Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Shame On You Glass City

Not currently being a resident of Lucas County in Northwest Ohio, I probably shouldn't comment on the results of this week's election.  (Such considerations however, have never stopped me before and are unlikely to now.)  It's far too early to know what these choices will mean to much of area, but there are a few things that we probably do know based on the tallies in its largest city ... Toledo.  But before I make a couple of probably inappropriate comments, let me say first and for the record:  Shame on You!

This is not a comment about the choices that you made or didn't make.  (That will come later.)  This is instead a reproach for your continued abominable voter turnout.  D. Michael Collins won the office of Mayor in the Glass City with a 56 percent margin of the 25 percent of registered voters who took the time to perform their civic responsibility.  My congratulations go out to D. Michael for the solid majority of his victory; but for those of you unwilling (or unable) to do the math, I should point out that this means that the city's next leader will take the reins of power with a mandate from 14 percent of the city's electorate.

As for the rest of the city's results, this might well be a special Toledo edition of "Silly Bits".

  • With the exception of Sandy Spang, the City Council elections returned enough incumbents, retreads, and familiar names that Toledo may be eligible to receive special recognition from the environmental lobby as a political 'Green City' for its candidate recycling efforts.  Friend and fellow blogger Maggie Thurber thinks this may be an illustration of the "Stuck on Stupid" concept that she coined for so much of what goes on in local government (one that was later co-opted by the lazy lexicographers of the SOS Dictionary here at "Just Blowing Smoke").  I cannot disagree with that discerning assessment, but tend to see it myself as a return to Toledo's "SSDD" philosophy (Same Shit, Different Day), one that has served it so poorly for decades. 
  • With D. Michael Collin ascension to the title of Mayor, his City Council position will require that a replacement be appointed by sitting members.  There's a rumor that former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is seeking that Council position and the chance to join former Mayor and newly elected council member Jack Ford.  For all the hard times that Toledo has fallen on and all those who have abandoned the city for one reason or another (yours truly included, though my departure was not entirely voluntary), certainly there must be someone out there with a pulse that can serve better in this capacity than this former object of municipal embarrassment.  If Carty wants to get more than his retirement pay from the city, let him walk in through the front door of the electoral process by running for office and not try to sneak in through the back door of political favoritism.
  • My own efforts in the blogging world and those of many I know, have been relatively silent in their criticism of the Mayor's office during the term of Mike Bell.  You may not have agreed with everything Mike Bell said or did, but it was difficult to argue his selfless and sincere desire for the City's improvement, and the logic of his thought processes.  I suspect that the Collins Administration will not see such peace and quiet remain.  This is nothing against D. Michael Collins personally, as I believe that he's an honest guy who says what he believes.  That being said, I have a suspicion that the direction the city will take is one that some of us with more conservative principles will have something to say on.
I'd like to tell you that I paid attention to the other local races, school board elections, and levies were on the ballot this year, but I was prevented on getting too far by the pay wall recently installed on the website of the daily newspaper.  It was just as well however, as the depressing nature of the results that I was able to gather had me pulling up the covers over my head and seeking the comfort of my bed far earlier that I normally would on an election night.

"When you're a child, you believe that monsters are hiding under your bed. When you grow up, you often discover that same bed to be the only place left to hide from them."
- me 

The good news that one can take in retrospect from the election, for those of us scribbling in the wilderness of politics and looking at the days ahead, is that it seems likely that Toledo will return to being the classic 'target-rich' environment that we've all come to know and love.  I believe that the Glass City's Mayor and City Council are likely to be a lively bunch and one worth keeping an eye on.

But let me end on this the day after the election by saying congratulations to the winners, condolences to the losers, and 'Shame on You' to all of you who refused to give up even the small enough period of your Reality Show schedule, Facebook chatting, and pure laziness to take part in the electoral process.

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