Saturday, April 20, 2024

Hildo March 2024

The list is in, and boy, the rocks across T-town must have all been moved, given what’s crawled out from under them. 

There are currently two vacancies on Toledo City Council, created when At-Large member Katie Moline moved to the county Auditor’s office and fellow At-Large member Tiffany Preston Whitman joined the Kapszukiewicz administration. Now City Council intends to appoint their replacements at a meeting near you.

Council asked interested and qualified Toledo residents to apply for the appointments in writing. Thirty-seven hearty souls did just that.

If this seems like a lot of interest, it’s not. Past appointments for single seats have sometimes drawn interest from over one hundred gluttons for punishment. That two available seats have drawn such little interest shows how the luster has worn thin on the prospect of occupying city office.

The names on the list are another matter. Like the song says, fools to the left of us, jokers to the right, and here we are. Stuck.

Rogues gallery 

Let us begin with some glaring holes in the list. While it includes some perennial losers, one loser has apparently given up the ghost on his political prospects. Tony “Killer” Dia, the convicted killer who has run repeatedly for elective office and failed, did not apply. Neither did any former member of Council. 

On the other hand, the list includes some chuckle heads who apparently still haven’t gotten it through their thick skulls. No, Alfonso Narvaez, you will never be a Council member. Forget about it, Tom Names, three strikes and you’re out. Robert Worthington? You couldn’t win your own district. Now you want an at-large seat to represent the entire city?

And Shaun Strong? Really? You couldn’t even win your own, well, you get the picture. Get outta here with that noise.

On the other hand, we’ve never heard of most of the folks who applied. The last thing we need is more complete novices on Council. Of course, a weak, ineffectual Council plays right in to Wade’s hands. 

Oh, a couple of other names did jump out at us. One is John Pietrowski. Is this the same guy on this year’s Prohibition Party ticket for Vice President of the United States? That sounds pretty lofty until you read the name of the political party again. Yep, you read that right. Prohibition. As in, the failed social experiment from the 1920s. No, please.

Then there’s Mac Driscoll, who has run for an at-large seat before, and Maynard  Porter and Sam Harden, good Democratic Party operatives. And Radi Cheaib, well-known Lebanese American from North Toledo. Interesting options all.

Tough choice

Here’s the rub. Forget the quacks and the weirdos. Council has two seats to fill with competent, engaged, politically savvy and independent-minded leaders. Moreover, the appointees will affect the governing body’s gender and racial balance, given that they are replacing two women, one of whom is African American.

There are several women and people of color on the list. Appointing folks with the proper moxie, while ensuring a Council that truly represents and looks like the City, is a difficult balance.

Is the current Council up to that task?

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