Ombudsman: A question of mayoral intentWritten by Brandi Barhite | Community Ombudsman | firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a question. What is going on with that huge pothole on Heatherdowns Boulevard? Who is in charge of fixing it? Is it even on the list to be repaired?
I have another question. When is that new Table Forty4 restaurant in Maumee opening? Will it take away from the restaurant on Monroe Street?
I have a third question. I just lost my job. How do I start applying for unemployment? Can I get mortgage assistance?
So who can answer these questions? That’s easy. As Toledo Free Press community ombudsman, this column is my attempt at being your 411, your mailbag, your information center if you will. Ask me a question, I will consider researching it, getting an answer and possibly publishing it.
So let’s get started. Here is a question I often hear. Follow this model when you send me a question.
Q: Does Mayor Mike Bell plan to run for re-election? It seems like he might have a good chance to win, but he has always said he isn’t worried about reelection, even during his 2009 campaign.
Resident on Dorr Street
A: Hi Resident on Dorr Street,
Toledo Free Press Editor in Chief Michael S. Miller and I met with the mayor a few weeks ago and asked him that very same question. While he would not confirm his bid for re-election quite yet, he did smile a lot and eventually said, “probably.”
The election is still two years away. Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez has been the subject of much speculation, but I haven’t heard of anyone else who is seriously interested. I did run into former mayoral candidate Keith Wilkowski in the hallway when I went to talk to the mayor.
On Aug. 3, I called Wilkowski and left him a message about possibly running again. We played phone tag. I then sent him an email and got this response: “I am having a wonderful time doing some really interesting legal work at my law firm, Marshall & Melhorn and enjoying my grandchildren in the off time. Running for office is the furthest thing from my mind.”
Do you have a question? A dilemma? A dying-to-know piece of information?
Send it to your community ombudsman.
To ask a question, send a letter to Community Ombudsman, c/o Brandi Barhite, at 605 Monroe St., Toledo, OH 43605, email email@example.com or contact her through www.facebook.com/toledofreepress.