Eleven vie for six Toledo City Council seatsWritten by Alissa Romstadt | | firstname.lastname@example.org
More than half of the 23 original candidates for Toledo City Council were eliminated in the Sept. 15 primary. On Nov. 3 voters will select six of the following Toledoans to represent them on city council. Primary election winner Tricia Lyons dropped out of the race Oct. 8.
Terry Biel wants to “turn Toledo around for young people.”
“Not all young people are leaving,” he said. “Some of us want to be here in our hometown.”
Biel, a Democrat, would like to see more collaboration between the City of Toledo and UT to encourage technology and business incubation.
“UT is absolutely vital to us getting out of being in this high unemployment Rust Belt state we’re in,” he said. “If we want to be a place where the next big thing happens, we’ve got to make the university be a much bigger part of the city’s mentality.”
Instead of seeing large sums of money go to bring in few large companies, Biel proposes spending smaller amounts on a variety of smaller student-developed ventures.
“[Projects may] employ fewer people per project but the new ventures the students are coming up with have the same potential as the faculty projects on smaller scales,” he said.
Biel has been endorsed by the Toledo Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, Toledo Police Command Officers Association, AFSCME and the Lucas County Democratic Party, he said.
Phil Copeland said the City of Toledo needs to get the budget taken care of to move in the right direction.
“If you’re gonna have new companies to come here, we have to get rid of the deficit,” he said.
In addition to bringing jobs, safety is a priority for the Democrat candidate. Getting police officer staff numbers “up to par” is of utmost importance.
“No matter what, we can’t compromise the safety of the citizens of Toledo,” he said.
Copeland said he is a negotiator. “It takes seven votes to get anything done on council. We need to work together to get things done for the citizens of Toledo.”
Copeland said he has been endorsed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 8, AFL-CIO, Toledo Federation of Teachers, Toledo Patrolman’s Association Local 10, Toledo Firefighters Local 92, Northwest Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Laborers District Council of Ohio, Communication Workers Local 4319, National Association of Letter Carriers, Iron Workers Local 55, Boilermakers Local 85, Local 50 Plumbers and Steamfitters, Northwest Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, AFSCME, Toledo Area UAW CAP Council, Sheet Metal Workers Local 12 and all the Ohio Labor unions including Labor Local 500.
Adam J. Martinez
Adam J. Martinez is working with the Lucas County Port Authority, minority chambers and Northwest Ohio Building Trades to create a loan pool to help small contractors.
“Everyone seems to understand the importance of the small minority contractors and the importance in hiring and helping stimulate the economy,” the Democrat said.
He is still encouraging the City of Toledo to pursue the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant to help alleviate overtime and get the next fire class “moving forward.”
Martinez has combined resources with council candidates Biel and Joe McNamara and school board candidate Aji Green to form Hungry4Change. The men are leveraging their resources to get a good voter turnout and work together, he said.
“I’ve worked hard to make sure we’re moving forward whether I get elected or not,” he said.
Martinez has been endorsed by the Teamsters, Toledo Area Patrolman’s Association, Fraternal Order of Police, AFL-CIO, AFSCME local 7, Toledo Port Council, Maritime Trades Dept. AFL-CIO and the Lucas County Democratic Party, he said.
Joe McNamara is working on his idea to reduce the deficit by
$2.5 million without raising taxes or cutting services. He said an original plan was to issue bonds for new garbage trucks and notes for new garbage cans and to pay the debt service out of the general fund.
Since the trucks and containers will last more than five years, they are capital expenditures.
“We will use capital improvement money that we set aside to do the debt service in 2010, which will free up $2.5 million in the general fund in 2010 that could be used to budget any carry-over deficit from ’09,” he said.
McNamara said although he has had quite a few legislative accomplishments, there is a lot that needs done to forge consensus on decisions that put public safety first.
“We’re going through some very tough times and need people who think creatively and are constantly trying new things to advance Toledo,” he said.
McNamara has been endorsed by the Lucas County Democratic Party, Toledo Board of Realtors, Toledo Police Command Officers Association, Sheet Metal Workers Local #33, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local #8, Toledo Firefighters Local 92, Toledo Port Council – Maritime Trades Dept. AFL-CIO, Toledo Federation of Teachers, Northwestern Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 20, Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association, National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 100, Ohio Association of Public School Employees Local #800 and the Toledo Area UAW CAP Council, he said.
Kevin Milliken said he has been asking tough questions for 20 years as a reporter and will continue to do so if elected to council.
“This time I will provide answers,” he said.
As an independent candidate, Milliken hopes to reinvent a city government that is responsive to citizens and business owners and fix the budget situation long term.
“The answer to the remaining $8 million budget deficit has been a tax increase, I think that’s reprehensible,” he said.
He said he wants to form a “common sense coalition” to work with the mayor when appropriate or hold him accountable.
No new taxes, police, firefighters and smooth streets are top priorities, he said, as is removing rules, regulations and red tape to make Toledo business friendly.
Milliken has been endorsed by the Toledo Board of Realtors and Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association.
George Sarantou said the No. 1 obligation of local government is providing for the public safety of the citizens.
“Having a professional police and fire department and maintaining it, especially during tough economic times, is the most important obligation we have on city council,” the Republican said.
Most departments are reporting under-budget spending, he said. But the city has lost approximately $24 million of tax revenue due to very high unemployment.
Sarantou is looking forward to the implementation of a new computer system which will begin Jan. 1 and further progress in the intermodal project in South Toledo.
He will also continue work with UT to develop employment opportunities with alternative energy.
“We have to continue to diversify our employment opportunities,” he said. “We cannot rely on the automobile industry.”
Sarantou has been endorsed by the Toledo Area UAW CAP Council, AFL-CIO, Building Trades of Northwest Ohio, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local #33, carpenters, Toledo Federation of Teachers, Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Fund, Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association, Toledo Police Command Officers, Toledo Firefighters Local 92, National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 100, Toledo Board of Realtors, Teamsters Local 20, Communication Workers Local 4319 and the Republican Party, he said.
Terry Shankland said he knows small businesses, why they stay and why they go.
The Democrat said businesses will not continue to come to or stay in Toledo if the mayor and city government comes down so harshly like they did the Route 66 Bar.
Shankland said it is important for Toledoans to go green and buy locally whenever possible.
“It’s amazing the things you can get in Toledo,” he said.
“But people don’t know so they go elsewhere.”
He said Toledo needs to embrace alternative energy and is considering building a wind turbine on his property.
“We can’t keep using gas like it’s water,” he said.
Shankland has been endorsed by the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Fund and the Lucas County Democratic Party, he said.
Constantine P. Stamos
Constantine P. Stamos said wants to get back to the common sense people want.
“It’s about going in there and making decisions that will not hurt the people of this city anymore,” he said. “People are so concerned about getting by, they might not be aware of what’s going on.”
Stamos, a Republican, wants the opportunity to be a force for change, he said, and make Toledo more business-friendly.
He said that especially applies to small businesses. Stamos said too often, people are looking out for their own special interest or that of their union or group.
“We’re all here on the same ship and I don’t want it to sink,” he said.
Stamos has been endorsed by the Toledo Police Command Officer’s Association, the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Fund and the Lucas County Republican Party, he said.
Steven C. Steel
Steven C. Steel said he has introduced a resolution to be discussed at the general review committee, which demands administration take the low levels of police seriously and initiate immediately a process to hire a new police class.
Steel, a Democrat, said he worked hard in the primary to connect with voters on issues they care about.
“I’m continuing to work and care about voters and fully understand what voters expect of a councilman,” he said. “I’m serving as a councilman now and will continue to do what it best for the city.”
Steel’s endorsements include the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Fund, Toledo Board of Realtors, Toledo Area UAW CAP Council, AFSCME, Police Patrolman’s Association, Firefighters’ Association, Communication Workers of America Local 4319, Toledo Federation of Teachers, National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 100, Iron Workers Local 55, Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 501, electrical contracting associations, the Association of General Contractors and the Lucas County Democratic Party.
Ludeman seeks return to council
Rob Ludeman is a Toledo City Council veteran. He served three and a half terms on council from 1994-2007 as a representative from District 2. He served as council president from 2006-2007.
Term limits prevented Ludeman, a Republican, from running again as a district candidate. He is now an at-large candidate.
“For 14 years of being on council, I represented the whole city,” he said. “People all over Toledo look to me as someone who is stable with common sense who needs to get back on council.”
For the past couple years, Ludeman has missed interactions with people who work for the city and block watch and community meetings, but has stayed involved, he said.
He sits on the Police Athletic Board of Directors and the Toledo Animal Shelter Board of Directors, he said. He was appointed to Lucas County Dog Warden Advisory Committee and serves as president of board of Margaret Hunt Senior Center.
Ludeman said making sure the city is a safe place to live is a primary concern.
“We need to make sure we can provide services and keep within a budget,” he said.
He would like to see the city run more efficiently, like a business, he said.
“Whoever is elected [mayor], there will be a new direction,” he said. “I want to meet with them early on and look at the priorities and be ready to go as soon as we take office Jan. 4.”
Ludeman has been endorsed by the Toledo Firefighters Local 92, Toledo Police Command Officers Association, Toledo Federation of Teachers, Toledo Board of Realtors, AFSCME Ohio Council 8, Ironworkers Union Local 55, Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association, Toledo Area UAW CAP Council, Teamsters Local 20 and the Lucas County Republican Party, he said.
Taylor-Gerken seeks to ‘build trust’
Government is supposed to be reflective of a community, Polly Taylor-Gerken said. So, a city council of 12 members with only two women is “not acceptable.”
Taylor-Gerken said if she is not elected, Lindsey Webb and Wilma Brown will be the only female representation on Toledo City Council, and Brown will retire at the end of her term.
Taylor-Gerken is a reflection of Toledo, she said. She has been here her whole life, worked for Toledo Public Schools for 30 years and been an active member on multiple boards.
“I’ve helped my parents and worried about my kids,” she said. She hopes her granddaughter can go to a public school she can be proud of.
City council needs to get a handle on the budget crisis without cutting holes in services.
“We need to ask workers how to carve out more efficiencies,” she said. “People who deliver the services on the ground are the ones who [can] find every efficiency and deliver services even better.”
Taylor-Gerken said Toledo is poised to reach its potential in green and alternative energy jobs, but council members need to work together.
Instead of getting stuck on big issues members may not agree on politically, she is sure there is a long list they do agree on.
If council members check those things off the list, they can say, ‘Look what we’ve accomplished’ and trust will build from there, she said.
“If we can get those essential things off the table, I think people will naturally work together more,” she said.
Taylor-Gerken has been endorsed by AFSCME- Council 8, Regional Council of Carpenters, Communications Workers of America Local 4319, Toledo Firefighters Local 92, IATSE Local 24 (Stagehands), Iron Workers Local 55, National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 100, OAPSE/AFSCME Local 4, Teamsters Local 20, Toledo Area AFL-CIO, Toledo Federation of Teachers, Toledo Port Council – Martime Trades Dept. AFL-CIO, Toledo Area UAW CAP Council and the Lucas County Democratic Party.
Tags: Toledo City Council