Friday, August 31, 2007

Disregard for rules and procedures

Well, it's official. Toledo city council members did not follow the proper procedures in naming a new president of city council. (Story on the legal ruling is available from The Blade and background on the issue is available here and here.)

You see, there's actually a need to have a vacancy in the office of president of council before members can select someone new to fill the position. Which seems to make sense - you can't 'fill' a vacancy if none exists. And, according to the city charter and the law director, you have to remove the sitting president in order to create a vacancy.

But that little procedure was obviously too complicated for the partisan efforts to put a Democrat into the position, especially after the Democrat State Party Chairman came to town to lay down the law to "either elect a Democratic council president or stop bickering."

And to make things even more ridiculous, they didn't bother to swear in the new president prior to him accepting the gavel. If this is the type of leadership we can expect from the new 'working majority,' please go back to being divided before you do more harm.

However, I'm not surprised. My experience in office often showed that Democrats were fond of the idea that rules and procedures are things to be ignored or disregarded in the effort to 'accomplish good for the citizens.' Too often, the concept of the 'ends justifying the means' was paramount and anyone who raised procedural issues was an obstructionist.

As it stands today, it appears that Rob Ludeman is still the president and that council has some motions to make if they really want to have a new one. The question now is this: will the new "working majority" be able to keep their alliance together in order to cast 7 votes to remove Ludeman?

As this is Toledo - who knows?


Tim Higgins said...


One has to wonder whether this invalidates any action taken by council (assuming that they have actually done something) since the change. You are right on top of this situation and its rush to meet the demands of the state party.

-Sepp said...

Maggie, think of how awkward that next council meeting will be!!! Ahhhh-haaa-haaa-haaa! Will Rob be able to NOT laugh when he sits in the president's seat at the next meeting?

Maggie Thurber said...

tim - I don't know if any votes subsequent to the 'improper' naming of president are invalidated because of a different person in the president's seat. But that's a legal question for the law director to address. Even if such votes would be invalidated, they can easily be corrected by holding another vote - but talk about embarrassing ... that would be so much more embarrassing than having a dem. majority with a rep. president...

And -sepp, I think Rob will handle himself with grace and class - in public. I'm sure that he's already had his laugh at their expense. In fact, I'm wondering if he knew the proper process and just let them go ahead and make fools of themselves...

Tami - Custom Training Solutions said...

I see today that in typical backdoor style a select few have "sworn in" Michael Ashford in a private ceremony Friday.

Let's look at this from a logical perspective and answer a few questions.

Does making Michael Ashford benefit the community? No, supposedly this will help gel together the council...but truly that has to come from within the major division A versus B team democrats. Who sits as president of council should have no bearing on that.

Does this benefit council? No, this has just produced a circus like atmosphere in council and in the media as the A & B team try to scurry and respond to being taken to the woodshed by state party leadership. If they had any true leadership skills they would have done what is right and followed procedure. There is no sound logical reason that I can think of to remove Mr. Ludeman as president. In my family’s dealings with him we have found him to be responsive in a timely manner and to be well educated in various city happenings. I cannot think of any performance-based reasons for his removal.

Does this benefit the city of Toledo? Again, no. Once again it portrays the government officials of our city as proverbial "Chickens with their heads cut off" running around without any purpose or vision. As media sources and blogs continue to cover this story it just adds to the downward spiral the city's image is experiencing. the right thing. Let Mr. Ludeman complete his term and elect yourself a new president at the prescribed time.

Maggie Thurber said...

Tami - welcome to my blog - and thanks for posting such a well-thought-out comment.

You make some very good points!

Chad said...

Indeed...they just seem to loose it more every day down there. Under the Big Top..they are crazy, behaving like 2 year olds and hiding behind the "Party" line. All this lunacy is doing is making it that much easier for the other tems to sell their candidates. If for no other reason than to get these hacks out of office.

I think much like in the Carty re-run..anything is better than this tiresome fool(s).

Maybe the local Repuublicans aren't so daft after all, let em hang themselves and sweep the floor. :-)

Hooda Thunkit said...

Something strange just happened.

While reading this post and the comments, I caught a whiff of popcorn, cotton candy and corn dogs in the air.

And, if I'm not misteaken, I could have sworn I heard a calliope playing off in the distance too.

City Council MUST be in session. . .

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