In order to build a better Toledo I have created a five-point economic development plan that will bring business, workers, and government together to create stable jobs that can support a family.
1. PRIORITIZING TOLEDO BUSINESS
For far too long our community has been chasing after outside investment. As mayor I plan to focus on and support the Toledo-based businesses that have stayed with us and supported our communities. I will partner with businesses which have invested in Toledo by giving preference to local businesses in the city's procurement policies. To retain and attract businesses, we must make critical investments in our aging infrastructure. I plan to identify outdated sewer lines, and roads and prioritize repairs.
2. ACCOUNTABILITY AND BENCHMARKS IN CITY CONTRACTS
Taxpayers paid $43 million for cleanup and infrastructure costs of the Marina District, but we've seen almost nothing in return. As mayor, I can assure you, that will never happen again. We need real results. We must have accountable benchmarks, with enforceable consequences, in all contracts for the city.
3. STREAMLINE SERVICES
Businesses who want to create jobs in our city shouldn't have to jump through hoops. As mayor, I will streamline how businesses interact with the city, saving time and money so businesses can focus on hiring our workers, not dealing with red tape. I want to create a Toledo Business Center and a Business Hotline to help guide business owners through the permitting process and to increase the responsiveness of the city to the needs of business. I will hire a Business Liaison for every neighborhood to streamline city services so businesses don't have to negotiate separately for city services such as building inspection, zoning and planning, permitting, tax abatements, water or health department issues or any other matter that may arise. The Business Center will also track concerns of businesses and identify trends and issues facing our business community, allowing us to address issues proactively. Additionally, there will be an online component of this initiative, providing one-stop access to applications and information outlining services, incentives and other pertinent information.
4. SMALL BUSINESS POLICY
Small businesses are responsible for creating 2 out of every 3 new jobs each year in the U.S. I will partner with local business organizations, and develop a Local Business Advisory Committee to ensure our city is meeting the needs of these valuable job creators. This committee will be comprised of business leaders from a variety of industries to identify barriers to economic development and address the needs of small business owners. The Business Liaison will also help create a business-friendly environment in Toledo giving businesses a direct contact for service requests, questions and feedback.
5. REGIONAL ECONOMIC COLLABORATION
As Lucas County Auditor, I have worked with local governments and businesses throughout Northwest Ohio. I want to work with job creators in the surrounding area to create an environment that will bring more jobs to Toledo. Through my relationships with local governments and businesses throughout Lucas County, I will collaborate with representatives of major employers in industries such as education, transportation, healthcare and manufacturing to support their efforts to retain and create good paying jobs in Toledo.
THE FIRST 100 DAYS
Within 100 days of taking office, I will:
• Revise the procurement policy for the city
• Establish a Business Hotline
• Appoint a Business Advisory Committee
• Activate a one-stop internet portal for businesses
• Hire Business Liaison for each neighborhood
• Design a training program for outward-facing staff focusing on improving business services