I'm doing research on the LCIC and was wondering if anybody on this board has had any experience with them. Do they do any good or are they just another waste of time and money? Why would you use the LCIC over the Port Authority? Reading over their website, it's the same old generic "we help create jobs" lines that we hear so often. Toledo seems to have a dozen different regional economic development committees and I was wondering what makes the LCIC any different than the others.
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seems to me the lcic was set up to replace the county economic development department - governments are constrained by certain rules regarding disclosure etc that they found a way around - probably a way around rules about double dipping as well. look around for these new programs and entities that pols and administrative pals set up and then run when they "retire" - more of the low-boil corruption
The LCIC has existed for quite a long time and is established under Ohio Revised Code. Originally, its primary purpose was to serve as the entity for purchasing or selling publicly-owned property. The thought was that when a public entity needed to purchase property for a particular need, there was a likelihood that potential sellers would increase their price knowing it was to be a purchase by the public entity. The LCIC, because of its statutory nature, could conduct the purchase/sale and not disclose the government jurisdiction, thus ensuring a fair and market-rate price. I believe it might actually predate government economic development departments.
When the Regional Growth Partnership decided to break apart from the Port Authority (2004, I think) and stand on its own (no longer accepting public funds via the Port Authority levy), there was a concern in some political circles that they would overshadow (for lack of a better word) the elected officials in the whole 'job creation' effort.
This happened to coincide with the election of Pete Gerken to the Board of County Commissioners. Gerken, Tina Skeldon-Wozniak and then Mayor Jack Ford all met (prior to Pete officially taking office so he and Tina didn't violate any sunshine laws) and decided to merge the city of Toledo and the county economic development departments. One thing they forgot to do was check Ohio law. Under Ohio law, counties are restricted in how they can structure their economic development departments and merger with a city was not one of the options.
So, since all the county municipalities and jurisdictions were already a part of the LCIC and the LCIC was one of the authorized structures for county economic development, the plan became to 'revise' the LCIC and make it the competitor to the newly revised RGP. The result was that the LCIC became a regular organization with paid staff, offices, etc...
There was a lot of maneuvering in the revised make-up of the LCIC and I believe a couple of jurisdictions may have left the organization, while private sector representation was added. Toledo, under Finkbeiner, didn't want to provide the promised level of funding for the expanded LCIC as Finkbeiner wanted to do just about everything himself. Toledo, along with some of the other jurisdictions, didn't see the need for the expanded costs when they had their own economic development entities.
In the end, though, the staff at the various organizations, LCIC, RGP, Port Authority, other jurisdictions' economic development agencies, worked well together to coordinate who does what so there is rarely duplication of efforts. Each entity has a niche and specific economic development tools they can offer/provide. While the elected officials don't always get along, the staff at the econ. dev. agencies do.
The most accurate way to think of it is that there are multiple tool boxes and all the tool boxes don't have the exact same tools, so they 'share' the unique tools when needed in order to get the job done.
HunkyTownSausage: I have had the wonderful experience to be put in a position that required me to contact most of the B&ED agencies. I left TMACOG and the Toledo Port Authority alone, so I can't speak for them. If you would like to meet in person, I wouldn't mind sharing my experience with you, but discussing my REAL WORLD experiences with our world class B&ED agencies on here isn't a good idea, because after reading it, a person seeking/needing B&ED assistance may come to the conclusion I found one agency useful over another, when I find them all to be equally competent and operating at the same identical level of performance as the other. There is no doubt in my mind that they each have niche and specific economic development tools, but in my opinion, they all have the ONE goal.