Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I am trying desperately to understand the workings of local government and the happenings (or lack thereof) in Toledo, OH.

We have a Mayor that thumbs his nose at the laws that the rest of us are bound to abide by.

We have a city law department that doesn't think it has to answer requests from citizens under the Freedom of Information Act. That mindset is going to cost us all dearly.

A City Council that is more divided everyday. They bicker like school children.

A public school system that is an embarrassment, but has the nerve to ask for more money. ***CLUE: Provide a solid education for our children and then you might merit more money. Until then --- you're out of luck.

A police department that is understaffed and has some of the lowest morale I've ever seen. They are doing an impossible job without the tools they need.

Jobs are leaving the area at a record pace. People are losing their homes, their cars and their minds due to the poor local economy.

We have a private investor/developer that has been trying to promote an intermodal terminal for this area and has gotten nothing but crap from the administration.

We have another developer that is in on the Marina District and is dedicated to a fault. The problem is the bulk of the development is residential properties and there aren't enough buyers to make a dent in the current housing stock, let alone any additional.

Unemployment is up. Crimes against person/property is up. Drug sales are up. Gas prices are up.

And morale is down.

Not a recipe for success.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Life - It's a precious thing

Well, this has been a week to end all weeks.

I have had a wake-up call as to the fragility of life ... the ever changing situations that will remind us that we are human.

This week a good friend has been told she has lung cancer. Just a week ago I was at her house and she said she had a cold. It wasn't a cold. It was/is a prominent tumor in the upper lobe of her right lung. Turns out that what made her feel like it was a cold was that the left lung showed nothing by pneumonia. No wonder she felt like crap.

Now she will endure 28 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation in an attempt to live long enough to see her grandson get to his first day of school. He's only a year old now.

In an effort to place her and her family in a healthier atmosphere my husband and I offered them a house that we have had come vacant recently. They will move in in 30 days. At least now there will be room for a wheelchair should she need one, and decent heat and air conditioning. The home they have been renting for the past 17 years is a carbon monoxide trap that their slumlord doesn't seem concerned about.

Oh yeah ... did I mention this friend is only 48 years old?

And then today I learned that a wonderfully talented lady, Karen George, that blogged on Active Rain, succumbed to breast cancer. Karen had fought a valiant battle, but alas it was time to go. Her wisdom and knowledge will be missed, but it's her vibrant smile and never-ending willingness to help others that defined her.

Mortality is a horrible monster that hides behind many masks. But when the mask comes off ... all I can say is

There but for the grace of God go I.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Social observations and doing what's right

While doing some shopping today at our local Menard's I got into a short conversation with some folks in the checkout line.

The reason for the conversation? I had forgotten to place a paintbrush on the checkout conveyor and realized it as I placed bags in the cart. I took the brush and ran back to the cashier and told her I had overlooked it in the cart. As I did this I also apologized to an older couple that was next in line and placing their things on the conveyor.

The gentleman said, "You must have been raised right."

I replied, "Yes sir, my mom would have fed me a patch of carpet if I tried to bring this home without paying for it."

The gentleman then said, "Well, I'm sure thankful that you restored my faith in the human race. Most folks would have just walked out the door and thought they got the paintbrush for free."

Now ... would people REALLY do that? Really?? Is that the kind of society we have become?

That's downright scary. Whatever happened to just naturally doing the right thing? To being honest? Are we such a greedy society that we are expected to take things without paying?

I sure hope not.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What a week! Sideline Entertainment - Toledo Style

If you watch the local news at all you know that it has been a strange week here in Toledo.

Our mayor is standing firm on the Erie Street Market issue - made a public statement that he takes all responsibility for the deal made with Rob Croak. Imagine. The mayor would make a back-room deal. Will the surprises never stop?

Councilman D. Michael Collins has been pushing the issue just a tad and asked for a resolution that will cease any and all dealing with Croak. Surprisingly our city council developed some "onions" (thanks Fred Lefebvre for that little grin) and backed the resolution. Now there is a resolution on record. And the check is in the mail.

The United Way wants to remain in downtown Toledo, but would like to do so in a building that better suits their needs and budget. They are proposing the demolition of the current UW building and the construction of a new, more energy efficient, building. Sounds like a winner to me!

But --- WAIT --- that can't happen! What? Tear down a 40 year old building?! It may have some significance to the downtown skyline! Or so our illustrious mayor wants you to think.

Once again Carlton S. Finkbeiner insists on tossing a monkey wrench in that proposal. After all, it wasn't what he wanted to hear. It wasn't his idea. He didn't get to gloat while making the announcement. How dare Bill Kitson and the United Way steal his thunder! That's unacceptable - and those that think and believe as Carty does will prevail. (Oh God! save me.)

The failure of this administration to encourage private investment (that's right folks - PRIVATE) in Toledo is reprehensible. The idea that someone other than His HighAss could think in a forward fashion is not possible. After all, HE is the mayor. HE controls Toledo. And we let him.

The United Way performs a necessary service to our area. That's a given. And if they feel that they are able to provide that service in a more prudent fashion by building a more efficient building that allows for a better environment to provide those services, then they should be allowed - without interference - to continue with their plans. They are not asking for city funds, no freebies from city workers, nothing. Just the peace of mind and the good blessings to continue to do good things for Toledo.

It's insane. Purely insane.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Irresponsible Behavior in Municipal Government

Yesterday I attended a Committee of the Whole meeting at Toledo City Council Chambers. This particular meeting was convened to address the issues with circumvention of the Toledo City Charter in the dealings with a local event promoter and the amount, and manner, in which he was/is paid.

You see, our Mayor has an ego issue that just compels him to make horrible decisions in an effort to support his ego-maniacal demeanor. And, finally, it appears as though the population of this city is waking slowly to realize they are being screwed. Terribly.

This all stems from the Mayor making a deal with this promoter to renovate Bay 4 of the Erie Street Market and bring in various events. And many will say, "So, what's the problem?" Well, the problem is that this particular promoter is a convicted felon (forgery), has been scrutinized in the past for selling alcohol to minors (never convicted), has two tax liens against him - State and Federal, is not a licensed contractor in any way shape or form, and violated his agreement with another local club to provide entertainment/acts for that venue.

It's a very long and involved situation and you can read more about it at Glass City Jungle, as well as listen to the audio of the meeting. This was one of the most convoluted meetings I have ever attended.

There was more tap dancing going on than at an Al Jolson/Ben Vereen show!

My concerns in all this, more than those with the promoter, are ... if there is a fire during an event, who is liable? Most likely the city. If a patron of the event imbibes too heavily and gets in his car to drive and kills someone, who is liable? Again, I'm thinking the city is. If any untoward occurrence takes place the city, it seems, will be on the hook for any lawsuit filed.

Just what we need. Another catalyst for litigation against the city. As if the Mayor isn't doing enough to break the bank.

Oh well ... as they say in other areas ... at least we're not Detroit. **sigh**

Saturday, August 2, 2008

ARROGANCE - What an ugly personality trait!!

Well! Here we have it again. Carty Finkbeiner, our illustrious Mayor, has shown his middle finger (figuratively) to the taxpayers of Toledo, and to the Toledo Police Department.

You see, a few months ago our mayor was caught a couple of times leaving his dog Scout in a hot car. He was chastised for it in the media, as well he should be, and then had the gall to make a public service announcement that was intended to give one the impression of contrition, redemption and a case of the warm fuzzies.

But DAMMIT! Now he did it again!!! Does this man never learn? Does he think he will be able to pull this kind of crap without scrutiny? Good grief!

While Mr. I'm Above It All was visiting an event at the Erie Street Market today (an event promoting Green/Eco friendly policies/practices) he parked his car illegally, left the motor running for 45 minutes (how about that carbon footprint?), AND left his poor dog inside. Granted the air conditioning was running, but that's still no excuse. You can view the WTOL version of the story, along with video, here.

Now, I can't help but think that if Mr. I'm Above It All saw MY dog in the car with the motor running and the AC on he would have placed a call to Chief Navarre on the Batphone and had me arrested on the spot! And if I pulled that kind of stupid maneuver then I should be punished. But why wasn't a call made to the police department, a unit sent to investigate and citations issued for violating parking regulations, animal cruelty laws and the little enforced law that says it's illegal to leave a car idling with the keys in the ignition. I mean, just look at this face ...

I have held high hopes for Toledo consistently. But I'm throwing in the towel. I cannot remain hopeful for any kind of turn-around here while we have an administration that is so arrogant and disrespectful to their employers - WE the taxpayers of Toledo and Lucas County.

If any one of us thumbed our nose at our employer we would be fired on the spot. Perhaps that's the answer. Who knows.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What the heck is going on in our city? Has the administration and its minions lost their minds??

This morning as I listened to Fred Lefbvre on WSPD it became very apparent that there are some folks in positions of power that should not be. Now this is not a total revelation, believe me, but it seems odd that these people are always in the soup and nothing is ever done.

The chat was about a gentleman in East Toledo that had his boat and his race car parked on a gravel pad next to his driveway. Well, apparently Sue Fredericks from the Dept. of Neighborhoods decided that she didn't like this arrangement and told the man he would have to move the boat and race car. So the man moved them over onto the concrete driveway.

Well, lo and behold, Ms. Fredericks shows up with a tow truck in her wake and tows the man's boat and race car. Now he has to pay a towing fee and a daily fee for storage in order to get his property back.

Now, I know there is an ordinance regarding parking cars on your lawn, leaving cars parked too long on city streets, etc. But this man had his boat and race car parked on a driveway and it was on private property. How does that constitute a violation that would require a tow truck?

This is not the first complaint against Ms. Fredericks. Apparently she is either 1) very motivated, 2) has a constant pucker going on, 3) needs a lover, 4) needs hormone replacement therapy, or 5) just needs a good old fashioned tongue lashing in order to bring her back to reality.

This woman abuses her power at every available turn. She needs to be sent to sensitivity training and then made to apologize to all those that she has threatened, harrassed and embarrassed.

BTW - did I mention this guy is unemployed??