The Midwest lacks leadership. That’s a blunt assessment delivered from Gary Wilson at the Great Lakes Echo, a website that covers news related to the Great Lakes environment.
When it comes to issues surrounding the region, he says governors are more interested in stealing companies from each other in a zero-sum jobs battle than confronting – and collaborating on – the region’s economic and environmental challenges.
“They’ve been the antithesis of collaboration and now are singularly focused on creating jobs, many times by trying to pirate them away from neighboring states,” Wilson writes. “That’s when they’re not weakening environmental regulations to create a more business friendly climate.”
Perhaps Exhibit A would be a companion piece on the Great Lakes Compact, a regional accord for safeguarding the region’s water supply that The Echo says came within hours of unraveling because Ohio wanted to make concessions to industry lobbyists.
Wilson eviscerates the regional governors on their track records of collaboration, and also says mayors cannot make the broad impact needed to lead the region. So who can provide leadership? That’s a trickier question.