Strickland tours former brownfield site, touts job plan
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, touting his $1.7 jobs package, toured two Cincinnati area job-creating projects he believes should be a model for the rest of the state.
Strickland first went to the still-under-construction Linden Pointe at the Lateral site in Norwood, a 15-acre former brownfield site that is being turned into an office-retail complex that the developers say will ultimately create about 2,500 jobs. Later, he went to Melink Corporation in Miflord, a manufacturer oif energy-efficient kitchen ventilation systems.
After touring the first building built at Linden Pointe - a four-story office complex - with construction managers and several area state legislators, Strickland said it was a good example of how a private investors and state and local governments can team up to create jobs.
"They've taken a brownfield, cleaned up the mess and turned it into something that will create jobs,'' Strickland said. "The community wins because it takes a toxic area that was a problem and turns it into something that puts people to work and generates tax revenue."
The Enquirer talked to the governor about a few other subjects before he left Norwood for Milford, including:
Republicans on the state controlling board blocked Strickland's plan to invest $18 million in keno games, a video lottery, around the state as a way of generating revenue.
Strickland pulled his request after the controlling board balked, saying it want more information and public hearings on the proposal. Thursday, Strickland said he is willing to give them time, even though it means it is unlikely that he will get the keno games in operation by July 1 as he had planned.
"War has not been declared,'' the governor said. But, he said, if the Republicans on the controlling board reject his keno proposal, "I will suggest to them that they have an obligation to find some other way of helping up deal with a signifcant budget shortfall." Strickland has told legislators the state is facing a budget deficit of at least $733 million by the end of June 2009.
Strickland - a United Methodist minister and supporter of Hillary Clinton - called the flap over incendiary remarks by Barack Obama's pastor "really unfortunate."
"I obviously don't know (the Rev. Jeremiah Wright); and I want to accept what people who do know him say - that those remarks are not a reflection of the man as a whole or of his lifetime of work."
The governor said he does not blame Obama for what his pastor said.
"I'm not sure it is a good idea to hold someone responsible for statements made by someone else," Strickland said.