It’s time for a change.
Or so it seems. We’re talking about a change at the top of T-Town guvmint. Where the buck stops. The twenty-second floor of one guvmint center.
We need a new mayor.
That’s the premise for today’s installment of Hubris by Hildo. We realize Mayor Paula Hicks Hudson will eagerly lay out her case for why she deserves re-re-election, so we feel no obligation to be fair and balanced. Let her make the case for herself.
We’ll gladly make the case against.
Here are the lasting impressions PHH has made in her two-plus years in office.
1. PHH never really wanted the job in the first place. She admitted as much when she unexpectedly landed there after the untimely passing of Run DMichaelCollins. She never would have run for Mayor, being content to represent District Four on Council. She was also a decidedly unproductive Council President. Her one big initiative was a lead ordinance that died in committee. If not for the fickle finger of fate she would be slowly frittering away her last term on council today, not dithering her digits on Twenty-Two. And it shows, which brings us to…
2. PHH is indecisive. Here are three blasts from the PHH past. Bob Reinbolt. Fire Chief Louis Santiago. And truck parts.
Let’s start with that last bit. Soon after becoming mayor it came to light that some jacksalots over in Fleet and Facilities had falsified records, ordering top end exercise equipment but entering the purchase as “truck parts” on official records. PHH laid off the miscreants, with pay, for a full investigation. Yep, they did it. Caught red-handed.
The penalty? Aside from the brief paid vacation, absolutely nada.
Then there’s Fire Chief Lou. Subject to a vote of “no confidence” by the rank and file fire fighters an his charge. PHH formed a task force to perform a full investigation of Lou’s alleged missteps.
The result? No report, no swift accountability, no action of any kind, just a soft fade into that dark good night.
And Herr Reinbolt? Just the fact that he had a job as long as he did proves how indecisive PHH is.
On most of the big initiatives, she lets others carry the water and take the bullets. Council members bear the brunt of anger over the Kroger move to the Notre Dame property and the resuscitated lead ordinance. When leadership is needed, PHH usually ducks and covers. Can her underlings pick up the slack? Not likely, because…
3. PHH surrounds herself with incompetence. Take the recent reports of better-than-expected revenues and a robust end-of-twenty-sixteen account balance. Did none of the yahoos pulling down fat paychecks to watch this stuff daily see it coming? Georgie Sarantou, financial genius, didn’t see the economy melting down back in oh eight and oh nine when he chaired council’s finance committee. Now he’s just as oblivious to the rebound as Finance Director.
Georgie is just the latest example of the chuckleheads PHH surrounds herself with. See above for more. And don’t get us started on the double and triple dippers in economic development and code enforcement who regularly sleep in their offices. Or the debacle that is the missing-in-action inspection department. Or streets, lordy b’gordy, streets! Can we please get the lights timed around town?
It’s enough to make a sound mind go all Hildo.
Of course, there have been some great things goin’ on in the Swamp over the past few years. But…
4. PHH takes credit where none is due. She gloats about all the development going on under her watch. Maybe ProMedica’s Randy Oostra or Joe Napoli of the Mud Hens and Walleye should be running for mayor instead. Or Paul Toth of the Port Authority, doing a bang up job redeveloping the former Jeep site.
What about the development deals PHH has botched? Running a major developer off the Southwyck site, oops, “Hawthorne Hills,” so it can sit and smolder in the summer sun. Meanwhile crickets chirping over at Northtowne and that godforsaken site over by the new Jeep plant.
And can we board up that city-owned monstrosity over at Madison and Huron? The one with the asbestos insulation flapping in the wind?
Here’s the big takeaway…
5. PHH is in over her head. Let’s face it, kidz. PHH just wasn’t cut out to be mayor of the City of Toledo. She doesn’t have the skill set.
She means well and is bright and competent in her own right. But she has risen to her place of incompetence. Running a multi-million dollar organization just ain’t for her. She’s too slow on her feet, too contemplative, and has no edge. We need a whirlwind. We got a slight puff of smoke.
Never fear, Paula. We just made the case why you shouldn’t be mayor. You have the rest of the summer to show us how wrong we are.
Next up? We’ll make the case why none of your opponents should be mayor, either.