Well, ain’t this pleasant. The City of Toledo, faced with the news they have lost 27,000 resident since 2000 and the prospect their population will shrink below 300,000 for the first time since 1940, has this to say in it’s defense.
“If you look at the numbers, you can see we are very close to passing Cincinnati in size,” said Brian Schwartz, the Toledo mayor’s spokesman.
I love it. What’s wrong with the whole Ohio northern shore? Now we have a whole other city to hate, as if just being Cleveland-haters wasn’t enough. (Yesterday I saw a radio station ad on the side of a Metro bus with a shiny, beautiful photo of Cincinnati’s skyline and a dismal, dark one of Cleveland’s skyline. Under Cincinnati, “Mojo.” Under Cleveland, “No Mojo.” Yeah, take that Cleveland.)
In Cincinnati at least we are aspiring to be something. The downtown is on the move, Sheriff Simon Leis is patrolling Over-the-Rhine and sending work crews to clean the streets. In fact, just yesterday a crew cleaned up the alley behind my home, picking up trash, vacuuming up little pieces and weed-whacking the alley into submissive urban beauty. Fountain Square is less than two months from opening, completely re-done and transformed into something this area has never seen in a public place.
The Banks Working Group is meeting and will likely have plans soon that will transform our riverfront. Young people are getting involved in their city and making a difference. It’s really happening.
But, as Toledo Blade columnist Roberta deBoer points out, Toledo is way behind. And though their city officials might be scurrying to come up with an excuse or a defense to their population woes – and the best they can come up with is “soon we’ll be bigger than Cincinnati” – our town is on the move. People are moving back into the city and that trend will undoubtedly continue for decades. We did and are doing something about our woes – and it’s impressive.
Have you ever been to Toledo? ‘Nuff said.
And Toledo, while you have sights on us, we have our sights on our future. I think it’s too late for us to be a Toledo. Uh, thank God. But it isn’t too late for Toledo to be a Cincinnati. Take that.