Norwalk seeks to restart economic engine

Norwalk Mayor Sue Lesch appeared quite pleased Wednesday with the results from a series of meetings with community leaders. Lesch said the meetings, which were called "innovation forums,' started out as only one, but turned into four total get-togethers. "The program is called Restarting Our Engines,' she said. "It involved hours of people's time. The basic concept was, what can we do to restart our economic engine for the community? What can we do to spur growth in current companies?'
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 26, 2010


Norwalk Mayor Sue Lesch appeared quite pleased Wednesday with the results from a series of meetings with community leaders.

Lesch said the meetings, which were called “innovation forums,” started out as only one, but turned into four total get-togethers. “The program is called Restarting Our Engines,” she said. “It involved hours of people’s time. The basic concept was, what can we do to restart our economic engine for the community? What can we do to spur growth in current companies?”


Kottage Kat (An...

With all the factories already closed, I think our engine is blown.

duramax (Anonymous)

Restart our engine what engine,we gave it all away, norwalk should have been giving the factories tax breaks to keep the jobs here but nooooo.. We'll just milk them for all they got, then the factories wise up and move to mexico, restart the engine comn on!!!!, how about this, you stop having ur little pow wows, were you sit around and drink tea, get off ur butts and do something about it, Instead of talking about it!!!! Truthfully you'll never get the factories back, lost cause!! Some Major. YOU BETTER LOOK LONG AND HARD TO FIND THOSE KEYS TO YOUR ENGINE BECAUSE, THIS ONE"S A DEAD HORSE.

NHS Grad 1990

Maybe she should have worried about saving the economy when we still had something to work with!

darkside (Anonymous)

haha love this photo. I can see the caption under it now.....(hmmm... I wonder if the people of Norwalk know that I am actually dumber than I look)!

mandielee1985 (...

Restart our Engines?!! I guess by not being supportive of VK is a great way to restart our engines. People are going to have to shop in other towns because of Norwalks increasing sales tax. I already do. While the mayor and council are able to sit so comfortably in their homes and complain about not be on full time but still making more than most of us, we are here struggeling to buy groceries and live. We need a new system alright its called a new mayor and council!


OMG!!! Come on people you got to be kidding me...RESTART our ENGINES?? Do you know how many job where lost in this town??? you don't even want to know the numbers.I agree with's way to late to help us now. where just like a sinking ship..


I agree with all of you so far. We need a new engine (mayor) now. The city is like a business. A boss gets a lot more done from his employees when he has their respect and works with them. That is what the citizens have lost with our leader. RESPECT. Just like a car you have to respect it and not beat it to death or it won't work. I am sorry to say this city has been beaten to death. If we let this continues for another year and half it is only going to get worse. Example when the bridge is closed on 250 after Labor Day. We finally have a few council members who are paying attention. I know if I was in this position of mayor I think I would save what face I have left and resign for the betterment of the city. It is not about being a boss (Mayor) but if one really cares about the city (like they say they do) then they would do what is best now and admit it is time to resign. It is just too bad she does not read blogs but I am sure she thinks that none of us on here pay taxes, vote or have any intelligence.


I would be interested in knowing who the "community leaders" were.

Chevy1 (Anonymous)

Can anyone say "Dwight Tkach for Mayor?"

starryeyes83 (A...

If a nation doesn't have a strong manufacturing base, then it's impossible to have a strong economy. You cannot innovate if you don't have any products left.

swiss family

well "norwalk resident" if she did read these blogs you would be right about one thing.. so far, ALL of the blogs on this topic are demonstrating that they don't have any intelligence..

Are you all that dense that you do not see what is happening in the ENTIRE COUNTRY???? WHERE ARE ALL THE JOBS?? I would agree with you that anyone in a Mayoral position would not be working up to their highest potential, IF every area around them was flourishing, and growing in a positive direction.. BUT THAT IS NOT THE CASE... PLEASE show me one surrounding town, or how about surrounding county or state, or district that is keeping their jobs and looking for lots of workers to fill the new jobs being created??? they do NOT exist...

you do realize don't you that the Mayor of NORWALK OHIO does NOT control the entire country .. right??? maybe you really don't????? as for Mr. Tkach as the next Mayor.. you must be joking... OK he will get my vote when he can explain all of the terms, and all of the years that he sat silently and said NOTHING!! is that whet you expect out of a Mayor.. to work like a turn signal??? (it's working... not working now... it's working again??????? I would expect a real candidate for mayor to be vocal, and fighting for the city and especially for the citizens ALL THE TIME.... please tell me how many actual years he has been on council... so why are we only hearing his opinion now????? no.. I would rather see Jenn, or Kat.. or any of the other very vocal opponents of the Mayors actions, or her in-actions, I would be interested in seeing the direction these loud mouthed nothings would go in.. and trust me, I would be at every council meeting and asking all kinds of questions of, and explanations from the new Mayor.. seeing as how they always have the answers, although they never seem to tell anyone what those answers would be, but they sure can insultingly criticize...

Do you really blame the Mayor for the STATE(WHICH OVERRIDES THE CITY) determines that the bridge is unsafe and needs to be fixed??? can you seriously be that "thick" do you seriously think that anyone, especially anyone local wants the bridge to close for 6 months of winter??? without having asked any of them, I will speak for what I firmly believe their response would be,, and that no one wants it to close!! but they will rejoice with a new improved and safer structure is in it's place...

you all forgot to say that it is the "Muslim Presidents " fault.. that's funny I did NOT see all of these jobs rushing to close and leave the country in the past year and a half.. which them means that they were closing before the Black Muslim Presidency even started??? how odd.. that's certainly NOT what the one sided slanted News programs especially the ones with the leading 3 stooges blather on.. and you know I mean Rush, Glenn, and Bill...

in closing I really wish that one day I could actually see things the way that most of you do... but I really don't think I could stick my head that far up my a$$

Kottage Kat (An...

Not much left to "spur" growth in.
Not a bad idea, just ill timed.
Kinda like closing the barn door after the horse got out.

justathought2 (...

Kottage kat, In one sentence, you said it all!!

6079 Smith W (A...

Unfortunately, it would appear to be a case of: Too little, too late.

Also, the majority of the 'solution' reads like gobbledygook - impractical but 'nice sounding.'

The city and county control very little of the economic future; they have much of the responsibility, but little if any power.

Having responsibility without the power tends to lead to frustration and often death.

The power to change the area economically lies ultimately in the halls of Columbus and Washington and their tax and business regulation policies.

I’ve often thought that a major part of the decline of uptown and all of Norwalk lay in the construction of the Rt. 20 bypass in the 1960s.

At that time people complained about the amount of traffic and noise and viewed the bypass as the solution.

The unintended consequences were that tourists, truckers and travelers never saw the area and did not stop and spend money.

The bypass did its job. Now there is far less traffic, but the business went with it.

Public employment is becoming the majority work force in the county and private employment is declining. Private employment funds public employment. Going forward the current the dynamic is unsustainable.

Norwalk will in all likelihood become increasingly grayer, with many of its citizens living on fixed incomes and govt. health and welfare benefits.

Graduating high school and college students will move on to other locales with greater employment and social opportunities. The best and the brightest will leave, with the infirmed, the poor and the aged remaining.

Norwalk and Huron Co. continues to lose population, the future is not bright regardless of the amount of ‘happy talk’ coming out of the Mayor’s Office.

I sincerely wish it were different, but until 'tax, borrow, print and spend' attitudes change in State and Federal govt., Norwalk will undoubtedly continue on its long descent into economic and social oblivion.


Swiss I do not comment on here much but I read all the blogs all the time. I have seen you on here get beat up and spit out many times. I will say I sometimes feel you have some good points that I have agreed with. I realize you like the mayor and that is your right. I too liked her at one time and voted for twice. I have a few points to answer your response to me. Do you have a job? Do you own a business and have tried to work with the mayor and got no where because it was not her idea? Have you attended city council meetings and watched the double talk? The old saying if you have not walked a mile in these shoes then you can like her all you want. The answer to any industry hiring and thriving in this area Go south about 15 miles in the town of Willard (MTD, Donnelly’s, Pepperidge Farms, CSX railroad) in our county the unemployment is in Norwalk. These are good jobs. I would hate to see what the % of unemployment is in just the city limits. Now to the bridge. Yes it needs to be replaced and I am not blaming her for that. My thought process on this is that she and the Mayor from Milan should be down there in Ashland talking to ODOT and asking why they are not widening that to 3 or 4 lanes for the future of Norwalk and Milan. They should be fighting for this. But God only knows this makes to much sense to do this now. Let’s just sit back and wait and not call who we need to get this done. Let’s just detour traffic in the future again for the business this will affect. This issue should have had some noise made by the mayors and our state representatives. Let’s look beyond today so we are not always back tracking. That is part of their job as elected official. Swiss one more thing our goal as citizens should always be for is for the best future of our city. I am sorry to say I feel we do not have that conductor in charge right now. That is my right

JennL (Anonymous)

Let's be fair! Mayor Lesch is trying to find new ideas, and she included several others in the business world and on council to join her.

Yes, factory jobs are gone. Unemployment is high. But do we sit by and do nothing? It's been a known fact for over 20 years that we, as a nation have been moving into a post industrial(less manufactoring) society where service and technologies are the new focus. I learned this in 1991 at CSU and couldn't phathomed it, but here we are!

Yesterday is gone. Let's learn from it and find solutions to make a new tomorrow!

I don't want the Mayor's job, Swiss, but would like to shake you hand at the next council meeting in July. = )

voiceofreason (...

Well said Norwalkresident. I have been reading these blogs for years and chuckle how everyone will fight over someone elses opinion. Isn't that what democracy is made of? Different opinions, different ideals, etc?

What really upsets me is when people intially "stir the pot". There were no mentions of race, etc on any comments and in Swiss's long response she puts a paragraph in there about our President, implying that those that don't agree with her views are racist. That is just wrong. That is mean and hurtful to try to "stir the pot". Society has a hard enough time trying to get along, respect each others opinions, etc without someone like Swiss sitting back at her keyboard just throwing hurtful statements out there. I have always respected everyones opinion on this forum but sometimes when things are just thrown out there to "stir the pot", it is wrong. Respect each others opinions.....that is suppose to be what makes this country so great.

6079 Smith W (A...

JennL wrote on Jun 25, 2010 9:46 AM:

‘Let's be fair! Mayor Lesch is trying to find new ideas,’

Fair? It largely amounts to: Mostly talk and little action.

It’s also a case of: Been there, done that.

Look no further than the Comprehensive Plan from 2006:

Over four years ago, businesses and residents were asked for their input on how best to move Norwalk forward. How much of those ‘great ideas’ were enacted?

I see that it is no longer posted in its entirety on Norwalk’s Home page. Perhaps a copy could be obtained from the City?

No, far too often bureaucrats erroneously believe that meetings and high-sounding words are substitutes for action.

And so lastly, this yet another series of meetings that reminds me of another cliché:

If you can’t baffle ‘em with brilliance, dazzle ‘em with bullsh*t.

6079 Smith W (A...

Well apparently the two years in the making, 2006 City of Norwalk Comprehensive Plan has been expunged from the Internet.

You may want to ask yourself, ‘Why?’

But I did find the following regarding it:

‘In October 2006, the City of Norwalk finalized its blueprint for the future, a Comprehensive Plan that examines the issues most likely to influence the City’s development over the next twenty years. With over 300 recommendations, this strategic planning document will guide City decision-making in a wide range of areas.

The Comprehensive Plan is the product of two years of effort by local citizens, business leaders and government officials. Over 700 people played a role in shaping this document, from community forums held in October 2004 to focus groups in the winter of 2005, and then to resource panels which met throughout 2005, all of whom provided input and feedback as the plan

Take a look at the above URL and notice the glowing words, the ‘happy hope’ and the currently non-existent businesses that are discussed within.

norduck (Anonymous)

la la la la just restart the engine

former local

Wonder who these "community leaders" are and how they were chosen?

darkside (Anonymous) thats another good comment by swiss...comenting on how would you know?

starryeyes83 (A...

Willard jobs are good. My question(s) : how long will that town be able to retain those jobs?

Haven't those companies had to downsize their respective workforces?


swiss family wrote on Jun 25, 2010 12:15 AM:

in closing I really wish that one day I could actually see things the way that most of you do... but I really don't think I could stick my head that far up my a$$ "

Isn't that where it's normally at?

JennL (Anonymous)

I agree that much time is spent sitting and talking. This group involved about 72 local CEOs, business owners and leaders in 4 separate meetings. Time will tell if it will be effective??! Our city and county and country hurts in the meantime.

I have read thru the comprehensive plan, and understand what you are saying, Smith. It is available on CD at city hall or it use to be online. I am merely stating that there is a report coming out, and they did read a book!

hit the road ja...

At MTD I'm sure you'll have to work like a migrant picking last weeks tomatoes at migrant wages to boot!

CaddyShack (Ano...

SMITH- You should know that the Comprehensive Plan is always brought up when the administration wants to spend money. Then it's.....We know that the people want us spend this/buy this, because they mentioned it in the Comprehensive Plan. I would love to know how much taxpayer money was spent on that waste of paper.
I am still laughing at the baffle 'em with brilliance comment....HILARIOUS!

David Deerest. ...

Sassy, never end a sentence with a proposition.
"Isn't that where it's normally at?"

Should read, "Isn't that where it's normally at, b*#ch?"


HughJass (Anonymous)

I'll tell you what, vote me into office and I will help bring jobs back to Norwalk. I'll start by compiling corporate tax rate figures from across the country and then lower the rates in Norwalk to the lowest in the country. Then I will travel the country to industrial trade shows and the like and speak to industry leaders about the benefits of setting up shop in Norwalk. In addition I would actively recruit at least on institution of higher education to set up a main or satellite campus in the City at the location of the old city/county building in order to to educate workers for the jobs that would be relocating to our city. What Norwalk needs is a proactive leader. The time for meetings is over, its time for action.


All Over Again ...

I'll tell you, when the Mayor first ran for office. She came to my business and ask for my support and help. She gave me a bill of goods on what she could do for this city. I supported her but when I went to her about help with some things. I was brushed to the side. Past time for her and rest of clowns to get out of office. This November is the time to start kicking them out of office and every year after until we have changed them all. If the people we put in office dont do the job we want then kick them out as well.START THIS NEXT ELECTION!!!!!