Greater Ohio co-director speaks to TMACOGWritten by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | firstname.lastname@example.org
The state of Ohio has a sustainability problem. Northwest Ohio has this same problem. But it is not all doom and gloom. Working together throughout the state, communities can help fix this problem.
This was the message of Gene Krebs, who spoke to the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) Wednesday after its Board of Trustees December meeting.
“I’m going to do a lot of mixed signals today,” Krebs said at the presentation, which was open to the public. “I’m sorry. Live is full of mixed signals. You’re just simply going to get that and I can’t give you complete clarity because things are just mixed in this life.”
Krebs is the co-director of Greater Ohio, a non-profit, non-partisan organization “creating a new vision for economic development in the state,” he said.
Krebs discussed sustainability in local government in regards to fiscal issues and sprawling communities. He told Toledo Free Press that sustainability all comes back to intelligible land use including utilization of key assets.
“You guys have some great assets,” he said of Toledo. “Everyone seems down and depressed.”
By taking advantage of these assets, such as the “bang-up port,” sustainability can be achieved, he said.
Krebs also discussed college graduates coming into Ohio.
“Ohio does a modest job of keeping graduates; what we really fail on is bringing them in,” Krebs said. Children of suburbs are seeking brick metropolitan accommodations with great public transportation as opposed to vinyl houses on the outskirts of the city, he said.
During his presentation, Krebs said that the state has an adequate amount of lawyers and attorneys, but needs more engineers, mathematicians and other scientists to keep Ohio competitive.
What Krebs wanted to tell TMACOG is to think fresh and how to capitalize on its assets in order to restore prosperity, he said. Better data is also needed in order to identify specific problems and solve them, Krebs said.
Greater Ohio was established in January 2004 and its latest project is “Restoring Prosperity,” according to its Web site. Krebs has traveled across the state telling communities how to become sustainable thus restoring prosperity. He spoke in Ashtabula – in Northeast Ohio – on Tuesday.
Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak introduced Krebs.
“I think in difficult financial times, it’s the wake-up call for all us to say, ‘If it’s not now, when is it a time to work together?’” Wozniak said. “It’s a perfect blend of TMACOG’s mission.”