As an accomplished inventor and manufacturer, I have designed my own language and system of manufacturing for my machines. The intention of 113 W. Main street is to provide a place to relax, play, design and build, a shark tank, effectively. If my equipment, resources, and experience can help a would be inventor become successful, then it's serving its purpose.
Locally owned businesses should be given proper recognition, simply because of the value add to the community. This is not to say that larger corporations don't have their use, but per capita, local businesses benefit the community more. In particular, family businesses, much like Asian restaurants, have a lot to teach us about what binds families together. The more we as a people encourage family operations, the closer we get to a time in Van Wert's history when it didn't just survive, it thrived. Every time a new and successful business forms from the most impoverished of us, the tax liability for that family reduces by at least $50K/year, counting all subsidies, and further increases the tax base.
Water and Sewer, now that it's done paying off the reservoir, could allocate those same resources to better automate reporting of usage, which would go a long way towards catching problems before they become expensive. In fact, operating on a city wide WIFI intranet, leaking or broken pipes could be identified in days, instead of months, with a gradual rollout over a period of years, instead of taking out another loan.
I've see good cause to question expenditures that deviate from private sector purchases.
$10,000 seems to be a common number worth flagging for review, whether it's a computer or treatment for mosquitoes. For the latter, cost of Permethrin, at least to me suggests there are alternatives that would be at least equally effective at 10% of what the city is spending now.
On streets, I have to wonder if it's feasible to buy the hardware necessary to take them back in terms of reconstruction work, instead of out-sourcing them to the private sector. The 0.5% streets income tax amounts to $2M per year, not counting any reserves from that tax. To me, that suggests that buying necessary capital equipment purchases is possible without having to borrow.
Our family has enjoyed success since moving here, with a 67% increase in revenues since 2012, which was our worst year ever. My own work involves the development of manufacturing businesses both in the US and internationally. I understand what it takes to become a manufacturer, especially on a shoestring budget. One change in recent years involves providing unfinished manufacturing support for clients in California, Illinois, eastern Ohio, and New York. An option available to my clients beyond manufacturing of the unfinished foot orthotics is finishing them to a state ready for patient use. I'm looking forward to a time when a client wants that sort of service, which will become a separate business, worker owned. In November of 2017, we acquired 113 W. Main street and met the challenges of renovating and repairing that building. Work is still in process on the building, but nearing completion.
Just as important, our family life includes the luxury of never being separated. In the 7 years of our daughter's life, I've only been separated from her 3 times for a total of 3 weeks. Imagine for a moment, never having to hire a baby sitter, and never being far from your children. With the right kind of environment and opportunity, I see it as a possible life choice for many in this community.
One local interest is in economical transportation, which we use regularly. As is the problem with imported goods, first, they're imports, taking money from the local economy. Because they aren't locally made, they also require sourcing of parts when they fail. Too often, mostly good units are trashed when they fail as a result. As a hobby, I've maintained, repaired, and improved these mobility devices and have learned how to use them all year long. For this particular model, I've developed enough experience with it to know what to expect, and for the catastrophic failures, how much it will cost per unit, without passing those costs onto the individuals. Assuming it's allowed to gain in popularity, I also see it as one possible career choice for someone, one I could pass my experience onto and get out of the way of. To me, an investment like this is simply something I'd only expect to ultimately recover any investment capital. I aggressively defend its usage in the community, instead of the common practice of making childhood illegal. I've also established sources for spare parts to make it easy for an individual to go into business for themselves, instead of being trapped in the employer/employee paradigm. It represents the kinds of concepts that I see useful in changing lives in this community.Financial Disclosure Statement