FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
City of Toledo Reminds Citizens and Businesses To Keep Sidewalks Safe and Clear
Today, Chief of Staff and Public Safety Director Robert Reinbolt released the following statement:
"As Toledo contends with this latest round of heavy snow, both citizens and businesses are reminded that the City requires all sidewalks -- both commercial and residential -- to be shoveled within 24 hours of a snowfall (Toledo Municipal Code #521.01: Removal of snow and ice from walks). Snow-covered sidewalks provide a safety hazard, particularly to our young people, who otherwise may be forced to stand or walk in the street on their way to or from school. Seniors and physically challenged citizens who need their sidewalk shoveled can call the volunteer-based Teens of the Future at 419-870-2468. While this service is free, donations are encouraged to help cover the group's fuel costs. Thank you for helping keep our City safe during these snowy conditions."
Now, the purpose of the press release was two-fold: 1) to give the information about volunteers who were available to help with snow removal (which is a good thing) and 2) to remind citizens that the law requires snow to be removed within 24 hours (otherwise we can fine you and collect tons of money).
I cannot help but find it curious why the mayor feels it necessary to insist that citizens follow the Toledo Municipal Code when he's so prone to ignoring it.
About the same time as the press release was being sent out, AFSCME Local 2058 President Alan Cox was talking with reporters about the mayor's insistence on disciplining (read: firing) employees who don't live in the city limits.
You see, Carty Finkbeiner believes that law, TMC 2101.09 (a) which says "Every employee of the City of Toledo shall be a resident of the City of Toledo...", should be followed.
But he conveniently forgets section (b) of that same code which gives the employees the ability to request a waiver of residency and mandates that "...the Mayor will make a determination ..." on the request. Today's disciplinary hearing was for an employee whose waiver request had not been answered by the mayor, despite his legal requirement to do so.
Of course, it appears that Toledo is the only city in the state continuing to enforce residency rules while awaiting an Ohio Supreme Court challenge on the issue, which means we could be in for some hefty legal bills if the Court says the residency requirements are illegal.
So be sure to shovel your walks - you don't want to give him any excuse for ticketing you and building up a legal defense fund.