Irresponsible protestWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters from Mayor Carty Finkbeiner’s office carry a line that quotes the recent Foreign Direct Investment Magazine finding that Toledo is a “City of the Future,” referring to the determination that we are the “most business-friendly city” in our 44-city category.
I wonder if fDi would change its mind if it heard Toledo City Councilmen Frank Szollosi and “Republican” Rob Ludeman calling for a boycott of Dillard’s locations in Toledo.
No matter what side of the Southwyck Mall eminent domain issue you support, it doesn’t make sense to exacerbate the situation by calling for a boycott of a company that operates other area locations.
This drive to have the financially strapped City of Toledo take the property by force has been a poor example of economic development practice. Whether the City “wins” or Dillard’s “wins” this battle, the store will be a force in the market, an employer and neighbor long after the dust has settled.
Aren’t there better ways of negotiating than arbitrary government deadlines, court action and calls for boycotts sanctioned by elected officials? If people who support Ludeman are supposed to boycott Dillard’s, should people who disagree with him boycott the Danberry Company, where he is an associate? Should people who disagree with Szollosi boycott City Council’s decisions, as that seems to be his primary occupation?
Astute readers will notice an advertising presence by Dillard’s in this issue, but my stance on this was set long before that deal was struck and would apply to any company trying to operate in our area; it’s ludicrous for a city government to inject itself in a business matter on its own timetable, and trying to publicly embarrass a business owner is anything but friendly.
Maybe Council should apply their passion for this topic to the empty buildings that surround Fifth Third Field, or the Fiberglas Tower, or the empty cinemas on Secor Road and Monroe Street.
It’s good to see some fire coming from Council, but in terms of long-term vision, they have smoke in their eyes.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press. Contact him at email@example.com.