Has Mayor Coleman Been Dealt a Good Hand?

By Gene Krebs. I just read Joe Hallet’s interesting article in the Columbus Dispatch on Mayor Mike Coleman.

Quick question: please name the five things that will eventually halt the growth of Columbus.

Answer:  PA, WV, KY, IN and Lake Erie.  I expect that Toledo will make a mad dash for the IN line to avoid having Columbus reach to MI.

Seriously though, Columbus, by rapid growth, has been able to “mask” its core problems.  If you look at Columbus from the 1950 footprint perspective, then it doesn’t look quite as rosy.  See the quote from this Community Research Partners report:

"Population loss. From 1970 to 2000, all the study cities, with the exception of Columbus, had a population loss ranging from about one-fifth to one-third of their 1970 population. During this time, the Columbus “older city” (within the city’s 1950 boundaries) lost 30% of its population."

Go to page 2-4 of the report for an interesting table that illustrates the data problem for Columbus.  As Columbus finds itself increasingly hemmed in, it must now fix its problems.  If, like Cincinnati, it had been forced to “live” within the 1950 boundaries, if would be viewed differently.

So, even though while on the surface it looks like Coleman has been doing an outstanding job, when compared to Mayor Plusquellic  in Akron or Mayor Williams in Youngstown, if this were euchre, he was dealt both bauers and one ace.  He should be able to make the trick.  Not a criticism of Mayor Coleman, but just examining his cards.