Lucas 'State of the County' presented with some controversy

LUCAS COUNTY -- How is Lucas County handling the economic downturn? The commissioners unveiled their State of the County speech Monday.

News 11's Rob Wiercinski reported live from downtown Toledo.

Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop was a no-show for the "State of the County" address. Instead he's holding his own event Tuesday afternoon.

Dozens of elected officials from across Lucas County and other community leaders gathered and listened to what commissioners Tina Skeldon Wozniak and Pete Gerken had to say.

The tone is often congratulatory during such addresses, but the commissioners were serious, focusing on economic challenges facing the county. In particular,  the loss of quality jobs in the area and the rising rate of foreclosures was addressed.

The commissioners not only challenged themselves, but community leaders as well, to do all they can to create "jobs of tomorrow" and to examine how Lucas County government should move forward.

Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken said, "The economic recovery that we hope to jumpstart in the next 5 years will not be focused on one specific region, but the entire region."

President of the Lucas County Commissioners Tina Skeldon Wozniak said, "Over the next year, I will lead the county through a process that asks the hard questions of 'Can the county government structure stay the same' or 'Must it change'?"

Regarding the arena project, the commissioners will meet Tuesday afternoon to award four new construction contracts for elevators and escalators, underground plumbing and electrical work, and for other site utilities.

The county's also working hard to secure naming rights for the arena, and that's expected to be unveiled in a couple of months.

Posted by LS