Higgins: Christmas list haunted by Christmas PastWritten by Tim Higgins | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s that time of year when I can’t seem to avoid the misdirected missives on behalf of Toledo’s public servants originally intended for another overweight guy with a white beard. As I’ve mentioned before — and contrary to “Miracle on 34th Street” — the botched delivery of these written appeals by the post office doesn’t constitute irrefutable proof that I’m the one, the only … blah, blah, blah.
I did receive a pleasant note this year from “Himself” again (we often visit near year’s end to compare unrealistic diet goals and white beard grooming tricks), apologizing for the annual mix-up and insisting that I once more had permission to use those I’d received for my own twisted purposes before sending them on to him, along with my own suggestions.
Letters poured in for former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, who is rumored to be sniffing around the Council seat soon to be vacated by Mayor-elect D. Michael Collins. My personal recommendation was instead a one-of-a-kind DVD titled “Carlton S. Finkbeiner, This Is Your Life” to keep him caught up in watching his past so he might forget about a returning to public life and finally rest on his rather thorny laurels.
What do you get the Ghost of Christmas Past? That’s what I asked myself while reading the requests from another former mayor, Jack Ford, after his return to Council. Ignoring the suggestions for voice change software for his Council seat or a turntable that played vinyl only at 78 rpms, I favored the prohibitive (and rather obvious) favorite: a year’s supply of Red Bull.
The missives for three potential City Council members were likewise obvious. Theresa Gabriel, Larry Sykes and Adam Martinez all had requests sent to the big guy to find a few ballots with their names checked that hadn’t been counted yet under their tree. Since these three candidates are fewer than 100 votes apart to win their seats (and two separated only by five votes), I was kind of curious myself. Santa however, responded that there are lines he won’t cross. Besides, he said, any effort on his part would be amateurish by comparison with those of the local Board of Elections (BOE), who’ve been doing such an amazing job of finding votes for “good little candidates” that Ohio’s Secretary of State keeps almost as close an eye on them as Santa does.
Speaking of those pesky little vote counters, the members of the Lucas County BOE actually received a couple of letters with group gifting suggestions that were mostly unprintable.
In spite of the list they’re on, however, who could disagree with the idea of them finding a copy of Ohio’s Constitution, a calculator and a copy of the CD “101 Versions of Kumbaya” under their trees in the hopes that they’ll learn how to follow the rules, to count and to play nice before the 2014 election?
Letters for confirmed new City Council member Sandy Spang were mostly sarcastic recommendations for NoDoz pills, antacids and even noise-canceling headphones. It seems more practical to pass on a request for patience and luck. She’ll likely need an abundance of both.
Rob Ludeman received letters this year, but I’m not sure there will be a gift under his tree. Councilman Ludeman did nothing wrong in his successful return efforts, but he’s a Republican who was largely ignored by the Lucas County Republican Party while simultaneously being noticed (if not forgiven for being Republican) by Toledo voters. Sounds to me like Santa’s delivered already.
Speaking of Republicans, in spite of my endorsement, Councilman Tom Waniewski seems to be on the “Naughty” list again for not playing well with others (i.e., pointing out when they’re wrong). I’m nevertheless trying to secure him copies of “Silver Streak” and “Unstoppable” on DVD for Christmas so he can take a break from his own efforts and watch someone else attempting to stop a runaway train.
Most of the sitting members of City Council (not up for re-election this year) received few dispatches, and many of those included questionable (if not tasteless) gift suggestions like: “the sense God gave a goat,” placement on a cranial-rectal reversal or spine replacement surgery list or a copy of the “Stuck on Stupid” Dictionary.
I couldn’t pass these on in good conscience, but understand that they and other Council members might well be receiving boxes of stationery this year. (Wow!) These sets contain “special envelopes” that fill themselves out to facilitate automatic matching personal donations by Council members to charities that they feel deserve taxpayer funding. No paper or stamps are included, however, since this gift will likely be treated like the pajamas from grandma that get buried in the bottom of a drawer and never see the light of day again.
There were a number of letters for outgoing Mayor Mike Bell, who promised before his first campaign that this would be his last roundup. Perhaps the best gift he could receive from Toledo then is a simple tip of the hat and a classic sunset in which to ride off on his Harley. I hope he gets it. I also hope he doesn’t ride so far that he won’t drop a note from time to time to let us know how he’s doing.
Incoming Mayor Collins had a couple of things on his list, some more simple than others to fulfill. I tried to get him a new address book with a couple of the old pages torn out before he named his transition team, but failed. He’ll likely receive a book on parenting skills, though, to guide him through the difficult first days as a grown-up dealing with the obstinate and sulky behavior of the kids he used to hang out with. (Don’t we always get children like ourselves?) Less easy to obtain (and perhaps impossible for even Santa to fulfill) will be some domestic investors for real estate projects the new mayor might attempt once in office.
Tim Higgins blogs at justblowing smoke.blogspot.com.
Tags: Adam Martinez, antacids, Board of Elections (BOE), City Council Member Sandy Spang, Councilman Ludemen, Councilman Tom Waniewski, Former Mayor Jack Ford, Ghost of Christmas Past, Larry Sykes, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, Mayor-elect D. Michael Collins, Miracle on 34th Street, NoDoz pills, Ohio's Constitution, Ohio's Secretary of State, Red Bull, Santa, Theresa Gabriel, Toledo City Council