"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"???
"(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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), please send a copy to me: maggie at wspd dot com. Thanks!