of public record; check it if you do not believe me. If Lloyd Jacobs did not want to take some of his “valuable” time to respond to me, the least he could have done, and should have done as a public administrator, was to assign that task to one of his staff. Shame on Dr. Lloyd Jacobs! Is this the way he runs the University of Toledo? Now, I feel compelled to call his competency into question.

Yeah, the University of Toledo continues to want more tax money. Yeah, the University of Toledo continues to raise its already too-high tuition. Yeah, the University of Toledo continues to beg for more financial contributions from alumni, other individuals, foundations, and corporations. Yeah, the University of Toledo continues to expand its already bloated extravagant budget. Yeah, the University of Toledo continues to promote itself in an ongoing and costly public relations campaign.

But, the University of Toledo bureaucracy does not seem to be capable of responding to an alumnus of both the undergraduate college and graduate school, such as I. Nor does The University of Toledo bureaucracy seem to be capable of responding to a former actively-involved volunteer of the Arts and Sciences Alumni Affiliate, such as I, Nor does the University of Toledo seem to be capable of responding to a former member of the University of Toledo adjunct faculty, such as I.

If the University of Toledo were a private enterprise and not an Ohio public institution, it would not survive. The University of Toledo seems to be one big incompetent bureaucracy. If the administrators of the University of Toledo are competent, they certainly do not seem to care about their alumni or former employees. And if they do care, they certainly do not demonstrate it. To me, it appears that at the very most or least, depending on one’s perspective, the University of Toledo is a non-responsive bureaucracy.

Now, will someone try to convince me of why I should support the University of Toledo financially or otherwise?

I really think Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, the Ohio General Assembly, and the Ohio Board of Regents might do all us taxpayers a service and take a good hard look at the operations of the University of Toledo.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

John McCain and Joe Lieberman: The Adynamic Duo

The dynamic duo of Batman and Robin are quite different than the adynamic duo of John McCain and Joe Lieberman.
Remember Lieberman, the orthodox Jewish U. S. Senator from Connecticut, who was the Democratic Party nominee for Vice President back in 2000 and who attempted to be the Democratic Party nominee for President in 2004. To shake up your memory, I suggest you read this Joe Lieberman article.
Remember the comments made by John McCain in the fall of 2007 that pretty much offended the entire Jewish community as being anti-Jewish and was also considered by the community of Islam to be anti-Muslim. Perhaps, I can refresh your memory on that one. Simply read the Roland Hansen Commentary McCain: Pride and Prejudice.
Considering those factors, I can't help but wonder why the two have formed an 'unholy' and 'adynamic' alliance. Of what am I alluding you may ask. Well, read the Fox News report: Joe Lieberman Crosses Aisle, Endorses John McCain For President.
John McCain must really assign credibility and importance to the endorsement of the Jewish Senator from Connecticut because McCain's official campaign for President committee, John McCain 2008, issued the press release Senator Joe Lieberman Endorses John McCain For President. I wonder why McCain who feels only a Christian should be elected President of the United States of America has played that endorsement over and over again as I see through the television coverage that Joe Lieberman has been frequently accompanying John McCain on the campaign trail.
Well, some people are reading even more into this adynamic duo as can be read in the MSNBC story Does a McCain-Lieberman ticket make sense? which provides an interesting perspective. Now then, I answer that question with my own question: Why would John McCain choose Joe Lieberman , a Jewish person, to be his running mate as Vice President when the Vice President is always just "a heartbeat away" from being President and when John McCain has stated his view that a Christian should be President?
What's your take on all this?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority: Toledo's Own "The Price Is Right" Show Hosted By James Hartung

I remind people of the October 26, 2007 entry of Roland Hansen Commentary Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority: Public Accountability or Not? in which I brought up the issue of accountability of and for the quasi-public, tax-payer supported agency. If you do not recall the entry or if you had not previously read it, I suggest you read that entry now before proceeding any further.
Apparently, the taxpayers don't much mind authorizing tax dollars to a nonprofit agency that pays a salary to its CEO that is much more than than the salary of many elected officials. I wonder how many taxpayers of the City of Toledo and of the other parts of Lucas County pay attention (let alone realize) to the salary that is paid to James Hartung, President of The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. For those who may not be aware of the tax support given to that private, nonprofit agency, I draw your attention to the fact that the taxpayers of Lucas County are contributing 2.5 million dollars a year to the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority in the form of a tax levy that the voters themselves have approved.
For those who may not be aware of the salary issue, I suggest you read this newspaper account about the issue (or is it really a non-issue) of the salary of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority President James Hartung. While the vast majority of the taxpayers may not have voiced opinions on the salary, you might wish to read the newspaper opinion Hartung's Gravy Train that was published by the daily newspaper in Toledo, Ohio. At least one taxpayer has expressed concerned as can be read in the "Letters to the Editor" column of the newspaper that you may read here.
This is not the first time the salary issue has been raised. For example, I found one article on the internet that goes back to August 17, 2000, and another article from 2005, and a some-what related side story (Update as of September 29, 2013: all three of the links to those cited references no longer work.)
So, dear readers, do you have an opinion on this issue? If so, I would appreciate reading your comments here.

As a side note: James Hartung telephoned me twice last fall right after I had made this comment
"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."
as a postscript to the October 24 Roland Hansen Commentary in which the main subject was Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop and the Lucas County Improvement Corporation. Because I was not at home at the time of the calls, Mr Hartung left messages on my answering machine. Mr. Hartung had asked that I call his office to make an appointment with him and his "airport director" to discuss my concerns, thoughts, and ideas.
Given the fact that he is the highly paid CEO and that he has a well-paid 'Director of Airports' and a whole slew of paid staff to do the professional work, I found it interesting that he wanted me to be a volunteer to aid the paid staff in doing their jobs! Sheesh, he didn't even offer a consultant fee. lol
Incidentally, I have retained copies of those voice messages for posterity.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Extinction of The Traditional American Family

During the colonial and western expansion eras of the United States of America, the role played by family life was indeed crucial. In those days, a man was expected to marry a woman; and, a woman was expected to be wed to a man; and, together they were both expected to have lots of children. A large family with each member of the family unit "pulling" their own share of work for the common good of the family was not only important but it was crucial back then for the survival of the family.

The twentieth century saw an evolution in the traditional American family life. The traditional American family became a unit in which a man married a woman, they had several but not too many children, the man was the financial provider, and the woman stayed at home to be the principal caregiver for the children and to provide emotional and moral support for her husband.

Enter the twenty-first century and we see the impending extinction of the Traditional American Family. It seems as though most married couples are both working now-a-days in what has become known as two-income or dual-earner families and many are delaying having children or deciding not to have children at all. It also seems that more and more couples are cohabiting without benefit of marriage and they may or may not have children together. Furthermore, it seems that more and more women are consciously making a decision to have children without the benefit of marriage and without having the father (or fathers) of their children reside with them.

I wonder if anyone else feels as I do - that the traditional American family is becoming extinct.

Ref: Roland's Ramblings blog entry entitled Family

Ref: U.S. Census Bureau, Families and Living Arrangements

Ref: Hoover Digest, The Changing American Family

Ref: American Culture Studies, American Identity - Traditional American Family values

Ref:, The Changing Family

Ref:, U.S. Government Info, The Lone American Grows In Numbers