Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mayor "P" delivers idea that reaks of innovation

Nothing like saving the best for last ...

Mayor Plusquellic's near one-hour State of the City address today hit a lot of the expected highlights as it wound down ... then out of nowhere it left the audience cleaning wax from their ears to make sure they heard right.

He wants to provide scholarships for thousands of local students by selling or leasing the city's sewer system for $100 million or more.

Excuse me? You want to do what?

Just when I thought I heard everything, at least when it came to Don Plusquellic's legacy as our city's longest-serving Mayor, comes an idea to pay for higher education with your lower intestine. Well, sort of.

Mayor "P" says this plan has it all:
  • gets more local kids to attend the local college
  • keeps more families living in town
  • convinces other families to move to Akron
  • funds itself
  • should increase enrollment in the Akron Public Schools

Am I dreaming here? This seems too simple, although I'm sure it won't be once they started playing with the dollars and pipes.

I could write a ton of humerous analogies .. but right now all I can think about is how great it would be for Akron's best to stay in Akron for college and to have the largest part of their bill -- tuition -- already covered.

Obviously, the city needs to find a buyer/leaser .. and needs to iron out details so my bills don't quadruple, but the idea has serious merit at a time when we're trying hard to keep families, students, and jobs.

I asked a woman from Hartville who has two daughters (10 and 8 I think) if she would consider moving to Akron so her kids could attend APS if it meant four years of free tuition at the U of A .. and she said "absolutely."

Again, of all the ideas I expected to hear today, all I can say is "wow."


Village Green said...

Selling or leasing the sewer to whom? So that they can increase our rates? So they can ignore things that need to be fixed?

Eric Mansfield said...

Hi VG ..
Not sure they have a buyer yet .. but those issues would certainly be high on the list before selling or leasing the system ...

Ideally, it would be a seemless transition with a new company sending you a bill for the same amount .. but I guess we'll see ..

Still, with the tremendous upside that was presented this morning, this is an idea that has merit and deserves exploring much further ..

Anonymous said...

This idea just might be crazy enough to work! Who's get a better idea that seems to help several problems all at the same time?

Ben said...

Ill believe it when I see it. Which means I will probably never believe it.

Mayor Of Crazytown said...

2 Words, Steam Plant.

TimJayFitz said...

Terrible idea! Not the tuition plan but funding it by selling our sewers.
Money doesn't come from nowhere. We could just raise the rates ourselves and spend the money on education if we wanted to(which I'm sure we don't.)
These gimmicks don't work. Isn't this why we didn't elect Blackwell and his crazy privatization schemes.
I look forward to the discussion of this on NewsNightAkron.

Ben said...

Tim I would be willing to make a friendly wager with you that Strickland adopts Blackwells plan to prvitaize the Turnpike before his election comes close.....

Anonymous said...

It is literally a Shit for Brains scheme...