According to the reporting today, Democrat Party State Chairman Chris Redfern did, indeed, meet with the Dems on council prior to their vote and
"emphasized that he and the governor wanted a strong Lucas County Democratic Party in place for the 2008 presidential election."Strong - as in, in control in both numbers and appearance. So certainly, they can't have a Republican president of council when they hold a majority in that body - how could they explain that awkward situation to presidential campaigns?!?
And the paper also verifies that this is all about the appearance of unity.
“By having a working majority and opening up the lines of communication, we’ll decrease the amount of public disagreements that we have,” Mr. Ashford said.
There's that term, again...'working majority'...because now, since we're trying to give the appearance of unity, we're not going to disagree in public anymore...after all - there's too much at stake in 2008 for us to have public disagreements.
All sarcasm aside, what they're really saying is that they're still going to disagree, but because word has come down from 'on high' (or rather from south of here) we're going to look like we're all working together because our party's interests far outweigh the public's interests in this regard.
Personally, I like the public discourse. I've truly appreciated Frank Szollosi's (and his colleague's) position on the garbage tax that Carty and the Republicans supported. With this new "unity" I can't help but wonder if such policy disagreements will now be hidden behind closed doors until some deal is worked out and presented to the public. That would be very bad for Toledo, Toledoans and taxpayers - but it sure will be better for the Democrat Party, locally and statewide.
It's sad that the priorities of the political party have taken precedence, but living in Toledo, that's what we've come to expect. And the result of such misplaced priorities are all around us - declining population, loss of businesses, budget deficits - all because it's more important to do what the party wants than what the people want.