Media Watch: Dear Mike Collins …Written by Jeremy Baumhower | | email@example.com
Congratulations, Councilman Collins, on being elected as the next mayor of Toledo. I am beyond proud of you and your team’s efforts during this campaign.
Toledo doesn’t need a mayor — we need a dreamer. We need someone to look outside the box or assemble a team who can and dream up ways to change the demographic of this city and its future.
Toledoans need you to manage the city, but more importantly to become a promoter, a cheerleader, a friendly face to the outside world. As powerful and as deadly as the print media can be in this town, it only goes as far as the physical paper lands. We need to create positive ways to make this city go viral. You have three years before you need to worry about endorsements or approvals from men who live in Pittsburgh. If you can sell this city’s image, show its work ethic, its neighborly spirit and all the reasons Toledo is the perfect place to raise a family to employees of tech companies and future dotcom businesses, you will truly save this dying metropolis.
The entrepreneurs can only invest so much in Toledo; we need people outside of Northwest Ohio to know how great and lucrative it can be. If you want to fix the budget, hire more police and firefighters, reopen closed police stations … it’s simple: Increase the tax base and get new businesses to come here. You were correct in campaigning that good jobs aren’t in Germany or China; they are in California and NYC.
Outside the box ideas
- Create a Tech Sector portion of Downtown Toledo that includes tax abatements and where Wi-Fi is available anywhere.
- Tear Raceway Park down and create a sports recreation area filled with baseball diamonds and soccer fields, similar to Pacesetter Park in Sylvania. Throw city-sponsored and organized tournaments, bringing outside families to the area, possibly incorporating the Mud Hens.
- Invite the Ultimate Fighting Championship and its large, big-spending fan base to use the Huntington Center for upcoming events. Incorporate Hollywood Casino Toledo and make a weekend out of it.
- Restore or build a movie theater in the heart of Downtown, possibly on the second floor of the Commodore Perry building, which was the area’s premier ballroom and venue generations ago. Give independent filmmakers a venue and the support to showcase their work. Let’s not just limit this to local artists; think bigger.
- Create a music and arts festival comparable to Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest highlighting the distinct four seasons of weather.
- Create a safe area in Downtown Toledo where citizens can carry open containers.
- Throw the world’s biggest Half-Way to Ireland St. Patrick’s Day party in September.
All of the above ideas have one main thing in common: they target people in their 20s and 30s. Only the Raceway Park renovation would cost capital; the rest would be accomplished with simple organizing and promoting. The other common theme is they are all fun and designed to create a positive memory.
Mayor-Elect Collins, I know you can do this. Your greatest strength of character is your continued education and evolution of thought. It only takes one great presentation, one positive image in the right person’s brain, one idea and our city can turn around.
Let the world know, we are not Detroit … we’re better.
Come find out why.
Email columnist Jeremy Baumhower at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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