Thursday, December 06, 2007

Leadership Toledo, Part VI

Today was another fun-filled day with Leadership Toledo. Or actually it was a morning.

Our focus today was Government.

Hmmmm - Ya' gotta know that I again wasn't too excited about the topic going in.

But LT really has done their job in making all these days be educational and exciting.

So for the first hour this morning we all became part of a giant game. Divided into eight groups, our group goal was to play Governmentricks with the objective of getting as many points as possible.

This was set up like Trivial Pursuit, except that all eight groups played at the same time. For each color that we landed on there was a corresponding set of questions. Some of the categories were: financial, quality of life and general trivial questions. Then there were squares that each represented a governmental entity. When we reached a square, say Maumee, the question was about the city of Maumee government. If we got the question right, we got to put the piece of the puzzle in our game piece. I am so glad that Nick Malone was in our group as he was able to answer almost all the questions. I know I had the look of wonder on my face the whole time and was always saying to Nick, "How in the world did you know that?" I am embarrassed to say that I was only able to answer two of the questions during the whole game.

This game was a wonderful way to get us all involved. What I got from it is that there is a lot I don't know and also that there is a lot to know!

Once we totaled our game points our next speaker Mike Beasley, Lucas County Administrator, gave us a challenge. We were to decide whether we want legislation to legalize gambling and in what form. Once our group decided what we stood for, we had to convince other groups to our side to get a majority of the points. The winners combined the points of three groups to get their majority and agreed they wanted riverboat gambling and would split the proceeds to the three government entities represented in their coalition. One of the left out groups said, "Wait a minute, Maumee is on the river, how can you leave us out?"

Mike laughed and said, "That is a prime example of what happens when legislation is being brokered."

I'm still not much more knowledgeable about government than I was this morning. But I do have a sense of the complexity and that perhaps this complexity could be our downfall. Simplifying government is easy to say, but it probably is an even more complex task!

Oh yeah, later on I found out that there is a difference between economic development and community development, but that's for another day.

What would you change about our government - federal, state or local?

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