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?”


All Over Again ...

Well "HughJass" thats a start. I'll run for one of the other seats as well. Now just get some other good people to run as well and we can make the changes for a better city of Norwalk.

Kottage Kat (An...

Would HOPE that all who stated here will do what they perhaps humorously have stated they would do. Then the CHANGE necessary could be seen in the future.
However, I doubt that this will occur, and Ho Hum, things will go on as they have in the past.
I would like to know where they found 72 CEO's. business owners, and leaders. Are those who were involved in the Comprehensive plan still involved in viable productive businesses??? Not to be critical, just curious.
I am sure that the ideology was sound at the time of the meetings about the comprehensive plan, and the input was also, the solvency of the companies represented as they are today, does make one wonder.

6079 Smith W (A...

One of my most recent favorites was in 2007 when Her Honor learned of the closing of Chrysler dealership through a phone call:

‘The closure took Norwalk Mayor Sue Lesch by surprise.’

"Not a clue. The day they closed the doors I got a couple of calls," Lesch said. "I never got a call her from them. It was a surprise to me. I had just purchased a car there a couple of months ago. I was just talking to Al (her husband) about some service work needed on my car and getting an appointment."

And to this day, with business closing after business closing, her hand is strongly on the pulse of the business community isn't it?

Here's an idea Ms Lesch:

Rather than reading a book, would you like a dramatic photo op in order to demostrate that you support local business?

Personally take an axe to the tree in front of The Uptown Café.

Kottage Kat (An...

Mr. Smith,
You mean as opposed to the photo ops of her smiling and waving as the businesses leave town????

6079 Smith W (A...

@ Kottage Kat:

She would wave, but she needs a phone call first.


The last I knew, the Economic Development Director was pulling down $50K annually. Hard working taxpayer money well spent?

As I recall, when the topic of hiring an econ. director originally came up, some councilman was quoted as saying: Why, can’t a perspective out-of-town businessperson just stop into the Chamber of Commerce?

Regretfully, it’s starting to look increasingly like not a bad idea because the end result would more than likely be the same without the added taxpayer expense.

The Econ. Dev. website ‘really’ needs tweaking. The demographics are way out of date.

The new Norwalk Home page is a marked improvement.

swiss family

I am begging the "know it alls" on here who seem to have the solutions to all of our problems...PLEASE RUN FOR ANY GIVEN OFFICE THAT COMES UP ..PLEASE!!! you really do have all the answers, and know and point out the faults of everyone in any kind of power position... if you know so much... please you owe it to your fellow citizens..

But the truth is.. it is so easy to look at things in hindsight, and to be an armchair quarterback.. and see what is being done, and when the results are not as favorable as hoped, to ridicule , and point out how "stupid" those actions were....

I would love to have the opportunity to see you running things, and I would guess that with you in charge, Norwalk would be the shining jewel of the state.. although our state is one of the highest in unemployed adults, you would somehow surpass everyone expectations.. and make us the envy of the rest Ohioans...

but you and I know that, that will never happen.. because it is easy to have all the answers when you see what didn't work.. but I would like to see some ideas from you BEFORE someone else tries them... and lets see how your ideas "fly" I know.. you can't run for any office , because your "cat" wouldn't like it" or the psychic that you go to told you that it is NOT your time yet.. or some other lame I told you in the past, I am a results kind of person.. and I don't want to hear excuses from you.. I want to see results~

CaddyShack (Ano...

Speaking of reading....did anyone read the Sandusky Register article regarding Norwalk getting turned down for grant money for a new fire station?
The article stated that the city of Norwalk paid $35,000 last year and $25,000 this year to private investors to hold the former Home Lumber building for the proposed fire station location. It also stated that they have a 5 year agreement with the city paying them to hold the land. Does that restart your engine?

6079 Smith W (A...

@ CaddyShack:

Therein IMO, lies part of the city's financial problem; potentially valuable commercial real estate being taken off the private property tax rolls and placed on the non-performing public one.

Why for example is a potentially valuable piece of downtown real estate like the old Citizen’s Bank Bldg. publicly owned?

Why the planned Sofios Park? Why the soccer field?

This ever-increasing amount of public property only heightens the need for the eventual raising of the tax burden on residential and commercial property owners.

SOMEBODY has to pay taxes; Norwalk’s large cadre of public employees don’t work for free, nor do their rich health and pension benefits come gratis.

(BTW: In excess of 50% of the U.S. land area west of the Mississippi is owned by state and Federal govt. Maybe selling off a few million acres could be used to reduce our country's ever increasing budget deficits?)

CaddyShack (Ano...

SMITH- I am in total agreement with you. We should also be saking; why the city is paying a large some of tax payer dollars to "hold" property? There are plenty of empty commercial buildings in Norwalk that no one is jumping on at the moment. Someone besides the city is benefiting form this scenario, and you can bet we don't know the whole story.

bigwinner (Anon...

Maybe there talking about a CHAIN SAW ENGINE,
I think they should play hide and seek,Really!

They go hide and don't come back till we go look for them,Ha Ha Ha Really!

bigwinner (Anon...


Where's the beef,Where's the BEEF,Really...

Where's the jobs,

Cutting grass and chalk lines at
baseball and soccer fields.
*****Norwalk is a great big park*****

JennL (Anonymous)

I am in total disgust in learning that our city leaders have spent $60,000 in this economy to hold land! I have just posted the entire article from June 2009 that talks about this ordeal on the Norwalk city council forum.

No trash pickups, no mosquito spraying and all the unemployment and foreclosures in this city and the administration thinks it is ok to waste money!

FYI...there is a 9-12 meeting tonight a 7pm at the NHS, Steve Euton, council pres. will be speaking!

swiss family

I really wonder if the Mayor, and all of city council, and all of the heads of all of the departments, laugh, or cry when they read the comments on here they laugh when they see that for the most part, not too many are capable of mentally grasping the ideas, and the depth of the decisions that are trying to come forth.. some people on here act like there are "other buildings available" for the proposed fire station... well this isn't going to be some little retail shop, like the card shop.. or a downtown building like the available bargain bin.. the fire station actually needs to have a central location, with enough property to ensure the proper space if and when it comes time to expand the station in the would also be ideal if there were an available front and back entrance so the trucks and equipment could be safely pulled into their parking spaces, instead of the challenging " back up" to a very, very cramped space, while holding up traffic... so... Norwalkians.. where does this property that meet all of these condition, exist???? it seems that the only available spot would be the land from the old "Home Lumber" or again the Giant Eagle location!!!!

I happen that the best spot would be the Giant Eagle location, but with the value of the property, and the basically "new" building there, that would need to be torn down and rebuilt, it almost makes it impractical, seeing that they probably want at least a million for the building and property.. and then at least another one or two million more in restructuring and rebuilding...

on the other hand, the Home lumber location would work well also..but there is a chance that the owners could sell that property out from under us.. so they have generously agreed to hold it for a set amount each year, until the 5 or 6 years are up, and hopefully by that time the city will be in a position to either finance through a tax, or levy a new much needed structure and location..

or do they cry seeing that to say that you are a department head, or a councilman, should normally be a place of stature and pride, but when they actually realize that these are real people , real citizens who can not see, fathom, or grasp even the simplest complex problem.. they would have to feel like they are the "smartest"kid in the L D class.. it is an honor, but not really too much of one

it's pretty basic and simple really.. if you think about it... oh.. I think I am starting to see why so many here are not getting it!!!!

David Deerest. ...

If they're anything like normal people, they too, probably spew their coffee whilst reading your comments.

TreeSwiss, why don't YOU run? You could be a super amazing Democrat who has hangings in front of the court house every Sunday afternoon after church because the pulpit didn't agree with could use the tree you bake in, that would be super awesome!

Kottage Kat (An...

Again, Swiss has completely missed the point.

swiss family

yes, I have again missed the point... coming from the person who thought that everyone should just go to Big Lots, or the Dollar store to by a cheap watch, instead of fixing the beautiful, and historic county courthouse clock!!!!! RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!hahahahahaha

JennL (Anonymous)

"swiss they have generously agreed to hold it for a set amount each year, until the 5 or 6 years are up,"

the generousity is on the part of the city paying $60,000 of TAX PAYER"S MONEY in less than 12 months to hold the land!


Kottage Kat (An...

Consider the source and just keep chuckling.


bigwinner (Anon...

Really NOT the clock again, Swiss
What they need to do is put a soccor field behind Bob Evens,Really!
Heck or a disc golf :)

JennL (Anonymous)

Bigwinner, speaking of disc golf, I have to admit I was recently at the resevoir and wondered why there were so many deer feeders all around. I thought it was a nice idea to feed the deer, but wondered why so many??

And then I was at Dick's Sporting goods store buying my children soccer attire...and to my surprise, there was a deer feeder in the sporting goods store, right next to a whole supply of frisbee! = 0) BINGO!

Kottage Kat (An...

If someone woke up, their greatest fear is that they might have to become involved. It is the "do nothings" that type solutions to every problem, and bash those who have tried to get their attention.
The continual misuse of tax dollars and that being done by the Mayor and council has yet to attract the attention of the citizens of Norwalk.
When council returns, the chambers should be packed with irate citizens, questioning where the heck their tax dollars are going and why.
The fiasco on 250, did any one on council REALLY investigate the developer??????, or did they listen to the Mayor and her minions explain it, hey it sounds good let's vote for that.
I have yet to hear a no vote. It is lets just say yes and get the meeting over.With the exception of 2 members, most look bored. If they are tired of the job, someone else can probably do it.
The city attorney (one of them) dozes during the meeting, how is that for excitement.
Come on folks let the city know that you care, some have and it has gotten the attention of some.

swiss family

I firmly believe that most people would be more than willing to speak up, if it were on any issue that really mattered!! but when you see a group of ~~~~~~~~~ women, carry on about the TREES and who is cutting them, and why!! and seem to think that this is a pressing and important issue.. you really lose a lot of credibility..

then to recall the deep thinking's of the people who are calling people to rally behind them.. and one of the "women" thought that it was a great idea to have everyone purchase a $2.00 watch , instead of collecting, DONATED money from the community to save and repair a beautiful, and historic, functioning landmark.. A timepiece, I might add that is COUNTY property... NOT CITY PROPERTY, and somehow gets confused between the two divisions of government..sorry, but you almost appear to be a laughing point.. and you want people to rally behind you???????? right!!

then the other rallying woman, tell us that she thinks that the "goals" for the Frisbee golf at the reservoir are "DEER FEEDERS???" OK so we see the mental capacity of this person as well....I would be able to possibly understand the confusion, if these had not been there for YEARS!!!!! and she is finally just getting a glimpse of them now??? OK she is obviously involved in the community around her, of which she cackles constantly !!!!!\

I think you are actually hurting the credibility of the public.. it is true that many on city council have been quiet, term , after term, smiling and nodding their head.. and never giving any real opinion... now, though they seem to have awaken from their coma.. good but lets talk about some real problems then... not TREES, and whatever else your own personal agenda is, because it is in your backyard!! how about doing what would be best for the city?? instead of just what benefits the view from your glass doors ???

sorry, but you are a JOKE, at best!!!

JennL (Anonymous)

Speaking of JOKES....I just read the last post. I guess you can't understand a joke when you read one!

I know I don't, most of the time I scroll right on past yours. As if anyone cares what you have to say anyways-Swiss! Get a life, dude!

bigwinner (Anon...

Deer feeders sweet, really I thought them things was for hold'in fishing poles!

David Deerest. ...

swiss, you've got it all're suppose to stand UNDER your tree during a lightening storm. Under it, man. Geeeesh!

JennL (Anonymous)

Why are there so many fishing pole holder out there anyways?

Seriously, why is there so many disc golf nets out there? Is there a club or tournament that utilizes them?

By the way, the "Restart Our Engines" report is now available on the city's new update website.

Kottage Kat (An...

They have a disc golf league.

6079 Smith W (A...

JennL wrote on Jun 30, 2010 9:01 PM:

‘By the way, the "Restart Our Engines" report is now available on the city's new update website.’

Thanks for the heads-up.

Not a big deal, but I couldn’t help but notice that the first two printed quotes by Mead and Emerson are grammatically incorrect.

'We hit what we aim at'? Not always; sometimes and quite often it’s just dumb luck.

I’ll need to read it in total. But my initial question is how is this fundamentally any different from the 2006 City of Norwalk Comprehensive Plan?

Bureaucracies: When in doubt form a committee in order to give the appearance of action.

That way, in the event of failure, no one person can be held accountable.

The highly bureaucratic and now defunct Soviet Union musta had some fantastic committees!

6079 Smith W (A...

I noticed that the name Stan Obrenovich was missing from the list of participants. Why?

commonsense (An...

Deer Feeders? Rolling and laughing. That is funny. Thanks JennL for sharing. :-) SWEET!!!