Editor in Chief Statement: Take Back ToledoWritten by Michael Miller | Editor in Chief Emeritus | email@example.com
If there is one common thread in the ongoing conversation about Toledo’s future, it is the basic truth that government cannot create jobs and fix an economy. Only business leaders, who invest their lives and money in a community, can aid economic progress.
For a long time, many have asked a simple but frustrating question: When will the business community stand up and take back control of our region’s future? Since the exit of the Fortune 500 companies that once called Toledo home, a power vacuum has existed in the city. One-party domination and a sour media have slouched into that void, with disastrous results. This region is hungry for business leadership, and its citizens are starving for change.
The group of business leaders calling themselves Take Back Toledo is emerging to challenge the power structure with a number of initiatives, including a recall effort against Mayor Carty Finkbeiner. Many will question why time and money should be spent on recalling a politician who has less than a year in office, but when you are bleeding to death, every second counts. You can choose to stop the bleeding today or stop the bleeding in a week; you can even choose to not staunch the flow at all. With each day, lost blood creates increased weakness that is more difficult to repair. The clear, obvious, wise choice is to stop the loss of blood sooner rather than later.
It remains to be seen how much support Take Back Toledo can muster, and how far its drive can go.
But if the end result is only to dissuade Finkbeiner from running for mayor in 2009, the effort will be a success.
Just by standing up and saying, “enough,” the effort is a success.
The mayor and some local media will try to paint Take Back Toledo as a vendetta group and will try to marginalize its effort. Those are the people who are content to stand back and watch the community bleed, because they are reckless, foolish and short-sighted enough to not realize the blood that is draining away is theirs just as much as it is ours. There is a name for creatures who enjoy seeing others bleed, and who feast on that stolen lifeblood: vampires.
Take Back Toledo can be the stake through the heart of the old way of life in Toledo. True change could be on the way, if Toledoans will join with the brave business leaders who are standing up to be counted.
Michael S. Miller is editor in chief of Toledo Free Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.