Saturday, February 09, 2008

UPDATED: Marines told to leave Toledo

According to today's Blade, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner told a company of Marine Corps Reservists they could not conduct their planned urban patrol exercises in downtown Toledo.

"The mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people," said Brian Schwartz, the mayor's spokesman.

This is the most insane thing I've ever heard of. Marines don't frighten me! They give me comfort and confidence that our nation is so well-protected by such dedicated individuals. Perhaps it's only Carty who is frightened.

Their ability to practice exercises in an urban setting with doors, alleys and high buildings helps prepare them for the scenarios they will face in the field, providing them with skills and training necessary to keep them safe. Additionally, being able to see them in action in such exercises helps me to understand the level of skill these individuals have.

Any inconvenience the city might have to accommodate is a small price to pay for these men and women who are willing to give their lives for us and the protection of our country. Besides, it's not like there's much going on in downtown Toledo anyway...

To make matters worse, Carty issued his 'do not enter' order upon their arrival in the Glass City.

"Toledo police knew days in advance about their plans for a three-day exercise. Yet somehow the memo never made it to Mayor Finkbeiner, who ordered the Marines out yesterday afternoon just minutes before their buses were to arrive.
...
"I wish they would have told us this four hours ago," Staff Sgt. Andre Davis said.

Sergeant Davis, who traveled ahead of the five-bus convoy, stepped from his vehicle into downtown about 3:20 p.m. and was told by a city employee that the mayor wanted him and his soldiers packed up and out by 6 p.m.

Members of the 1st Battalion, 24th Marines have trained periodically in downtown Toledo since at least 2004 and most recently in May, 2006."

Yes, the mayor has allowed such training in Toledo in the past. And this last minute decision by Carty was also an expensive one.

"A pair of Marines spent the better part of yesterday setting up the Madison Building with generators, heaters, radios, and food to become the unit's overnight headquarters.

After receiving the mayor's request to leave, they began the task of moving the equipment back into an armored Humvee.
...
Sergeant Davis and other company leaders estimated the total cost of the aborted training exercise, including travel, at roughly $10,000."


I expect a huge outrage by the citizens of this city who, regardless of their positions on involvement in various wars, have always been supportive of the military members and proud of their home locations in our area.

I also expect that this latest incident will again result in national publicity for Toledo - and not in a positive way.

Shame on Carty - not only for his decision, but for doing it at the last minute as well.

UPDATE: According to this website,
"Finkbeiner spokesman Brian Schwartz said the mayor informed the Toledo police chief in 2006 he didn't want the Marines back.

"We heard that people were frightened by what they saw. Unfortunately the chief of police never communicated that down to his subordinates so nobody handed it down to the mayor.""

Wonder what gives the Mayor the authority to make such a determination based upon "we heard"???

From NBC24:

"(Mayoral spokesman Brian) Schwartz said there was a breakdown in communication between police and the Finkbeiner administration that led to the mayor’s action.

“The marines drilled here three times during the Ford administration and once under the Finkbeiner administration. After the last visit, the mayor told then police chief Jack Smith, that he did not want the marines back. Smith failed to inform the current police administration of the mayor’s feelings,” Schwartz said.

NBC24 spoke to Jack Smith who recalled that after the marines last visit, he and the mayor had a heated exchange about the training.

“He told me he did not want them, as he put it, “playing war in Toledo’”, Smith recalled. I told him, as a former marine, “that if one young marine’s life is saved because of training he or she received in Toledo, Ohio, then it was worth the inconvenience.”

Smith said if the mayor objected, then he should have been the one to convey those feelings to police. Smith took his run-in with the mayor as an objection to that last visit, and not future training in Toledo.

As a result, the Toledo police went ahead, granting approval to the 1-24th Marines to conduct the routine exercise. The police notified members of the Finkbeiner administration, who were not aware that the mayor objected to unit’s training in Toledo."

Already this is national with uncomplimentary posts on rather prominent websites and commentors suggesting that our federal funds should be withdrawn as was threatened with Berkeley.

Doesn't Carty ever consider the potential outcomes from his actions?

If you email the mayor about this (mayor.toledo@toledo.oh.gov), please send a copy to me: maggie at wspd dot com. Thanks!

16 comments:

The A-Hole Lawyer said...

For the first time in awhile I am so stunned I am not sure where to start.

Get the word out more clearly so the citizens are aware. Sure.
But other than that issue, Carty’s method, thought process (assumption) and tactics are incredible, even for him.

This training is essential for the military and beneficial to civilians, to that extent, it does not necessarily hurt to have it unannounced - but once in place some notification is prudent - signs etc.

It seems people forget that we are within 1 hr of two nuclear power plants, several major airports, and the massive natural resources of the great lakes. We should all have at least some concept and familiarity with coordinated military and civilian training in our urban setting.

Economics - $$ — ok, where were these 200+ marines staying, where was their pocket change going off duty, where was their coffee, water, and grub coming from? Yes they are likely largely self contained and supported, but some of that cash would have trickled down. (Let’s see who catches that nugget).

The big picture, home-land security, federal funding impact is yet to been seen.

The national embarrassment I am learning is just part of living in Toledo.

Sadly

The A-Hole

Chad Quigley said...

Maggie....
this is yet another display of his unbelievable arrogance and his fundemental lack of common sense and good judgement.

This is gonna cost us and cost us a lot! Hell, it already has as tax dollars were used to plan, prep and move them here and now that is all wasted. Wait till Carty gets the bill for this foolish and stupid ego trip.

Maggie Thurber said...

national attention... already...

a blog search will show the story is growing and it's just a matter of time before the mayor's office gets feedback from the nation.

Even if you think the Marines shouldn't conduct such exercises in downtown Toledo, you cannot possible support the mayor in the way in which this was handled - poorly, as usual.

Scott White said...

And here I thought Berzerkley California had the monopoly of stupidity... (See: http://morningbrew.sdwhiteonline.com/2008/02/08/semper-fi-act-2008/)

Maybe the Feds should include Tooleedoo in the Semper Fi Act of 2008.

Idiots.

Maggie Thurber said...

Sadly, I don't think our Representative Kaptur nor at least one of our Senators (Sherrod Brown) would have a problem with this.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Maggie,

"Shame on Carty - not only for his decision, but for doing it at the last minute as well."br/>
What else would you expect from our ReadyFireAim mayor?

This could cost us, big time in Federal grants and Homeland Security dollars.

Sadly, our "beloved" mayor acted upon his feelings/emotions, not OURS.

I'm sure that Mike Navarre gave "His Dishonor" a heads up, but I'm also betting that he never got the message, hence his trademarked ReadyFireAim reaction.

SIGH. . .

jrs said...

This shouldn't come as a surprise to Carty-watchers...c'mon guys, we already know he's just not that smart.

What *is* surprising is the breakdown in communication between the Toledo Police & the Mayor's office. While Carty is who he is, the way this was handled in the eleventh hour is the real embarrassment.

Not sure about Kaptur's or Brown's pov on this but y'know seeing as how this is in both their houses, someone should call for comment. In fact Kaptur has a communication director right here in Toledo.

Jay Ott said...

Imagine if all mayors handled this in an un-american way like our mayor has. What would the consequences be? Suppose the military were kicked out of all cities like they were here as if it was the same age-old "town and gown" type of issue. What would be the result?

The military conducting a training exercise is not something to be afraid of--not even if people were unaware that it was just a drill.

The obvious clue being, as to the nature of their presence--nobody was being fired at, no animals were being harmed, no bombs going off, and no fighter jets overhead.

The real and legitimate things that people should be afraid of is an out-of-control, irresponsible government, that oversteps its authority, role and purpose.

If this thing is not a wake up call to all of us who've been silent for too long, then I don't know what else would wake people up as to what is at stake--tyranny or anarchy.

It's the same problem the founding fathers faced and answered. If and when we only return to their answers and act as they have acted will we ever end up with neither tyranny nor anarchy.

Chris said...

So the mayor said he didn't want them back, and the police ignored this?

Indigo Red said...

I've written on the Berkeley insanity and now Toledo. What is in the fancy bottled water these clowns are drinking?

I found your post and have included it in mine Holy Toledo! It's Berkeley East!.

Maggie Thurber said...

Not exactly, Chris.

According to various news reports, he told the previous police chief who is on record as saying he didn't understand Carty's objection to be for future training ... and it appears the notice of this event from the current chief didn't get 'seen' by Carty ... and that Carty somehow missed all the news reports of the upcoming exercise.

I believe the explanation that there was a breakdown in communication as I don't think the current chief would lie about sending over a memo or whatever about the training.

But ... I think it's wrong for Carty to prevent the training in the first place and, once he realized the breakdown, it was wrong to tell them to go home when they were already (or nearly) here.

BPHTOL said...

King Carty, again! I,m shocked by his action on this matter, but then again not so much, it is Carty afer all. Does he have the authority to make this descion?
Another black eye for Toledo. I'll bet this plays in nationally with all the pre primary politics to soon be focused on Ohio.

Chad Quigley said...

yeah...I'm betting the Key Dems are going apecrap right now....

This is far and above his privious blunders. This is a City Mayor taking a egotistic stand against the National Military over a training exercise...outragous

Brian Maxson said...

I feel that someone in the PIO should have kept the mayor abreast of any news item regarding issues knowing how the mayor felt.

Chad Quigley said...

My understanding is that Brian did tell the Mayor this was a bad idea. And the Mayor did it anyway with warnings not to.

There's this too. He had time from when he found out to contact them. He didn't have to wait until there were here and then tell them to go.

He is off his freakin rocker.

A "Tip" to the fragments of Republicans among us: Eh hem...this would be the time to seize the day. In the Bible, Gidieon goes a long way....read it;-)

mouthbreather said...

The Mayor said in a state of the city speech today “If anyone thinks that I don’t love this country or I don’t love the military then they’re a bunch of BABOONS!”

HEY! Mr. Mayor!

OH! OH! AH! AH! OH! OH! AH! AH!

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