Wanted: Citizens not residents

Tom Jackson
Mar 23, 2010

During Tuesday's presentation of the new Strategic Action Plan for Erie County, the head of the company that wrote the report, Angelos Angelou, took some time to draw a distinction between citizens and residents.

A resident, Angelou explained, is someone who lives in a community, but only calls city hall when it's time to complain about a problem. A citizen is somebody who not only sees a problem, but spends time finding a solution.

I'm sure you know who some of the local citizens are. They are the people who always show up to events such as yesterday's launch of the economic development plan by the ECEDC -- folks like George Mylander and Nancy McKeen. (Yes, I know McKeen is an elected official -- she's a county commissioner -- but nobody forces her to attend meetings morning, noon and night. Commissioner Tom Ferrell was at Tuesday's announcement, too.)

Angelou believes that for his plan to succeed, local citizens have to step forward to volunteer to help.

The new report is posted here at the paper's Web site, and the two previous reports on Erie County written by AngelouEconomics are available on ECEDC's Web site.

I plan to blog for several days in a row on economic development, so if jobs interest you, please stay tuned.

Comments

Anonymous

Nice article Tom. Where do I vote?

Anonymous (not ...

Good to know that Mr. Angelou has the chutzpah to denigrate hard working people who already pay too much in state, local and federal taxes and don't have the time or the inclination to give precious free time to an already bloated bureaucratic government.

Did he volunteer his time and expertise to write the report, or was he compensated?

Anonymous

I read the report. Let me capsulize it for you. Water is wet, fire is hot, and Christmas is on December 25th. We (the taxpayers) paid for something we already know. We didn't act on the info before, and chances are we won't act on it now.

Anonymous

were already paying (helping) for this. Now they want volunteers to help since the officials can't do it. BS. Do your jobs or step down and let someone else do it. Money went out for this report/study. The money wasn't donated by some anonymous benefactor.

Anonymous (not ...

In light of his brilliant civics observation, why not give Mr. Angelou the honorarium of Erie Co. citizenship if he'll rebate his fee back to the taxpayers for the report?

I noticed that he did some work in Austin, TX. That can't be difficult to look good when state taxes and the business environment are so favorable when compared to Ohio's.

Anonymous

the money that paid for this study was grant money that Erie County received from the State of Ohio, Dept of Jobs and Family Services through the Mass Layoff Grant Program. It appears no local money, whether it is tax dollars or private-sector dollars went towards the payment of this report. Maybe if some of you did your own research you would have found this out too.

Anonymous (not ...

Actually: Reads like convoluted thinking.

Erie Co. taxpayers aren't also State of Ohio taxpayers?

The money for the grant was somehow provided gratis?

In the parlance of Mr. Angelou, are you a citizen or a resident?

Anonymous

The Mass Layoff Grant monies are federal dollars, passed through the state of Ohio, of which Erie County got a portion of. Winston - if you re-read what I said, I typed that no local tax dollars went toward the study's cost. It seems a lot of bloggers on this site are always complaining about "their" tax dollars being used for different things and I only pointed out it appeared that no "local" tax dollars were used.

Anonymous (not ...

Actually: Again with the convoluted rhetoric.

From where ultimately do the funds for these 'grant monies,' federal or otherwise originate if not from the citizens of Erie Co. in addition to other U.S. taxpayers?

And do you seriously believe that this turgid report was a good use of taxpayer money?

So, are you a lofty high-minded citizen or merely a lowly taxpaying drone of a resident?

Anonymous

Winston - do you even know what the word convoluted means? Apparently you cannot comprehend what I'm trying to explain to you. You may ask, how do I even know these things? Well, the company I own actually contributes money to economic development here in Erie County and I was in attendance at the meeting on Tuesday at Firelands College. So, to answer the only lucid question you've asked, yes I am one of the "citizens" and by your tone you have demonstrated that you are a "resident". You might consider putting your personal investment into economic development and participating in the process. I'm sure it would be much more rewarding than what you are currently doing.

Anonymous (not ...

Actually: Perhaps it is you who should research the meaning of the word.

You are correct, that to write that local taxpayers have not contributed to the funding of the report through federal taxes is pure nonsense and no rational person would understand it.

Good to know that you accept Mr. Angelou’s divisive approach to attempting to solve the economic decline of Erie Co. with his citizen vs. resident dichotomy.

Taxpaying, law abiding, hard working, and voting individuals are not citizens? What kind of nonsense is that?

Like most consultants, the guy plays with words in order to help justify his fee while simultaneously dazzling the rubes.

You obviously just don’t know hucksterism when you hear it. Not-to-worry, lots of intelligent people are taken in by sharpies.

This so-called report is already on the shelf next to the others and has begun collecting dust.

Do you support 'The Plan' because you potentially stand to benefit financially byway of political favoritism, or are your reasons purely altruistic?

Anonymous

Winston,

the report was paid for with federal dollars, which means the money really didn't come from Erie County - at least not in large part. In fact, Erie County represents only .025% of the U.S. tax base, which means Erie taxpayers paid less than $30 for this study. You'll probably respond with some comment about how it wasn't worth $30, or that you want the $0.000375 back that was your share.

Anonymous

Winston, you call Mr. Angelou divisive, what do you think the average person reading your posts thinks about you? And to answer your question, I contribute my company's money because it is the right thing to do. We may not benefit directly, as you seem to think we'll get political favors by doing so, but if more jobs are created in this area, my company will certainly see a benefit. Plus it makes the area that much better of a place to live.

So, please tell us what it is you've done lately to improve our community or are you limited to just arguing with people on a blog?

Anonymous (not ...

SPA:

Nice attempt at reductio ad absurdum.

"A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you're talking real money".

- Sen. Everett Dirksen (D-IL)

A waste of taxpayer money is a wasted money. Ya like funding those bridges to nowhere eh?

Anonymous (not ...

Citizen Actually:

Did it ever occur to you that instead of originally writing that there was no ‘local’ money involved, that a clearer way to state it was to write that the funds were obtained ‘indirectly’ as opposed to ‘directly?’

I believe that it was YOU that started the ‘argument’ blog buddy, and your poor communication skills perpetuated it.

Glad to read that you believe that your community participation makes you a better person than the majority of your peers.

Unlike you, I don’t feel a need to flaunt my contributions, monetary and otherwise in order to feed my ego, nor do I.

Unfortunately, I’m on my way out of town for a few days and I’ll have to play with you at a later date. Stay tuned.

Anonymous

Whatever Winston, you seem to need to be right about everything you say and also think you have all the answers. Maybe being out of town for a few days will clear your head. I had to chuckle when you wrote that you don't need to flaunt your contributions to feed your ego. Most would interpet that to mean you haven't made any so there is nothing to flaunt.

Anonymous

Winston,

Your last sentence sums it up well. Being critical and negative in the blogosphere is "play" for you. It's how you support and feed your ego.

Your fundamental assumption, that this study wasn't worth Erie County taxpayers money, is your own opinion. I was merely pointing out that the value of the study would seem to exceed the relatively small $30 cost to Erie taxpayers.

You still haven't answered Actually's question:

"please tell us what it is you've done lately to improve our community or are you limited to just arguing with people on a blog?"