Fits and Starts: A Mixed Beginning to the New Year in City Politics

. January 11, 2017.

Imagine this scenario. It’s pretty common, after all.

You make the standard New Year’s resolution. You are finally determined to shed those extra pounds. You really, really mean it this time. Really.

Then someone kindly gives you double chocolate peanut butter brownies as a gift. The whole pan’s worth. And you really, really love chocolate. And peanut butter. And brownies. Really.

Poof. There goes the resolution, up in smoke even before the shine is off the New Year’’s baby’s cheeks.

A bad penny keeps turning up

That’s pretty much what happened to us here at Hildo Central. We resolved to lose weight, to shed those gratuitous pot shots at the easy but irrelevant political targets. Most notably, we resolved to stop with the Farty Stinkfinger shenanigans. We really, really meant it.

Then Carty refused to stay on the mat. He came storming back right into our laps like a chock full tin of double chocolate peanut butter brownies.

What are we supposed to do? Eat the plate of freebie brownies, that’s what.

Let us explain. It seemed pretty harmless. Political jurisdictions that get their water from the Toledo water treatment plant were all asked to pass a non-binding resolution supporting the creation of a regional water system. Several of the outlying municipalities already have. Toledo City Council decided to hold a committee hearing on the matter. No biggie.

Until Carty strolled into the room to make his big ol’ splash, after having visited Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks Hudson to opine on the matter. It was typical, theatrical, bombastic Carty. Gotta make sure the ‘burbs don’t get too much power, he thundered. Gotta keep Toledo in the driver’s seat, he bellowed.

Remember, it was exactly these kind of Carty blasts that got us where we are today. Suburban electeds always cast a mistrustful eye on the true motives of Toledo leaders, never forgetting the prior ministrations of one Carleton S. Finklestinky.

The back to the future feel of all this is even worse than it appears, we’re afraid. Rumor has it that this was no isolated Carty statement at a poorly attended committee hearing. Nope. The stinky one is rumored to be eyeing a run for an at-large seat on Toledo City Council.

This wasn’t just a Carty opinion. This was a campaign kick-off. Finklestink, back in the fray. An entire tin of brownies just fell into our lap. What’re we supposed to do, ignore it?

If we had a hammer

Wait, our saving grace has also arrived. We might have thrown away one resolution on the Fink, but we also resolved to get more exercise by casting a wider net out into the suburbs. Lo and behold, we cast the net and landed a whopper.

Out in the hinterlands of Oregon we’ve heard that PJ Kapfhammer is running for a seat on the local skool board. Good ol’ PJ! Please, oh please let him get into the race. We’re certain we can count on him to give us plenty of targets for the coming year so we can keep our resolution.

See, PJ used to be on the Oregon Board, elected there in twenty eleven. The election season featured an anonymous mailer detailing his long-ago criminal convictions, including for menacing. A bit more than four months into his term he was accused by a fellow board member of screaming at her and threatening her at the end of a committee meeting. Ol’ PJ shrugged it off, noting he doesn’t intend to be intimidating. He’s just a big guy who gets passionate and yells things like “I’m going to kick yer arse!” in people’s faces. Just like he did at his colleague on the board.

Peej promptly resigned from board committees, saying he wasn’t liked at the Oregon administration building. That wasn’t the end for poor ol’ misunderstood bully boy PJ K, though.

Peej eventually got elected president of the board, but it all came crashing down when he noticed an autistic honorary manager of Clay High School’s baseball team working out with team members. The predictable obscenity-laced screaming ensued, with Peej eventually getting charged with menacing.

Passionate big guy that he is, Peej reached a plea deal to a lesser charge, but resigned his presidency, and also from the board, citing unrelated “personal reasons.” And now he’s back, a scant couple of years later.

You can’t make this stuff up, folks. Go on, pass the brownies. We don’t care. We’re pretty confident we’ll get plenty of exercise in the coming year.