County review advisory panel namedWritten by Amy Biolchini | | ABiolchini@toledofreepress.com
The Lucas County Citizen Review announced Sept. 16 the members of its advisory panel that will oversee a six-month citizen study of county government.
The advisory panel, co-chaired by Tom Killam of Marshall & Melhorn, LLC and Olivia Summons of Sunoco, Inc., will serve to maintain the integrity of the study and oversee the actions of the expert citizen volunteers conducting the research, Killam said.
“It’s a terrible thing to waste a crisis, and maybe the immediate crisis has passed, but we felt this needed to be done and would be best done by a group of citizens,” Killam said. “We’re just trying to make our county a better place in which to live and learn.”
The advisory panel includes Alison Dillion of EPIC; John Jones of the Urban League of Greater Toledo; Tom Palmer of Marshall & Melhorn; Kim Partin of East Toledo Family Center; Larry Peterson of AMobility; Bob Savage Sr. of Savage & Associates; Sharon Speyer of Huntington Bank; Rick Stansley of University of Toledo Innovation Enterprises; Sen. Mark Wagoner of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick; Don Warner, formerly of SSOE; Ray Wood of UAW Local 14; and Blade president and general manager Joe Zerby.
“These are people we view to be community leaders and they all bring their intellect and their altruistic desire to make this a better place,” Killam said.
Many members of the panel were formerly involved with the non-partisan Corporation for Effective Government (CEG) that disbanded in 2002 after 70 years of operations due to lack of financing, Killam said.
Summons, past president of CEG, said, “Study recommendations were always non-partisan, independent, objective analysis of issues in the community that looked at the efficient and effective delivery of public services.”
“The whole reason for having an advisory panel is because we have no base of operations, no CEG,” Summons said. “They are serving as the check and balance in the absence of any board.”
The advisory panel is seeking approximately 25 expert citizen volunteers to participate in the study.
“We’re looking for people with backgrounds in finance, law, logistics, IT. Whatever would be germane to the study itself: People with qualifications and experience,” Killam said.
The volunteer research group, chaired by Marna Ramnath, will take a critical look at all aspects of Lucas County government: Structure and organization, interrelationships of county jurisdictions, finances of elected officials and administrative departments as well as the financial and operational effectiveness of a restructured government.
Cities and counties in the U.S. that have undertaken structural change will also be considered by the research group. With the aid of a professional research associate and office space from the University of Toledo, data will be compiled for use by the research group.
Recommendations and findings from the research group will be presented at the culmination of the study to the Lucas County Commissioner. Several local corporations, whose names were not released at press time, have committed to funding clerical and administrative costs for the study.