Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Censorship by city government? 'Not business friendly' post #8

Yesterday I was at the Erie Street Market and I talked to several individuals there. What I learned astounded me.

I had two individuals tell me that they had called WSPD to talk about things at the ESM (during the city's takeover of the facility from Citifest - background here) and later that same day they were confronted by a representative from the city (which owns the property and issues the leases) who told them not to call the radio station again.

Comments were made about their leases and how easy it was to raise rents or break the lease and 'replace' them.

Of course, neither person wanted to go on the record for fear of actually losing their space at the Market. When I pressed them, they could not say if the city's representative was acting on their own or under direction from the mayor's office. Regardless, I was not surprised to hear of the heavy-handed tactics to silence criticism.

Sadly, this is what I've come to expect in Toledo - threats, intimidation, ad hominem attacks, etc. Perhaps this is part of the reason we're losing population?

6 comments:

TiredOfTaxes said...

I've lived in Toledo for the last 15 years and I have seen the same inept politicians get elected again and again. Anytime a 'renewal' tax is up for a vote, the politicians are quick to hold the things that a city should provide (fire, police, roads) hostage saying they will not be able to pay for these things. Yet they have money for flowers, bike paths and real estate investments. When will people wake up? Somehow I think they believe they will tax us into prosperity.
I'm not waiting around. As soon as I can sell our home, I am out and will not be looking back.
Thanks for all you do Maggie. You are a great asset to the community!

navyvet said...

Hi Maggie,

With the current city administration, nothing really comes as a surprise. This ESM matter seems to be another chapter in a continuing saga. The paranoia at the top is legend.

I have spoken with city employees, past and present, and some spouses.
They would say..."If you only knew...if the people only new...some things you wouldn't believe." Comments are "off the record"....they say "please don't repeat/tell" what was said.

In general, intimidation by some is the norm along with instances of abuse of subordinates. I do not think it extends beyond "verbal"...although sometimes in the extreme...in front of witnesses. Yet, they get away with it.

During the recent district budget meetings, I watched closely and overheard a few comments from city employees and friends/aquaintences of either council persons or administrative representatives who were present. The common theme was arrogance and entitlement. No big surprise there.

To approach vendors at the ESM...well, that really says a lot.

Too bad...the city's "cone of silence" remains intact. In recent times, only Chief Smith...a man of honor and character...stood tall and walked away.

Tom

Tim Higgins said...

Maggie,

Censorship and strong-armed tactics by our city government, say it ain't so!

Isn't this in fact "business as usual" in Toledo, Ohio. Thank God this is not organized crime, but instead more like "The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight".

Mad Jack said...

I'd set up a sting with video and nail a few. This is the kind of government that should not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Robin said...

That isn't business friendly.

Maggie Thurber said...

You're right, Robin - and I've added that tag to this post.

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