Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Something old, something new

As the calendar flips, we at Hildo News Service take the time to reflect on the old and anticipate the new. It’s the season when Old Man Time must yield to the fresh babe of new possibilities. Except that, here in ol’ Froggy Bottom, the same old keeps rearing up trying to be the new.

Consider. One Old Man Time, Smilin’ Jack Ford, has a long list of formers before his venerable name. Former City Councilman, State Representative, Mayor, School Board Member. A lifetime of public service finishes as it should, mentoring a fresh new generation of public servants like au- ditor and presumptive mayoral candidate Anita “Stepping Stone” Lopez. It’s al- most poetic, as Old Man Time steps aside and 2013 ushers in the babes of the next era, including Lopez and Mr. Ambition, Joe McNamara.

But wait: Smilin’ Jack sez he’s feel- ing much better, thank you, and wants a seat on Council so he can give Mayor Bell Bottoms a good old fashioned whuppin’. Ford’s crack at being appointed to Council suffered a setback when the Democratic Party declined to endorse him for the seat vacated by Phil Copeland, but this old man walking has legs and intends to win in November.

Ford has garnered support from that other relic of bygone days, former former Carty S. Finklesteiger. Add in the mayoral ambitions of the Fink’s former aide-de-camp Theresa Gabriel and we have two septuagenarians who refuse to say when.

Generation next

Where are the fresh faces of City Politics? Remember, that scoundrel T. Jefferson touted the value of a good rebellion every now and then. Whence might come the rebellion-of-the-next-week against the hangers on from the late 1970s?

The Dems endorsed a thirty-something, Shaun Enright, for the vacated Council seat. But his name was pushed hard for the endorsement by the entrenched old guard of organized labor. How much independence will he be allowed?

Other folks who screened for the seat included another former and a retired. Geez, seems like those adjectives are used so much they have become nouns. The only “current” who screened was a clueless cipher who bombed in two previous attempts at elected office.

The now generation, the twenty- and thirty-somethings who cut their teeth slogging behind the scenes in elections, have moved out or on, it seems. From Gabby Seay (Ohio Dems) to David Mann (Advocates for Basic Legal Equality) to Josh Thurston (Office of Commissioner Wozniak), the youngsters you’ve never heard of have moved on. Those you have heard of, like Frank Szollosi (master of public administration degree) have left office to pursue other goals. Former Council candidate Terry Biel (Tech Director, TLC Homelessness Board) has also left the stable.

Young blood

Does the rebellion of the yet-to-be come from the party of the golden past, the GOP? One feather in Jon Stainbrook’s cap has been running young candidates like Hans Schnapp and Constantine Stamos. Unfortunately, they’s been rerun ‘til the grooves don’t play right. Schnapp is now a Board of Elections operative and Stamos, well, the rest is better left unsaid.

Shall we hear from minor parties? Far right tea partiers and their libertarian fellow travelers are out of touch with the center left leanings of the swamp. The greens, while running youngster Sean Nestor, seem so caught up in inner circle purity that they will have serious trouble cracking the mainstream. A small tent doesn’t invite participation.

So we wait. The young generation of T-town devoted movers and shakers are out there. Young entrepreneurs and community activists like Julie Webster (Art Supply Depo) and Rachel Richardson (Independent Advocates and Art Corner Toledo), Kamaron Kyser (ThoseFellas) and Will Lucas (Classana), Marc Folk, Ryan Bunch and Michelle Carlson (Arts Commission), Jeff Williams, Robyn Peabody, and the rest of the goods folks at EPIC, well, we’re running out of column space to print them all. Thanks for all you do for the Toledo region, folks.

Ever consider running for public office?

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