Millennium Telephone Greeting

Midwest city answers phone with special millennium greeting

You call city hall upset over a traffic problem, or angry at the latest construction and on the other end of the phone a happy cheerful receptionist greets you. You were ready to yell, but with the happy person on the other end, it’s a bit difficult.

If you call the city of Toledo, Ohio you will hear "Welcome to Toledo-a Millennium Community, How may we help you?" The receptionist is cheerful and suddenly you are proud of your town. That’s the hope of city officials at least.

The city of Toledo was recently named a Millennium community and the mayor wants that new title to bring a burst of self-esteem to the residents. Mayor Cart Finkbeiner told a news conference of reporters about Toledo’s new title and how it will bring pride to their town.

Toledo used to call itself the "All-American" city, but that status expired in June, and the city had to find a new and catchy way to describe itself. That’s when city officials turned to the White House Millennium Council.

The Millennium Community title recognizes communities that come up with public projects based on the council’s theme: Honor the past, imagine the future. A group of Toledo volunteers applied for the designation and received it. This wasn’t a contest and it’s not a title reserved for just one town. In fact, 250 Millennium communities have received the Millennium Community title. The Wh ite House plans to hand out even more titles until the year 2001.

Toledo’s concept for their millennium program will divide the year into theme-months, each celebrating a different aspect of life or segment of the city’s population. February is dedicated to the arts, April to the environment, June to neighborhoods, and October to youth.

The city’s grant application promises special events in each month that promote Millennium Council themes. In April of 2000, children will be plant 2,000 trees in local parks. There will also be a January birthday party for the city and "futuristic invention contest" for schoolchildren.

The next step for this millennium community is to design a logo. They are having a contest to seek ideas for a Millennium logo that will appear on signs and city publicatio