Hype and hooey in City Politics

. August 30, 2017.

It must be election season. The bull hockey is stacked thick and startin’ to stink.
The official Election Day is rapidly approaching. But with early voting already underway, suffice it to say the wannabes and the never-will-bes are out in force, piling it higher and deeper in an attempt to sway your vote.

As we see the proposals and ministrations, it makes us wonder. Do any of these yahoos have any idea what an elected official actually does? Or can do, for that matter?

Who’s yer Mayor?

Take the Toledo mayoral race. Wade’s Big Idea is universal pre-kindergarten, for all Toledo’s chillun. Sounds good. Educate the kiddos, give ‘em a head start.

Oh wait, we already have Head Start. But it doesn’t come from the Mayor’s office, it is a federal program administered by Toledo Public Schools and a private entity. Anyway, Head Start is only for kiddeez from families with certain income barriers. Let’s remove those barriers and make it for everyone’s kidz, sayeth the Wade.

Begs a simple question. How? The federal funding comes with strict strings attached. Would this be a separate program, under the august auspices of the Wadester and his minions? Would it somehow expand existing Head Start? If the latter, there would have to be strict funding firewalls in place. As in, not gonna happen.

Bottom line, that just isn’t something the City does. The City provides public safety and public infrastructure. Maybe provides a few incentives for private investment. Enacts legislation to make it all work.

Where are the Big Ideas that can actually fit into what the City does?

If Paula has ‘em, she’s kept ‘em close to her vest for the past three years. Haven’t seen ‘em. Still waiting. And Tommy Wa? He touts better management. Manage the guano pile better, it’s still a load of crap. Where’s the grand vision?

Mean streets

Then there are the rogues who want to serve on Toledo City Council. You know, that pack of refugees from the old folks home and the looney bin. Whose average age plummeted when octogenarian Theresa Gabriel was replaced by forty-something Kurt Young.

Now septuagenarian Harvey Savage wants to beat back the youth brigade and get his own self elected to Council. He sez he wants more technical schools, better child care, lower gas and electric rates.

We gotz news, Harv, ol’ chap. We want chocolate and cream cheese moon pies on a silver platter served in bed. With pink champagne. Toledo City Council has nothing to do with those things, either.

Sam Melden takes the more cautious approach. See, you should never promise what you can’t possibly deliver. Got that, Wade? So Melden promises generalities, like street repair. Talk about vision! Sammy, baby, even Smilin’ Jack promised street repair. In between his naps.

At least street repair is on the list of what the City actually does. But how is your approach to it gonna be any different? Creative funding sources? Different prioritization scheme? Pave with chocolate, cream cheese, and pink champagne?

Second chance

The good news is that this is just round one. The primary will pare the field for Mayor to two, and the field for Council to twelve. We’ll then have a bit less than a month before the early voting for the general election starts. A few scant weeks for these fine folksters to get off the schnide and cut loose with some wisdom.

How would four years of Wadesters be an improvement, Wade? Better management of what, Tommy Wa? Is it just stay the course, Paula?

And what’s in store if you come back for another lackluster stint, Robby Ludeman? Will you quit whining about lack of respect and do something for a change, Sandy Spang? What about the other long term incumbents, Cecilia Adams and Larry Sykes, what Big Ideas can we expect from you?

It’s well past time to cut loose, you challengers like Melden and Nick Komives and Gary Johnson. And no-names like Tom Names. If we’re going to switch horses in midstream, we have to be confident you can get us to the other side. The grass is always greener, but y’all are pretty green, too. We don’t need generalities and platitudes. We can get that from the status quo.

Show us that the change will be worth it.