Wednesday, October 7, 2009

You Go Home Now

Like a nightmare that you cannot seem to wake from, the time of the current mayor of Toledo just never seems to end. While the latest (and we can only hope final) stint in office of three-term Mayor Carlton S. Finkbeiner is about to end, it appears that it and he will not go quietly. Apparently aware of the impending end of his reign, Carty continues to miss no opportunity to stake his claim to one last bit of celebrity. 

When this lame duck mayor is not in front of the cameras announcing projects and milestones that never seem to occur, he is touting as if they are his own, projects that he has had nothing to do with. When not attending the manufactured publicity events like the destruction of a communication tower, he can still find the time to mistakenly defend the hiring or retention of ill-qualified, ill-behaved, and/or over paid city employees. 

Intent apparently, on wishing to establish a legacy for his split terms in office ( a term-limited two initially, and now this third), Carty cannot seem to go through a week without at least five mostly useless and patently manufactured press conferences. (Hmmm, who does this remind you of?) 

While failing to adequately perform his own tasks however, our Mayor still manages to find time to tell city council how to do their job. While famous for spending money on expensive plumbing, ill-advised real estate deals, unprofitable competition with private businesses, and landscaping projects for soon to be empty properties; our mayor has the effrontery to damn council members for not managing to fill the pothole of a budget that he created during his time in office through his plan of taxes and fee imposition and creation, all of dubious nature and questionable legality. 

While infamous for playing fast and loose with the rules regarding how he operates under the city charter, he yet finds opportunity to cast aspersions and attempts to exert pressure on council members for operating within their own rules for their own ends; even when such influence directly violates the separation of powers defined in that charter. While assuming a absurd posture of pretended principle and heaping scorn and ridicule on any citizens or media who dare to question him on the narrow view from his bully pulpit, he nevertheless appears ready to question the motives of any and all around him on anything he sees fit. While assuming a false mask of almost regal bearing, he continually destroys any illusion of majesty through wild-eyed rantings and nonsensical ravings. (John Mason Brown had a great line about this: "He played the king as if afraid that someone else would play the ace.") 

Well today places us but ninety days from the end of this dreadful nightmare. In but three months, we in Toledo will finally be able to wake up from what has appeared to be an almost "Groundhog Day" experience. A new mayor will take the stage (with hopefully a few new city council members will join the process as well)

Perhaps this new mayor will learn from his predecessor and stay a bit more out of the limelight. Maybe he will learn to play nice with city council and not threaten to take his ball home every time that he doesn't get his way. Maybe he will even be able to rebuild some level of the trust that no longer exists between Toledo, its citizens, and its neighbors. 

As for our soon to be ex-"cheerleader in chief", I can only recommend to Carty Finkbeiner what the owner of the Chinese buffet suggested to the calorically challenged diner: 

"You go home now. You been here too long." 

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