Kudos to the 10 members of Toledo City Council who voted against imposing the proposed fire department fees last night.
District Council members Michael Ashford, D. Michael Collins, Mike Craig, Tom Waniewski and Lindsay Webb along with at-large members Phil Copeland, Joe McNamara, George Sarantou, Betty Shultz and Frank Szollosi, all voted no.
The first vote on the measure (which was 6-4 in favor with two absences) failed due to a lack of enough votes for passage. Council President Mark Sobczak, who voted yes both times (along with District Councilwoman Wilma Brown), had previously said he'd spoken to the individual who voted no and thought he had his seventh vote to ensure passage.
But a funny thing happened along the way: the public got involved. And because of the overwhelming emails and phone calls, the four original no votes stayed the same and four of the original yes votes switched to no, resulting in the defeat of the measure.
There are many people who think their instructions to their elected servants fall on deaf ears - that their phone calls and emails don't mean anything. That perception is widespread and there are many votes which can be used as an example. However, as we've seen with this fire billing vote, when we all speak with firm instruction and with explanation of the consequences of not listening, they will heed us. And the more that we provide feedback and instruction to them and the more likely they will be to do as we instruct.
IMPORTANT: If you took the time to call or email council on this issue, be sure you take the time to call or email and thank them for making the right decision. So often, we tell elected officials what we don't want them to do and we fail to thank them when they make good decisions on our behalf. Having been an elected official, I know how important it is to hear 'thank you' from your constituents.
Toledo City Council: 419-245-1050