Friday, August 31, 2012

Court rules in favor of in-person early voting


U.S. District Judge Peter C. Economus has issued a preliminary injunction and ordered in-person voting for the three days prior to the November 6 election.

Obama for America, the National Democratic Party and the Ohio Democratic Party had sued Secretary of State Jon Husted and Attorney General Mike DeWine over state law which says that only members of the military and their families would be allowed to vote in person on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before Election Day. Military groups had asked to intervene in favor of the law.

The judge said the law was "unconstitutional “to the extent it changes the deadline for in-person voting from the close of business on the day before Election Day to 6 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day.”

He also said it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution because those covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act (military voters and their families) could cast a ballot during those final three days while other Ohioans could not.

The Judge wrote:

This Court anticipates that Defendant Secretary of State will direct all Ohio elections boards to maintain a specific, consistent schedule on those three days, in keeping with his earlier directive that only by doing so can he ensure that Ohio’s election process is "uniform, accessible for all, fair, and secure."

DeWine announced he will appeal the ruling.

With all due respect to the Judge, we disagree with his ruling today. We have always allowed distinction for military voters, and to say this violates equal protection is wrong.

My job as the Attorney General is to defend the laws of the State of Ohio and defend the right of Ohio to set its own law based on the Ohio and U.S. Constitutions. We believe states should have the right to set the hours of election and the time of election.

Quote of the Day - poverty



"It would take little more than $50 billion to raise every poor person above the official poverty line, yet the percentage of the population classified as poor hardly budges, while annual welfare spending amounts to four times that much. Where's the money going?" ~ Robert Higgs


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Quote of the Day - instructions to voters


"What is to be the consequence, in case the Congress shall misconstrue this part [the necessary and proper clause] of the Constitution and exercise powers not warranted by its true meaning, I answer the same as if they should misconstrue or enlarge any other power vested in them ... the success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; and in a last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people, who can by the elections of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers." ~ James Madison

Toledo City Council Meeting - August 28, 2012


Notes from Sherry (a day late because she went to see "2016: Obama'a America")

Toledo City Council Meeting
August 28, 2012


In attendance: Councilwomen Webb, Hicks-Hudson, Councilmen
Ludeman, McNamara, Riley, Sarantou, Waniewski, Collins, Martinez, Craig, Steel, Copeland, Deputy Mayor Herwat, Mayor Bell.

Item 448 – Vacate portion of Greystone Parkway (Approved May 2012, 4 – 0) – passed – all voting yes.

Item 449 – Zone change at 508 Hawley St. and 940 Tecumseh St. for Zepf Center (Approved 5 – 0) - passed all voting yes.

Item 450 – Zone change at 3363 Bishop St. (Approved 5 – 0) – passed – all voting yes.

Item 451 – Zone change at 1443 & 1439bBaxter St. (Approved 5 – 0) – passed – all voting yes.

Item 452 – SUP for scrap & salvage facility at 6075 & 6180 Hagman Rd. (Approved 5 – 0) – passed – all voting yes.

Item 453 – SUP for expansion of used car lot at 1012-1042 Woodville Rd. (Approved 5 – 0) – passed – all voting yes.

Item 431 – Enact new rules of Council for minor changes and moving items for consistency and logic - 1st Reading. McNamara – requires two readings.

Item 432 – Amend TMC Ch. 2134, Toledo Municipal Court employees – Collins – remove from Community Agenda – we are super functionary – Court will have its way – suspend – passed – all voting yes.

Item 433 – Amend TMC Ch. 2101, Classified Exempt and Executive Exempt employees –

* Webb – where to begin – Steve Steel and the Mayor – this should be in the Committee of the Whole – move legislation, pledge not to legislate.

* McNamara – come up with something for packages.

* Webb – seclude Committee before legislation – see Mayors proposal.

* Steel – (with Puppy dog eyes SZ) I teach a “Critical Thinking” class at Bowling Green State University – this is a new example of a “Red Herring” - these are folks, campaign donors – we need assurance he (Mayor) will sign a pledge – working class families need this – he will end up altering the pledge – discussion at meeting on raises on performances – amazed he's named in the legislation – no quid pro quo.

* Ludeman – agrees with Webb – should have a Committee of the Whole Meeting - Mr. Loux.

* Mayor – (to Rep. Steel) since 1998, every Mayor should have brought this up – he can only speak and act for himself, not Mayors before him or to come after him – he doesn't want to lose people – raise spread in part to do with it – as Mayor, I can do this – I need an agreement with you on how we campaign – issue is put on employees.

* Steel – Did you come upon this when you were an employee or the Chief?

* Mayor – Chief.

Item referred to Committee of the Whole.

Issue 434 – Renew agreement with Superior Vision, Inc. for vision care program for employees, one year – passed – all voting yes.

Issue 435 – Levy asse4ssments for roadside drainage system at 1850 Raynor Dr., 5 years, $1,642 - 1st Reading.

Issue 436 – Accept contribution from Toledo Public Schools for 1/2 of salary & FB for 6 Police Officers, $188,749 – passed – all voting yes.

Issue 437 - Accept contribution from Washington Local Schools for 1/2 of salary & FB for 2 Police Officers, $62,916 – passed – all voting yes.

Issue 438 – Sale of former Facility & Fleet Operations building on Albion St. to American Steel Products, 6 months, $1.

* Ludeman – at Agenda Review, SUP.

* McNamara – take 1st Reading on this.

* Collins – Ludeman, good your doing this – drove by this site – on a Railroad Spur – get performance appraisal on this property – better evaluation.

* Martinez – put in committee for evaluation.

* Herwat – any environmental reports, Phase I or Phase II?

* Ludeman – Don't know.

* Administration – no testing done.

* Collins – Tetra Tech did this – put up $75,000 for ESM on the Erie Street Market– ended up walking away from the deal with their money – approval important for Economic Development – product and service create jobs – do this once we agree on price - filthy, another issue – administration needs to bring forth these issues.

1st Reading.

Issue 439 – Municipal Job Creation Tax Credit (MJCTC) to Ilegra Corp., 35 jobs, 40%, 7 years – passed – all voting yes.

Issue 440 - Municipal Job Creation Tax Credit (MJCTC) to Omnisource Corp., retain 148 & 22 new, 40%, 7 years – passed – all voting yes.

Issue 441 - Municipal Job Creation Tax Credit (MJCTC) to Toledo Molding & Die, retain 267 & 41 new, 40%, 7 years – passed – all voting yes.

Issue 442 – Amend MOU with LCLRC to accept Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Program grant, $4,000,000 – passed – all voting yes.

Issue 443 – Update Accela database system for Dept. of Inspection, $64,000 in 2012 and $452,000 in 2013, General Fund – Herwat – this ordinance to go back to the Administration. McNamara – ordered.

Issue 444 – Re-appropriation for Lockwood/Devilbiss Corbin Area Project, $378,664 Sewer Bond Fund – passed – all voting yes.

Issue 445 – Appropriation for repair of 2 pumps at Water Treatment Low Service Pump Station improvements, $342,073 Water Bond – passed – all voting yes.

Issue 446 – Appropriation for Water Treatment Low Service Pump Station improvements, $342,073 Water Bond – passed – all voting yes.

Issue 447 – Appropriation for skid steer and UG12 Grapple for Sewer & Drainage Services, $98,000 Storm Water – passed – all voting yes.

Last Call:

Waniewski – Can I get a Police speed monitor at Elmhurst School? And have instruction where & when to place them out, lots of traffic. We assess people for leaves and snow – can we charge the owner for limbs? Mr. Herwat please get back with me.

Webb – Nautical Village Pathway – Ribbon Cutting ceremony after last meeting – Thanks to the Mayor and Rep. Ludeman for your support. It was nice when the the Navy ships came in this weekend. I saw pictures of people out there watching. Would like an update on North Town – when is this coming down? Back to school – check on speed of cars. Also this lends to abandon and drug buildings near the schools. Cure JM day on October 13th. This affects 17,000 kids nationwide. This is an autoimmune disease, and it starts showing signs at 6 or 7 years old. There is no cure for this, nothing to help them. There is a boy in my district with this. If you go to Chuckie Cheese on the weekend of September 7th, 50% of their proceeds will be donated for this cause.

Herwat – Give you an update – demolition has been signed for North Town. About 30,000 visited the Navy ships this weekend, great amount. Thanks to Jen Sorgenfrei for the warm welcome. We had an army of City employees to accomplish these feats. They might be back next year.

Collins – Cosmopolitan downtown for Navy week, outstanding job. One thing we should have had – fireworks on Saturday night. City did a perfect job, hit a home run. Tomorrow Intermodel Grand opening (didn't say where). Thanks to all who paved the way to have study done. This sold to Norfolk Southern.

Hicks-Hudson – 1) Item 433 – how many employees at top of pay scale. 2) Dept. of Neighborhoods to CSG grant for the Shelters. 3) Speed on Dorr St. - new study done – make it happen.

Ludeman – Kudos on Navy week. We went to the German American Festival on Sunday – great. Lot of foot traffic on the King bridge this weekend. Kudos to the Bay View Yacht Club. PAL to support Boxing Championship – host Basketball Tournament at the Arena – colleges coming to watch. South/Woodale on the Trail – are cameras working? People have been slowing down.

Riley – Navy week – great show.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Random thoughts - Strickland, Steel, Bell, Irish, Stainbrook



* Ted Strickland is traveling around Ohio doing a sort of 'counter convention' to the Republican gathering in Florida. He's on a very large bus and is garnering huge crowds of ... 30 or so.

Just wondering: anyone else see the irony of Strickland going city to city in a bus that says "wrong for the middle class"?

* The Washington Examiner had an interesting article on the latest government push for government dependency. Apparently, too many of you depend first on yourselves and then on your family for help in hard times.

Clearly that cannot be allowed to happen, so the government has created a website so you can stop that nasty habit of taking care of yourselves and rely upon the government instead.

* Check it out: Public Notice released a new video, “Where Washington is Taking Us,” highlighting the results of Washington’s reckless economic and fiscal policies and the true impact on American families, students and small businesses. The video presents today’s hard economic realities with the underlying message that the American people cannot afford to let Washington continue to take us down a path towards high unemployment, massive debt and a reduced quality of life.

* Note to Steve Steel: when you're in a hole, stop digging. Calling Mike Bell's proposal - which is your idea applied equally to everyone - a "red herring" just makes you look ridiculous. You are, however, correct in that it was 'one-upmanship' ... you're just upset about being the one 'upped'.

Just remember, you started it, so don't be surprised when Bell finishes it.

Saving the best for last:

* Keila Cosme is going to leave the Lucas County Board of Elections to take a job with the county. John Irish is going to be nominated to take her place.

I've worked with John as a commissioner - and against him in campaigns. I respect him even when I disagree with him. He's got a keen political mind and is an excellent strategist.

He also doesn't suffer fools, so his inclusion on the BOE will be nothing but a thorn in the side of the childish antics of Jon Stainbrook.

Either Irish will end up 'pummeling' Stainbrook or the BOE may actually get some work done. Only time will tell ... but, in the meantime, it will be fun to watch.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Husted fires Montgomery County Board of Elections Democrats


Secretary of State Jon Husted started dismissal proceedings against the Democrats on the Montgomery County Board of Elections because they refused to adopt the uniform hours Husted set for early voting times in the state.

Following a hearing and a recommendation from the hearing officer, today he fired them.

They had maintained that the directive from Husted was 'ambiguous' and did not prevent them from adding more voting hours on weekends. The hearing officer disagreed, saying it was plain, in both the background section of the directive and the follow-up letter sent to the board, that the purpose was to have the same hours of voting in every county in the state.

Here is the letter Husted sent (addresses redacted):

August 28, 2012


Thomas J. Ritchie, Sr.

Dennis A. Lieberman

Gentlemen:

After reviewing the report of the hearing officer following the August 20, 2012 hearing, can draw no other conclusion: You knowingly and willfully violated Ohio election law by not following Directive 2012-35, which Ohio law(R.C. 3501.11) requires you to follow. Thus, you are immediately dismissed from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

The hearing officer report states:

"I conclude that no reasonable person after considering (a) the words of the directive ("Background" and "Instructions" read together in context) and (b) the plain words of Mr. Damschroder's letter could conclude that Directive 2012-35 is ambiguous and permits weekend hours for in person absentee voting. Therefore, conclude that Mr. Lieberman in making his motion, voting for it and later refusing to rescind it did so in contravention of Directive 2012-35 and in violation of R.C. 3501.11. Mr. Ritchie, who seconded the motion and voted for it, also did so in contravention of R.C. 3501.11.

The hearing officer concludes:

"I conclude that consistent with the Ohio Revised Code and relevant ease law the Secretary has the authority to remove Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Ritchie. Furthermore, believe that the facts warrant removal and recommend that the Secretary take such action."

Board members are free to express their discontent with any Directive or Advisory issued, but they cannot disobey them. Your dismissal is not about differing views; it is about you violating the law by not following Directive (R.C. 3501.11). You were given subsequent chances to comply and refused to take corrective action.

I find no pleasure in taking this action and thank you for your service.

Quote of the Day - being a gentlemen



...though I would add that the same applies to being lady, too.


"The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe." ~ John Walter Wayland


Monday, August 27, 2012

Quotes of the Day - government and elections



"The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can't get and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods." ~ H. L. Mencken


"[W]hensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force." ~ Thomas Jefferson



ORP's virtual RNC convention


Press release:

Ohio Virtual Convention Experience Open to All

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Republican Party (ORP) will launch the first-ever virtual convention for Ohioans who want to participate in the 2012 Republican National Convention electing Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee for president.

"Much has changed since I attended my first convention in 1964; this year we just might be the most mobile high-tech delegation down here," said ORP chairman Bob Bennett. "The bottom line is that this year's election is too important to have Ohioans sitting on the sidelines. The technology we will be using will give us a digital presence and is meant to encourage engagement from people everywhere."

The ORP convention team developed a variety of mobile opportunities for Ohioans back in the Buckeye State to be a part of the Convention action. The virtual headquarters is set up at www.OhioGOP.org/Convention and will feature:

Online Streaming of all Ohio Events: A first for Ohio, all Ohio events will be broadcast digitally online giving everyone an opportunity to participate in the action. Events will follow the conventions theme of "A Better Future" and present the clear contrast between the failed policies of Barack Obama and Governor Romney's vision for a better future.

Live-blogging Convention Updates: The ORP social media team will be posting from an insider's perspective about guest appearances, convention functions and floor activities so visitors feel like they are part of history.

Here is the schedule for the morning events:

Tuesday, August 28th

Event: Breakfast Hosted by Mike DeWine, Ohio’s Attorney General
Special Guest: Former Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum
Time: 9:30AM EST

Wednesday, August 29th

Event: Breakfast Hosted by Dave Yost, Ohio’s State Auditor
Special Guests: Andrea Tantaros, Co-host of Fox News Channel's "The Five", Condoleezza Rice, Tagg Romney & RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
Time: 8:30AM EST

Thursday, August 30th

Event: Breakfast Hosted by Ohio Supreme Court Justices Robert Cupp, Terrence O’Donnell and Supreme Court candidate Justice Sharon Kennedy
Special Guest: Karl Rove, Former White House Deputy. Chief of Staff & Governor Bob McDonnell
Time: 10:30AM EST

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Quote of the Day - not democracy


A QOTD while we enjoy a beautiful Sunday....


"[G]overnment theft of private money and redistribution by a government elite is communism not democracy. ... Communism has already been tried for over 70 years, and it doesn't work because people work to support themselves, not their neighbors. When the rewards are confiscated and redistributed to others, people produce less or stop producing altogether. The quantity of "goods in common" declines until the system finally collapses and everybody is hungry, not just "the poor." Then totalitarianism steps in to force people to produce (ask the Russians, the Poles, the Estonians)." ~ Don Hull

Friday, August 24, 2012

If this were boxing, Mayor Bell would have a TKO over Steve Steel


Councilman Steve Steel doesn't want any 'appearance' of impropriety over Mayor Mike Bell's proposal to increase wage scales for exempt city employees. He's suggested that, since some of the current employees have made donations to Bell's campaign, any pay raise that is later given might be seen as a quid pro quo for a donation.

Never mind the fact that Steel has no qualms about any similar 'appearance' of impropriety on his part when he votes against a charter school while his wife, Catherine Hernandez, serves on the board of the Toledo Federation of Teachers - a group known for their opposition to charter schools and school choice ideas.

Never mind that Steel and other members of the city council routinely solicit and accept both contributions and endorsements from city unions and then vote on contracts with those same unions.

No - we don't need to worry about those appearances of impropriety.

But Mayor Bell has trumped Steel - handily - in submitting a new ordinance for a council vote.

While it is already illegal for individuals to solicit contributions from public employees in the classified service, Bell's ordinance would make it illegal to solicit and/or accept contributions from current city employees (not just those in the classified service), members of current employees' family and/or the bargaining units that represent city employees.

I'd call this game-set-match for Bell.

Let's wait and see how far this goes in Council....

Here is the text of the ordinance:


ORD. __ - 12

Prohibiting persons in elective city offices from soliciting and/or accepting political contributions from current City employees, members of current employees’ families and/or the bargaining units that represent City employees by supplementing the Toledo Municipal Code by adding new Sections 115.05 “Prohibited Contributions to Candidates for City Council” and 119.04 “Prohibited Contributions to Candidates for Mayor;” and declaring an emergency.

Summary and Background:

City Councilman Steve Steel has suggested that the Mayor agree to not accept political contributions from City employees. Councilman Steel’s suggestion illustrates the need to protect the integrity of the political process by prohibiting elected officials from soliciting or accepting contributions from employees and employee organizations. Importantly this will protect public employees from any appearance of collusion. This ordinance supplements the Toledo Municipal Code to add sections prohibiting acceptance of political contributions from City employees, employees’ families or the bargaining units which represent them by persons in elected City office.

Be it ordained by the Council of the City of Toledo:

SECTION 1. That a new Toledo Municipal Code Section 115.05 which reads as follows:

“115.05 – Prohibited Contributions to Candidates for City Council

No member of City Council shall solicit and/or accept any political contribution from an employee of the City of Toledo, a member of any Toledo employee’s Immediate Family, and/or any Bargaining Unit that represents City employees.

As used herein, political contribution shall include monetary donations, provision of services or the donation of anything of value.

As used herein “Immediate Family” shall mean the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner, regardless of domicile and children living in the employee’s residence.

As used herein, “Bargaining Unit” shall mean the employee organization certified or recognized as an exclusive representative under section 4117.05 of the Revised Code and or any local, regional, national organization that includes the employee organization.

Any violation of this Section shall constitute a misdemeanor of the first degree”

be and the same is hereby enacted

SECTION 2. That a new Toledo Municipal Code Section 119.04 which reads as follows:

“119.04 – Prohibited Contributions to Candidates for Mayor

The Mayor shall not solicit and/or accept any political contribution from an employee of the City of Toledo, a member of any Toledo employee’s immediate family and/or any bargaining unit, that represents City employees.

As used herein, political contribution shall include monetary donations, provision of services or the donation of anything of value.

As used herein “Immediate Family” shall mean the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner, regardless of domicile and children living in the employee’s residence.

As used herein, “Bargaining Unit” shall mean the employee organization certified or recognized as an exclusive representative under section 4117.05 of the Revised Code and or any local, regional, national organization that includes the employee organization.

Any violation of this Section shall constitute a misdemeanor of the first degree”

be and the same is hereby enacted.

SECTION 3. That this Ordinance is declared to be an emergency measure and shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage. The reason for the emergency lies in the fact that this ordinance is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety and property, and for the further reason that the public is served by the prohibition of certain political contributions.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Willard & Kelsey declared in default on second $5 million loan


Gongwer's is reporting that solar firm Willard & Kelsey has been declared in default on a second $5 million loan.

Yes - the same Willard & Kelsey Vice President Joe Biden toured in 2009, where he said "he believes alternative energy can be the cornerstone of the area's future economy and can be a good deal for everyone."



From Gongwer's:

The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority became the second state agency Thursday to call a multi-million dollar loan due on a Toledo area solar panel manufacturer.

OAQDA members voted unanimously to declare Willard & Kelsey Solar Group in default of a $5 million loan and gave the company until Sept. 3 to pay back the full amount.
The Department of Development took similar action a few weeks ago on a separate $5 million loan the agency had granted the troubled firm 2010.

Last spring OAQDA sought help from a consultant to assess the financial viability of three solar companies that were failing to make payments on loans from a program designed to encourage alternative energy development.

More recently, the authority gave Willard & Kelsey a deadline to make a $1 million payment by Wednesday, which it failed to do.

OAQDA Chairwoman Gayle Channing Tenenbaum said the agency tried to give the company more flexibility to pay back the 2010 loan, but eventually came to the conclusion that it was unlikely to be able to.

"These are taxpayer dollars. And we worked with the company, but the reality is that they were in default. We gave them a set of things that we thought they needed to meet and they weren't able to do it," she told reporters after the meeting.

"We do this with a heavy heart. We don't think it's a great thing to be out calling a loan on a business. We had hoped that the solar industry would be able to take off under the advanced energy in the state, but for these folks, at this particular moment, they don't have the capital to make it go," she said.

If the company is unable to pay back the money by Sept. 3, OAQDA will forward the matter to the attorney general for collection, Ms. Channing Tenenbaum said.

"You can't just let it go on and on and say, 'You're in default, you're in default, you're in default.' At some point you have to say, 'Look, we've given you every chance and we have to just say we can't continue to do this.' We've got to try and get as much of the taxpayers' money back as we can," she said.

HMCS Ville de Quebec arrives in Toledo for Navy Week


Wow - she dwarfs the USS Hurricane






Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay, USS Hurricane arrive in Toledo for Navy Week


Mobile Bay:

Hurricane:

U.S. Brig Niagara arrives in Toledo for Navy Week


As she sailed from the open lake into the Toledo channel, past Grassy Island and on her way to downtown:










USS De Wert arrives in Toledo for Navy Week




Pretty sure this is the De Wert ... kind of hard to tell from my house to the channel....

Liberal hypocrisy and early voting: one-size-fits-all...except when it doesn't


For years we've heard from Democrats, liberals and progressives that the federal government is the solution.

Regardless of the need or issue, they've supported a one-size-fits-all approach to everything from Obamacare to seat belts to gun laws, convinced that their perceived 'disparity' in local rules was unequal and a problem that only a large bureaucracy in Washington could properly address.

'Experts' in the federal government (and non-experts in the White House) think everyone should cut down on their salt intake. But what if you have a salt deficiency?

The federal food pyramid says everyone should have six or more servings of carbohydrates every day. If I ate that many, I'd be a blimp!

New ADA pool mandates say that all public pools must have two handicap accesses, including an electronic lift that a handicapped person can use without having to ask for help. This applies even to hospital pools used for therapy - where people are incapable of entering a pool without help - and campgrounds, even when their pools and facilities don't have access to electricity.

And then there's education - which is so much a one-size-fits-all that I don't know where to begin.

In all these examples, and others too numerous to list, liberals insist the federal government has to step in to make things even for all, disregarding that the actual results are usually very uneven and certainly less than 'equal.'

In the ongoing dispute over early voting hours in Ohio, Democrats complained that having different hours in different counties would disenfranchise some voters - specifically those they consider their own: minority, low income, urban.

They were angry that some of the county Boards of Elections (all comprised of two Republicans and two Democrats) voted to have different hours than others - and they argued that the Republican-leaning counties were the ones with longer times than the Democrat-leaning ones.

Clearly, despite the equal and bi-partisan nature of the BOEs, this was a GOP effort to suppress the Democrat vote.

Secretary of State Jon Husted warned the BOEs ahead of time that if they ended up with a tie vote on hours of operation for the early voting centers, he would break the tie in favor of regular BOE office hours, saying that he was not going to be responsible for mandating the costs of additional hours and overtime upon counties, especially on those without the fiscal flexibility to pay for it.

Whether coincidence or intention, certain urban areas ended up with tie votes and Husted kept his word.

But Democrats were right about unequal access and Kasich agreed: local control meant voting hours were not uniform across the state.

So Kasich, after consulting with the Ohio Attorney General to ensure he had the authority, issued a directive setting standard early voting hours for all of Ohio.

In Montgomery County, the two Democrat BOE members refused to vote for the mandated hours, arguing that since the directive was silent about any additional hours, they could follow the times set out and add others to it. Consistent with action taken by Democrat Jennifer Brunner when she was Secretary of State, Husted began the process to remove them for failing to follow his directive.

As Husted said, "While they are free to disagree with my decision, they are not free to disobey the law."

You'd think the Dems would be happy that their demands for uniformity were met. However, it wasn't their uniformity, so they continued to complain.

Yes, after demanding uniformity, they're now claiming uniformity is wrong.

Despite a history and record of supporting one-size-fits-all approaches, they're actually staying that setting standard hours for all of Ohio is going to create disparities.

Huh?

During a Wednesday press conference, House Minority Leader Armond Budish said each county has its own specific needs and voter demographics, so uniform hours are unworkable and could lead to delays. Talking of Husted's directive he said:

"He said he's leveling the playing field for voters by requiring all county boards to have the same early vote hours. Sadly, that is just not true. Setting uniform hours treats all county boards the same, but it treats voters unequally and unfairly. Secretary Husted's edicts will result in disparities, bringing back long lines in large urban counties."

Budish said having the same early vote hours for Cuyahoga County with 1.2 million residents and Morgan County with only 15,000 residents didn't make sense.

He may be right, but he and his fellow Dems certainly didn't consider that point when making their earlier demands for uniformity.

Budish said:

"Yet those same two counties each have one polling place open for early in-person voting. Treating election boards equally treats voters unequally and unfairly. And who suffers? It's minorities. It's the working poor. They'll face much longer lines. All voters will face longer lines, especially in those large urban counties. It's those folks whose votes are being suppressed."

I've previously questioned why Democrats think so little of their own supporters (they don't know how to get an ID, they can't feed their children or find housing or jobs without the government, they can't manage to vote either absentee or in-person with over 230 hours to do so and they don't have time to get to the polls on election day despite having 13 hours in which to do so)...I guess Budish shares the same perspective of his fellow Democrats who serve on the BOEs.

First, there is nothing in the directive to say that counties can have only one early voting center, so Budish makes a fallacious argument and starts with an incorrect premise which gives him an incorrect conclusion.

But, for the sake of his argument, even if they have only one early vote location, they would, by necessity, need more voting machines in Cuyahoga than in Morgan. Unless Budish doesn't trust his Democrat BOE members to properly plan the right amount of machines for the voters they expect, there shouldn't be any long lines.

In a statement, ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson said of Husted that "he has rolled back access for Ohio voters, specifically in racially diverse urban areas like Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton."

But in Lucas, Summit, Cuyahog and Franklin counties, the BOEs had tie votes on the voting hours and when Husted broke the ties, he did so in favor of regular office hours. So the directive actually increases early voting hours Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus and Akron.

How can Robinson make such a claim - and how was he not challenged on the fact by the regular media?

So after getting their way on uniform hours, they're now saying that treating everyone equally is unequal.

Sadly, the hypocrisy is lost on them.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rotating seats and crony appointments


The Lucas County Commissioners appointed Bob Vasquez to the board of the Toledo Zoo.

Yes, Toledo Public School Board member Bob Vasquez.

No - there is no pay and no pension associated with the Zoo Board appointment, but it makes you wonder....is there no one else in the entire county?

Interestingly, Vasquez was appointed to seat held by Baldemar Velasquez.

Is this some sort of racial quota? Is this seat now going to be considered an Hispanic seat, necessitating the appointment of another individual with Latino heritage when Vasquez finishes his term?

Considering the dismal and extremely troubling TPS audit; the two posts it took to document the serious shortcomings identified in the audit management letter (here and here); their collusion with vendors to raise our taxes - taxes many of those vendors won't even pay; their inability to accurately follow their revenue and expenses resulting in a surprising $11.22 million carryover; and their delay in embracing a state performance audit, don't you think Vasquez has enough on his plate without assuming the additional duties of a Zoo board member?

Shame on the commissioners for not seeking out other qualified individuals - no matter what they may say, I'm certain there are plenty of people willing to take on this responsibility and perhaps better advertising about the vacancy would have given them a larger pool of applicants so they wouldn't have to rely upon elected officials with such full plates.

UT's green fund solicitation


I can only wonder - if this was a voluntary opt-in for a conservative program, would it be eligible to be sent en masse to the student body? I also wonder how many students are opting in?

From: University of Toledo Announcement
Date: August 21, 2012 11:31:26 PM EDT
To: Undisclosed recipients:;
Subject: Reminder: Don t forget to opt-in to the Student Green Fund!

Hey UT! Hopefully you have been enjoying your first week of classes and first weeks activities. While you’ve been learning about everything there is to do and be involved in on campus, hopefully you have seen a flyer, Facebook post, or heard someone talking about the new Student Green Fund! Are you interested in going green? Did you opt-in to the Student Green Fund? If not, you still can, but time is running out – the deadline is September 3rd! If you're interested in supporting "green" projects on campus, go to your myUT page and opt-in to the Student Green Fund now!


How does it work?
1) UT students "opt-in" to donate their $5 to the fund.
2) Any student or student org can apply to use this funding to create sustainable projects on campus (improved recycling, renewable energy, locally grown organic foods, water conservation, etc.).
3) A committee of students will select which projects they think will best serve the campus.

What can I do?
Want to help get this new eco-friendly initiative off the ground? Simply go to your myUT page, click the Student Green Fund link, and donate your $5. It's that easy! If you’re interested in applying for funding for your project, email us at UTGreenFund@utoledo.edu!

What is the Student Green Fund?
The UT Student Green Fund will serve to finance student proposed and executed projects that promote sustainability, renewable energy, efficiency, waste reduction, and educational initiatives such as conferences, workshops, public classes, and internships. The UT Student Green Fund is a student conceived, student created, and student led program. To put it simply, it is a self-replenishing pool of money collected from students that is used to finance student-backed projects that serve to support the SGF’s mission to make The University of Toledo a greener, more sustainable, and environmentally friendly campus.
Want more information? Click to see our Green Fund FAQ or email us at UTGreenFund@utoledo.edu.

Thank you, and please share this with your friends and classmates! Together we can make a difference on campus!


Best Regards,
Your UT Student Green Fund Committee
Funded by students, run by students!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday Navy Band concert cancelled


From the City of Toledo:

NAVY BAND CONCERT CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER

The Navy Band concert to be play this evening at 7 p.m. at Festival Amphitheater in Promenade Park has been cancelled due to rain showers and standing water.

The concert schedule for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 22 will instead begin at 5 p.m., also to be held at Festival Amphitheater in Promenade Park, on the riverfront near Imagination Station.

The Navy Band will perform throughout Toledo during Navy Week at multiple venues. The highlight of their schedule will be the 1812 Bicentennial Concert to be performed at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 24 at Doermann Theater on the campus of the University of Toledo.

All performances are free and the public is invited to attend.

Toledo Navy Week


In honor of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, Toledo will host Navy Week August 23-26.

One of the most famous battles of the War of 1812 was the Battle of Lake Erie in which Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry engaged and defeated the British near Put-in-Bay. His famous words, "We have met the enemy and they are ours," are known to most people in the area.

To start the celebrations, Toledo will host four naval and Coast Guard ships and a replica of the U.S. Brig Niagara, Comm. Perry's flagship.

HMCS Ville de Quebec

Coast Guard cutter Mobile Bay

USS De Wert

USS Hurricane

U.S. Brig Niagara

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, August 23rd
U.S. and Canadian Naval Ships and Tall Ship Niagara arrive
Navy Band performs at the Toledo Zoo
Evening Colors Ceremony by The Maritime Academy of Toledo (TMAT) at 8:17 p.m. at De Wert PIer
TMAT Drum Corps Concerts Welcome the Ships: 9:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m.

Friday, August 24th
Morning Colors Ceremony by TMAT at 8 a.m. at De Welt Pier
Public Vessel Tours: 12:00-7:00 p.m.
Navy Band performs at the German-American Festival
Yacht Club Boats Sunset Parade
Navy Band performs downtown
Evening Color Ceremony by TMAT at 8:15 p.m. at De Wert Pier

Saturday, August 25th
Morning Colors Ceremony by TMAT at 8 a.m, at De Wert Pier
Navy Band performs at the Toledo Farmers Market downtown
Tall Ship Niagara leaves for day sail
Public Vessel Tours: 12:00-7:00 p.m.
Naval Goodwill Games: International Park
Navy Bands Performs at Monroe County Jam, UT and Maumee Bay State Par
Toledo Mud Hens & Veteran Appreciation Night
Evening Color Ceremony by TMAT at 8:13 p.m. at De Wert Pier

Sunday, August 26th
Morning Colors Ceremony by TMAT at 8 a.m. at De Wert Pier
Public Tours of Niagara: II :00 a.lll.-4:00 p.m.
Tall Ships Concert at Maumee Bay State Park
Public Vessel Tours: 12:00-7:00 p.m.
Air & Water Show: 12:00-7:00 p.m.
Naval Goodwill Games: International Park
Toledo Mud Hens VS. Louisville Bats 6:00 p.m. Veteran Appreciation Night
Evening Colors Ceremony by TMAT at 8:12 p.m. at De Wert Pier

Monday, August 27th
Morning Colors Ceremony by TMAT at 8 a.m. at De Wert Pier
Fleet Departs for Port of Cleveland with Official City Send Off

** De Wert Pier is located just east of The Maritime Academy of Toledo, off Summit and Walnut, next to WTOL Channel 11.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Toledo Mayor Bell restructures staff


Press Release:

Mayor restructures executive staff

Toledo Mayor Michael P. Bell today announced changes to several executive staff positions in the administration.

Deputy Mayor Tom Crothers will move to the Department of Public Utilities to spearhead special projects including the work to study a regional water system, implementation of the SAP computer system upgrade and focusing on customer service.

Paul Syring will serve as acting Deputy Mayor of External Relations and all oversee the departments of inspection and neighborhoods. Mr. Syring has served as General Counsel for the city and has served as the legal counsel for economic development projects for the city. As acting Deputy Mayor he will be compensated at $85,000 annually.

Mr. Syring will be aided by Jill Pershing, who will serve as acting commissioner of economic development. Ms. Pershing has been with the city for 17 years working in development and currently serves as manager, administering and monitoring economic development loans, fa├žade grants and administrative services for the department. She will be compensated at a rate of $70,000 annually in her new role.

“My job as Mayor is to make sure the ship keeps sailing regardless of who fills individual roles,” said Mayor Bell. “I appreciate the work Tom has done on behalf of the city and look forward to his ongoing contribution. I’m glad I can count on Paul and Jill to step up to the plate when they are needed.” He added, “Each of our staff members have unique attributes to contribute to the city and I work to keep monitoring those skills to make the best use of them for our community.”

The staff members will work collaboratively over the course of the week to transition to their new roles and the changes will be in full effect beginning Monday, August 27.

###

SBA List bus tour coming to Ohio



The Susan B. Anthony List’s “Women Speak Out: Abortion is NOT Health Care” Bus Tour is coming to Ohio Wednesday, August 22 through Friday, August 24.

The tour will feature Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave and Jill Stanek.

Jill Stanek, nurse from Illinois, became a national figure for the pro-life cause after witnessing the deaths of babies born alive following an abortion. She is an outspoken supporter of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, legislation that Barack Obama opposed as a State Senator.

They will be joined by representatives of co-sponsoring organizations including Citizens for Community Values Action, Ohio Right to Life PAC and Concerned Women of Ohio.

Here is the schedule for Ohio:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

10:00 AM – Toledo, OH
Park near One Maritime Plaza
1 Maritime Plaza
Toledo, OH 43604

12:30 PM – Lima, OH
Faurot Park
1750 Spencerville Road
Lima, OH 45805

3:00 PM – Dayton, OH
Cooper Park
222 E. 2nd Street
Dayton, OH


Thursday, August 23, 2012

10:00 AM – Cincinnati, OH
Parking Lot next door to Wornick Foods at
4660 Creek Road
Blue Ash, OH 45242

1:00 PM – Columbus, OH
Ohio State Capitol
Veterans Park, 25 South 3rd Street
Columbus, OH 43215

3:00 PM – Zanesville, OH
Putnam Hill Park
150 Pine Street
Zanesville, OH 43701

Friday, August 24, 2012

10:00 AM – Akron, OH
Medina Road Parking Lot across from Bob Evans
4076 Medina Road
Akron, OH 44333

1:00 PM – Steubenville, OH
Green Space Across from Public Library (430 S. 4th Street)

2:45 PM – Wheeling, WV
Greater Wheeling Trail Waterfront Plaza
1200 Water Street
Wheeling, WV 26003



Saturday, August 18, 2012

Citizen Watchdog Training - Cincinnati


I'm in Cincinnati today to participate in a Citizen Watchdog Training session. As of today, the Franklin Center has trained over 2,000 citizens across the country to help them hold their elected officials accountable.

We had great groups in Toledo and Cleveland for a mini-training session and it is so encouraging to see how enthusiastic people are for being more involved and making sure that elected officials are handling their duties, responsibilities and our tax dollars properly.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Liberal fact-checker crushes PolitiFact Ohio's credibility


People in Ohio like to refer to PolitiFact as an unbiased source of evaluation on various political items like ads, statements and claims. It turns out, though, that an examination of the biases of the reporters rightly brings into question their so-called evaluation. Check out "Liberal Fact Checker Crushes PolitiFact Ohio's Credibility" from MediaTrackers Ohio.

 And when you're done, be sure to read Ohio Watchdog's Politifact or fiction series."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

TPS facts and figures you need to know



In the 2006-07 school year, the Toledo Public School system spent $11,320 per pupil. In the 2010-11 school year, their spending had increased to $13,859 per pupil.

Interestingly, their income per pupil in 2006-07 was $12,096. Clearly enough to cover what they were spending.

However, by 2010-11, their revenue per pupil was only $12,551, a 4% increase over the 2006-07 school year but definitely more than what they were spending - $1,308 or roughly 10% more.


Now, it's true that a lot of factors influence how much a school system has to spend - and some of the spending is a result of mandates that a district has no control over.

But when a district is spending more than it's taking in, the solution is NOT to just tell the public they need more money. They first have to reduce their spending so that it's in line with their income. And, since they're a school system and their first priority is educating the children, they should start with reduction of administrative salaries and overhead.

Identifying where spending can be cut - or where savings might be found - must be done by an outside, objective entity. This is why I've pushed for a performance audit and I'm glad the TPS board is moving in that direction.

I just don't expect the administration to act contrary to their own best interests and recommend reductions in their salaries, even though that would be in the best interest of the students - and the taxpayers.

And, so far, I'm not encouraged by what I'm hearing from some school board members who think TPS deserves a cushion - more money than they actually need now - simply because they expect their spending to continually rise and they don't want to have to 'keep cutting.'

I also don't think a school system that has such a terrible report card deserves to be rewarded with additional funds. They met just five of the 26 indicators for the 2010-11 school year. When I went to Woodward High School, that was a 19% - definitely a failing grade, even on a curve.

TPS did not meet the state standard in any category in the third- through eighth-grade achievement tests. In fact, in many instances, the scores have decreased from the 2008-09 test year.

They're just barely making the state standard in reading and writing for the Ohio Graduation Test given to 11th graders. They don't reach the state standard in math, science or social studies.

When it comes to Adequate Yearly Progress, they're not meeting proficiency in reading or math, though they meet their participation requirement. Yippee! - kids are participating, but they're not gaining proficiency, so what difference does it make if they're just 'present'?

And then there is Pickett Elementary - a school that has been in academic emergency for 12 years. Let me repeat that - 12 years! They met zero - zilch - nada - of the 26 indicators.

Their fifth graders, since the 2008-09 school years, have actually decreased their scores in reading, math and science. And this is in spite of the fact that 97% of the classes are taught by properly certified teachers, nearly half of them with master's degrees.

Administrative personnel in the district earn between $50,673 and $75,490 depending on which of the 11 classes and four levels they fall in. Yes, there are 11 classes of administrative personnel and each class has four different levels of potential pay.

Teachers have 31 steps. Each step has six levels based upon degrees and time. The salaries range from $34,960 to $70,055.

According to an NPR StateImpact Ohio study, the average teacher salary at TPS in 2005 was $49,862 per year. By 2010, it was $55,780.

According to City Data, the median household income in 2000 was $32,546. By 2009, it had dropped slightly to $32,325.

Note household income - not individual income - and that also includes all of the city of Toledo, not just the TPS district.

The Census Bureau reports that the median household income from 2006 - 2010 was $34,260.

There's a lot to be said for paying certain professions more than others, but it's also fair to ask if average teacher salaries that are $23,455 more than the median household are appropriate - or affordable. Can Toledoans, the majority of whom are poor and middle class, continue to afford to pay teachers 72% more than they, themselves, make?

The Census also shows an 8.4% decrease in population - from 313,619 in 2000 to 287,208 in 2010, a loss of 26,411 people. So even less people are paying into the system, and with spending continuing to increase, it means more of a burden on those left.

And let's not forget that they just 'found' and 'unexpected' $8.2 million in additional carryover, resulting in a surplus of $11.22 million going into the 2012-13 school year.

This is a sampling of the facts and figures you need to know as you considering your vote on a 10-year additional 4.9 mill levy. This will be an addition to the 64.39 mills they already collect.

Remember 1 mill on a house valued at $100,000 is about $30.60, so the 64.39 mills to TPS equals more than $1,970 - and they want another $150!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Husted orders standard hours for early voting


Directive issued by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted ordering standard state-wide hours for in-person early voting:

DIRECTIVE 2012-35
August 15, 2012


To: All County Boards of Elections
Directors, Deputy Directors, and Board Members

Re: In Person Absentee Voting Days and Hours

BACKGROUND

Local election administration in Ohio is governed by four-member, bipartisan bodies: the 88 county boards of elections. This contrasts with most other states, where local elections administration is governed by one person (often an elected partisan, but sometimes an appointee) or an odd-numbered board controlled by one party or the other.

Ohio’s bipartisan county boards of elections act by majority vote to establish local rules and procedures not inconsistent with state law. When a board of elections deadlocks on a matter, such as hours of operation, the tie is submitted to the Secretary of State who must resolve the matter as a function of state law. Under state law, voters may apply in person to vote an absentee ballot during these locally established hours of operation beginning the 35th day before the election and ending at 6:00 p.m. the Friday before the election.

Having local boards of elections establish voting hours ensures a level of local control that is reflective of local resources. However, it also creates a patchwork of policies from one county to the next.

For this reason, in 2011, I urged the Ohio General Assembly to create uniform days and hours for in person absentee voting across the state. The result was House Bill 194, which was suspended by referendum and later repealed by the General Assembly.

Absent a statutory mandate for uniformity, I urged boards of elections to find local compromise on days and hours during my summer regional elections conferences. However, four tie votes have since come to my office on this matter. In each, I have resolved the controversy by setting voting hours to the Board’s existing office hours to avoid having a state actor establish voting hours differently in different counties, as was done in 2008.

However, after talking with elections officials across the state, I have decided to level the playing field on voting days and hours during the absentee voting period in order to ensure that the Presidential Election in Ohio will be uniform, accessible for all, fair, and secure.

INSTRUCTIONS

I hereby direct all county boards of elections to adopt the following as their regular business hours:

• 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, from October 2, 2012 through October 5, 2012;
• 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 9, 2012;
• 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, from October 10, 2012 through October 12, 2012;
• 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, from October 15, 2012 through October 19, 2012;
• 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, from October 22, 2012 through October 26, 2012;
• 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, October 29, 2012 through November 1, 2012; and
• 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday, November 2, 2012.

Any voter of the county may request and vote an absent voter’s ballot (or a provisional ballot beginning October 10, 2012) in person during these regular business hours. Any voter in line at the end of the regular business hours must be permitted to make their application and vote.

All boards of elections must be closed on Monday, October 8, 2012 in observance of a state holiday.

If you have any questions concerning this Directive, contact the Secretary of State’s elections attorney assigned to your county at (614) 466-2585.

Toledo City Council Meeting - Aug. 14, 2012


Notes from Sherry:

Toledo City Council Meeting
August 14, 2012


In attendance: Councilmen Ludeman, McNamara, Sarantou, Collins, Martinez, Copeland, Waniewski, Riley, Craig, Steel, Councilwomen Webb, Hicks-Hudson, Deputy Mayor Herwat.

Item 407 – Appointments – Youth Commission – confirmed – all voting yes.

Item 411 – Resolution – Recognize Greg Holewinski on retirement from Friendship Park Community Center – adopted – all voting yes.

Item 429 – Accept COPS Hiring Program grant for Police, 15 officers, 3 of 4 years, military service, $1,875,000 – passed – all voting yes.

Item 422 – Appropriation for water and sewer lines for Standart Lofts, $156,996 Water & Sewer 2% Funds – passed – all voting yes. Ludeman – good discussion on this – thanks to all concerned. Martinez – echoes what Ludeman says.

Item 382 – Various adjustments to 2012 Operating Budget All Funds

* Herwat – amended – removes Lucas County Jail and City Council Allocations – change (mentions various numbers and accounts).
* Waniewski - $251,000 to GF from CIP – wants to know if it is (his cuts) taken care of in the Administration's amendment.
* Herwat – yes.
* Waniewski – presents his amendment (cuts not obviously in there) $189,000 from Human Resources Modernization – this year's Police Class cut out, along with Youth Program.
* Greycheck (city staff member) – if $88,000 is taken out, we will not have a police class or hires.
* Waniewski – trying to reduce transfer from to CIP.
* Steel – this amendment takes out $189,000 out of budget, leaving $89,000.
* Greycheck - $10,000 more taken out. Anything taken out will impede the class.
* Steel – we weren't told that.
* Greycheck – lost manager in the Fire Department.
* Steel – when was the last class?
* Greycheck – two years ago.
* Chief Santiago – EMS support partially with the County and Owens College.
* Collins – very concerned at accepting 1.9 mil grant – we can't hire in January – need new list – tied up in Federal Court - $500,000 for his end of the bargain (whose?) - not enough Police Officers – test in June – have the tools through this Administration, to not end up in Federal Court – to not have a Police class is determental to this community – we cannot afford this – no list – 40 people should be hitting the streets.
* Ludeman – agrees with Collins – heard the dialog – plenty of time to disagree with the amendment – conflict able – moving ahead.
* Sarantou – can you give us a ball park figure (to Chief)? Chief Santiago – Can't say.
* Sarantou – this spent some time in Human Resources – pay a heavy price – shouldn't cut the budgets – end up in Federal Court.
* Greycheck – we work under those decrees – nearly a quarter of the staff eligible to retire – we need to plan. Copeland – I'm surprised with the money – do my colleges watch the news - we debate about safety issues – put criminals in jail (references the two young children at Moody Manor) – let the Police do their job.
* Hicks-Hudson – break down of this department - such a lag time – I applaud her and her staff's efforts – I thought Committee Meetings were for discussion of these things – slow down the safety force.
* Herwat – what would it take to get the classes done?
* Greycheck – plenty of money.
* Steel – every dime for Police Class – most concieve I heard this.
* Waniewski – don't want to see two different budgets.

Vote on Waniewski amendment – yes, agree – no, you don't agree. Waniewski – yes, rest no. Motion failed.

Should vote on Administration's amendment? No – Steel, Sarantou, Waniewski, Martinez. Yes – Webb, Craig, Collins, Copeland, Hicks-Hudson, Riley, Ludeman, McNamara.

Vote – passed. Steel, Waniewski, Martinez – no. Riley, Craig, Ludeman, McNamara, Sarantou, Hicks-Hudson, Collins, Copeland, Webb – yes.

Item 404 – SUP for auto salvage operation at 4011 South Ave. - passed – Riley – no, rest yes.

Item 408 – Resolution – Accept petition for ESID for Port Authority, Maritime Plaza & 3 garages, $2, 301,000, 13 years – adopted – all; voting yes.

Item 409 – Determining to proceed with ESID for Port Authority, Maritime Plaza & 3 garages, $2,301,000, 13 years – passed – all voting yes.

Item 410 – Levying assessments for ESID for Port Authority, Maritime Plaza & 3 garages, $2,301,000, 13 years – passed – all voting yes.

Item 412 – Resolution - Support and encourage City to become a member of Strive Cradle to Career Network – Webb – wants United Way to tell her perspective – same practices in Cincinnati and other big Cities. United Way Rep. - this will take care of kids from cradle to work force – help achieve goals. Webb – real move for these efforts. Passed – all voting yes. (Did not like the sound of this. SZ)

Item 413 – Amend HUD Section 108 Loan Program Policy to include downtown and industrial sites – Martinez – supports this for future projects. Copeland – future projects? Martinez – open this up for job creation – Lieniencey in projects. Webb – does this pertain to the Towers on the Maumee? Martinez – that would not fall into this – this is made from HUD and the Port Authority – need to occupy buildings to get facts going. Passed – all voting yes.

Item 414 – Renew agreement with Pharmacy Data management for pharmacy benefit management services – passed – all voting yes.

Item 415 – Amend TMC 1905.04, taxation of gambling & other winnings earned within the city by non-residents – passed – all voting yes. Sarantou – H.B. 386 passed in June – City to collect taxes from winnings – 84% of the winners are non-residents.

Item 416 – Re-issue Notes – 2012 and before Sidewalk Programs, $795,000 – passed – all voting yes.

Item 417 - Re-issue Notes – 2005 SB&H vehicles and equipment, $430,000 – passed – all voting yes.

Item 418 - Re-issue Notes – 2005 Parks vehicles and equipment, $90,000 – passed – all voting yes.

Item 419 - Re-issue Notes – 2011 CIP Program, $3,135,000 – passed – all voting yes.

Item 420 – Issue notes – Energy conversation at various City buildings, $655,000 – passed – all voting yes.

Item 421 – Accept Hazardous Materials Response Vehicle from Lucas County EMA for Fire & Rescue Operations – passed – all voting yes.

Item 423 – Sale of NSP model home at 808 & 810 Dryden Dr. - passed – all voting yes.

Item 424 - Sale of NSP model home at 204 Richards – passed – all voting yes.

Item 425 - Sale of NSP model home at 4126 Ruskin Dr. - passed – all voting yes.

Item 426 - Sale of NSP model home at 3523 Whitegate – passed – all voting yes.

Item 427 – Appropriation for regional water feasibility study with Lucas County and TMACOG, $50,000 Water Operations – passed – all voting yes.

Item 428 – Appropriation for Silver Creek Imps, Detroit & Alexis, $1,010,000 Storm Water & $200,000 OPWC grant – passed – all voting yes.

Item 430 – Vacate alley bounded by Page, Peck, Walnut & Cherry (Approved 6 – 0) – passed – all voting yes.

Last Call:

Steel – Ayre Kynard – Silver Medal in London – congratulations – Parade 10:30 AM on Saturday.

Waniewski – Post Flag at Secor/Kenwood – ragged – needs to be looked at.

Collins – Ayre Kynard – Silver Medal in London – congratulations – to Moody Manor – not acceptable – responsible party to supply information – bring individuals to justice.

Copeland – Reiterates what Mr. Collins says about Moody Manor – keep family in your prayers – doesn't understand it – hope it doesn't happen anywhere else.

Hicks-Hudson – Saturday 10 AM – 2 PM, District 4 Dump Day at Cherry/Bancroft – speed limit on Dorr St – meetings with Chief Diggs – (talks about Moody Manor) we provide lip service – keep them safe - Greenbelt Parkway too – maintain facilities – strengthen the residents (prayers) – anyone with ideas to come forth – some of this separation of Church and State issues.

Ludeman – next Tuesday at 4 PM, dedicate Bay View Park – youngest Granddaughter to be baptized this weekend - 37th Anniversary next week.

Martinez – this week is the Birmingham Festival.

Riley - Ayre Kynard – Silver Medal in London – congratulations – City to do a better job of protecting people in Public Housing.

Herwat – emails from Jen Sorgenfrei about Ayre Kynard – Silver Medal in London – congratulations - Parade 10:30 AM on Saturday.

McNamara – Toledo Pledge – gambling addiction – United Way stands on this issue - (proceeds to give signs).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Give Stainbrook enough rope....


It was only a matter of time.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has placed the Lucas County Board of Elections under administrative oversight. But it's much more than that.

The BOE has been under administrative oversight in the past and I believe some (though certainly not all) of that was purely political, having more to do with internal party politics than actual running of the board.

Under the urging of The Blade, two good Republican members were chased off the board. Patrick Kriner and Lynn Olman had done phenomenal work in straightening out the BOE and putting it back on the path of running elections - not worrying about partisan politics.

They were aided in their efforts by the Democrat board members, Rita Brown and Gary Johnson - and then Ron Rothenbuler, who also focused on their responsibilities to run the elections.

But Jon Stainbrook ended up the chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party and made it part of his mission to get the BOE job for himself and his cronies - many of whom had been promised jobs at the BOE for supporting him, if rumors can be believed.

He worked within the rules - for the most part - in getting his executive committee to appoint him to both seats - but not before having 'deemed' Kriner and Olman to have resigned. He also claimed one seat was not properly filled and actually filed suit to have Kriner removed. The Executive Committee voted to Stainbrook in that seat.

Then Olman's term expired and Stainbrook had his executive committee appoint him to that seat as well.

Talk about confusing...and whatever happened to that lawsuit anyway?

He finally managed to actually gain the BOE seat, but it was only a matter of time before things started to unravel. Unable to work with Stainbrook and unwilling to take his abuse, Democrats appointed to the BOE resigned.

Recent Stainbrook appointees to staff positions, including Megan Gallagher, were quickly advanced to supervisory positions and then Gallagher ended up director, despite having no experience whatsoever in either the BOE or in any supervisory position.

The failure of the board to perform such basic tasks, like create an organizational chart, was a clear testament to the incompetence of the people Stainbrook wanted in control.

And for his own part, other than being able to turn out people (either for phone banks or at the central committee meetings to get his way), Stainbrook has no experience in managing or running anything.

He failed in his responsibility as chairman of the party to properly file the paperwork to put Jan Scotland on the ballot.

He failed in his responsibility as chairman of the party to properly file the party's campaign finance reports.

He has failed in his responsibility as chairman of the party to train and recruit qualified candidates.

He has failed in his responsibility to raise money to support those candidates (though he somehow finds party money to pay for his own personal campaign for the state central committee).

He has failed in his responsibility to advance the limited-government, lower-taxation principles of the Republican Party, supporting measures that expand government and endorsing tax increases.

He has failed to grow the party, resulting in fragmented groups going out on their own, often in contradiction to what he wants, in order to engage Republicans and support Republican principles.

He has failed at even keeping the party's web page current.

You can search on his name for my blog posts on all of these failures - they're too numerous to link to here, which is an indication of just how bad things have been.

Considering all these failures, I'm not surprised at his failure on the BOE, though I am surprised that it took Husted this long to act. Perhaps it was just a matter of giving Stainbrook enough rope with which to hang himself.

The sad part isn't that all of this was predictable. Nothing in Stainbrook's past performance indicates that he was ever going to be able to be a good board member intent on performing a reliable election process.

The worst part isn't even the devastation his actions have had on good people along the way - though that's clearly bad enough.

No, the worst part is that the integrity of the voting system in Lucas County is at risk.

The BOE hasn't hired an IT manager. I was told the other day when I was in the office that because no one had been hired, the staff hadn't been able to post the campaign finance reports from January on the BOE website. Being able to access those filings is part of what allows citizens to hold their elected officials accountable. That clearly wasn't - and still isn't - a priority, though bickering about who said what to whom still is.

At least Husted is assigning someone to handle the IT responsibilities, which include preparing all the voting machines for use. Of all things, this should have been top priority for the board, but they're too busy bickering over nonsense - which is what Stainbrook has always done.

So while everyone has been waiting for Stainbrook to put that rope around his neck and tighten the noose, voters in Lucas County are suffering and what was a smoothly-operating office (despite what you might have read in the local daily who distorted every issue in order to make the case that Stainbrook was "needed" on the BOE and the other members had to go) is now chaos with early voting beginning in less than 60 days.

Sometimes, the only thing you can do is to give enough rope. It's just too bad that so many have to suffer in order for the majority (and The Blade) to find out just how bad Stainbrook's tenure as chairman and on the BOE really is.

Quotes of the Day - capital and self-interest


"The uniform, constant, and uninterrupted effort of every man to better his condition ... is frequently powerful enough to maintain the natural progress of things toward improvement, in spite of the extravagance of government, and of the greatest errors of administration." ~ Adam Smith


"Capital will always go where it’s welcome and stay where it’s well treated. Capital is not just money. It’s also talent and ideas. They, too, will go where they’re welcome and stay where they are well treated." ~ Walter Wriston

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Quote of the Day - Paul Ryan's electibility


"First, if Ryan is an extremist and his proposals are so unpopular, how has he won election seven times in a Democratic district? His lowest share of the vote was 57 percent — in his first race. He routinely wins over two-thirds of the vote. When Obama swept the nation in 2008, he carried Ryan’s district by four points. But at the same time, Ryan won reelection with 65 percent of the vote, meaning that a fifth of Obama voters also voted for him." ~ John Fund writing in National Review

Read the entire article as it details six reasons Democrats should be worried.

And don't you relish a Ryan-Biden debate?

The difference between government and 'the people'


I like this quote, as it indicates a clear difference between government and 'the people.'

"Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer." ~ Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

Liberals often point to things that society does and - incorrectly - assume that because it exists in society, government should also do it. Additionally, they - wrongly - justify government acting simply because society has.

Society, culture, religion, etc... all teach us that it is proper, right, moral and desirable to help others in need. But because we can and should do so individually does not mean that government can and should do so as well.

In fact, as Paine indicates, it is a "calamity" when government does these things against our wishes using our own money to do so.

The same is true for infringements. We may expect individuals in society to infringe upon us, but government is supposed to protect our individual rights. Rather than protecting our rights, government, at all levels, seeks to take more from us under the guise of it being 'in our best interests' or for the 'greater good.' But that deliberately overlooks the fact that the greater good is necessarily served by all individuals doing what is in their individual good. And it is nothing but extreme arrogance for anyone in government to think they know what's best for us individually much less what's best for every single person either individually or collectively.

Sadly, too many people look to government as the solution, even when it means suffering its miseries.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan and the Perseids


I'm doing the happy dance over the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate. He's a fiscal hawk, a Constitutionalist, a good communicator, not afraid to take on the opposition, and personable.

And some think he's sexy - which never hurts.

And what, you might be wondering, does this have to do with the Perseid Meteor Showers?

Well, as SpaceWeather.com reports:

Earth is entering a stream of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Worldwide observers are now reporting more than 30 Perseids per hour, a number that could triple during the weekend when Earth reaches the heart of the debris zone. Forecasters recommend looking during the dark hours before dawn, especially Sunday morning, August 12th, when activity is expected to be highest. Visit http://spaceweather.com for sky maps, observing tips, and links to a live meteor radar.

Even the heavens are celebrating at his selection.



Not really, but it was a good excuse to put the two events together. :)

Thursday, August 09, 2012

New online change of address tool for Ohio voters


Press Release from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted:

Secretary of State Husted Launches New Online Change of Address Tool for Ohio Voters

New service will make it easier for voters to meet their responsibilities, while enhancing the overall accuracy and security of Ohio’s voter rolls.

Columbus –Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today launched a new online service that allows Ohio’s registered voters to update their voting address online. This new tool, housed at www.MyOhioVote.com, will help voters in meeting their primary responsibility: To be registered at their current addresses 30 days prior to an election. Additionally, reducing manual data entry at Ohio’s boards of elections will save tax dollars and improve the accuracy and security of Ohio’s voter rolls.

“We are making it easier for Ohio voters to do their part in making Election Day run smoothly,” Secretary Husted said. “This added convenience for voters is also a powerful tool against voter fraud as current and accurate voter rolls leave less room for abuse.”

The most common reason a voter must cast a provisional rather than a regular ballot on Election Day is because they have not updated their address prior to the voter registration deadline. Provisional voters’ ballots must be verified for eligibility in the days following an election before they can be included in the official tally. Secretary Husted noted that had this system been in place during the 2008 Presidential Election, an estimated 130,000 voters who cast a provisional ballot could have taken advantage of this convenience and voted a regular ballot.

“With more voters expected to participate in the Presidential Election, it follows that there will be more provisional ballots. My hope is that more Ohioans will take advantage of the new Online Change of Address System so they can vote a regular ballot,” Husted said. “This is another positive step in making Ohio elections run better.”

All Ohioans of voting age will be able to use the site; however, in order to update an address online, the individual must already be a registered voter and must provide four identification keys that exactly match what’s in Ohio’s Statewide Voter Registration Database, including: their last name, Ohio driver’s license number, the last four digits of their Social Security number and their date of birth. If a voter does not meet these requirements, they will be able to print and complete a voter registration/change of address form to mail it in to their county board of elections office.

To ensure as many voters as possible are able to update their information online, the Secretary of State’s office is working with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to share data. Every month the BMV provides identification information to complete voter records. Currently, more than 6 million of Ohio’s registered voters will be able to change their address online.

Upon completing the online process, the voter’s county board of elections will send out a notice to confirm the change in address and provide the voter with their new polling place and precinct information for Election Day.

Voters who get their address updated between now and the first week of October will also be in line to receive an application to vote by mail for the November Presidential Election -- an initiative Secretary of State Husted is sponsoring to ensure voters statewide have equal opportunity to participate, whether they choose to vote early, by mail or on Election Day.

“This November all eyes will be on Ohio, and we voters have important decisions to make. As chief elections officer, I want to ensure Ohio’s voting process is accessible, accurate and secure so that we can all have confidence in the results,” Husted said.

For more information, or to access the new Online Change of Address System, go to MyOhioVote.com.

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Dr. Scott Scarborough recommended as UT provost


A letter from Dr. Lloyd Jacobs recommending Dr. Scott Scarborough as UT provost and executive vice president for academic affairs:


A truism across higher education is that one of the most important positions in a university is that of the chief academic officer. Today, it is my distinct pleasure to announce that I will recommend that Dr. Scott Scarborough be appointed by our Board of Trustees to serve in the critical position of provost and executive vice president for academic affairs for The University of Toledo.

Scott has served most recently as the senior vice president and executive director of our University of Toledo Medical Center, yet he has spent a significant majority of his career in higher education as a teacher and administrator. He has developed a rich spectrum of experiences and demonstrated a track record of student centeredness.

As senior vice president of finance and strategy at UT, Scott gained an intimate understanding of our operations, academic programs and culture. I believe he will not only bring this knowledge to bear, but also his passion, dedication, expertise and versatility; leadership traits which he has demonstrated most effectively during his short, yet highly successful, time leading UTMC. Layer upon this his successful experience at DePaul University, the University of Texas at Tyler, and with the University of Texas System, and you find a tremendous candidate with much to offer as provost.

Over the course of our search, Scott met with many constituent groups, whose feedback proved critical to his selection. He received consistent accolades for his commitment to putting students first and focusing on providing a UT experience inside and outside the classroom. It is this philosophy that I believe will be a hallmark of tenure as our chief academic officer.

In the coming days we will work to negotiate the details of the appointment with Dr. Scarborough, which will then be presented to our board for its consideration. It is my hope to have him formally in place by the end of the month, pending board approval.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Scott Scarborough on his selection for the critical role of provost.

Sincerely,
Lloyd A. Jacobs, M.D.
President

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Indictments for cheating at Toledo's Hollywood Casino


Press Release:

11 Defendants Indicted for Cheating at Toledo's New Hollywood Casino

(TOLEDO, Ohio)—Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates, along with the Ohio Casino Control Commission and the Ohio Attorney General's Office today announce the indictments of 11 defendants charged with cheating at the Hollywood Casino in Toledo.

A group of six individuals running an organized roulette scam was charged with a total of 29 felony counts for conspiring to cheat at the casino's roulette table over a course of two days from May 31 – June 1, 2012. The defendants are: Louis Enrrique Abad, 31, of Patterson, New Jersey, Jose M. Beato, 33, of New York, New York, Alexander R. Mootoo, 31, of Bronx, New York, Victor J. Rosado, 34, address unknown, Katiuska Paulino-Manzuceta, 36, of Passiac, New Jersey, and Johanny Paulino-Herrera, 23, of Brewster, New York. Ohio Casino Control Gaming Agents arrested the suspects following extensive surveillance.

In a separate case from June 24 – June 25, 2012, casino dealer Cordero Young, 23, of Southfield, Michigan, and Toyree Hawthorne, 26 of Detroit, Michigan were charged with cheating after Young was found to be placing fraudulent wagers for Hawthorne at a craps table where Young was working.

In three additional and separate cases involving cheating at table games the following have been charged: David Mason, 34, of Indianapolis, Indiana, Sarhad Hana Matti, 35, of Warren, Michigan and Kyle Snow, 36, of Oregon, Ohio.

"We have consistently warned the would-be cheaters that our BCI gaming agents, working under the Casino Control Commission, were all highly trained to spot casino crooks," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. "These indictments show that cheaters should think twice before coming into the Toledo casino to cheat."

"The integrity of casino gaming is critical to the State of Ohio; with these indictments, the Ohio Casino Control Commission is sending a strong message that cheating or stealing from a casino violates Ohio law. Stealing from a casino is the same as stealing from the State of Ohio and will not be tolerated," said Karen Huey, Director of Enforcement for the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

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