Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thurber's fleeting thoughts on a sunny morning

* Lucas County Commissioners have tabled the plan put forward by Pete Gerken to change Lucas County's form of government to a charter council. Under his proposal, we would have voted in November for members of a committee to study and then present a county charter. Gerken explained that there wasn't enough interest among the citizens to run for the 15 positions, reflecting the general lack of interest fellow commissioner Ben Konop found for his proposal to adopt Cuyahoga's charter language.

So while the Democrats have abandoned their support for The Blade's latest fad, Republican Party Chairman Jon Stainbrook is still 'on the streets' trying to gather the signatures Konop couldn't in order to move the agenda of The Blade forward.

Now, I could go so many places with this:

- Did Gerken present a competing idea specifically to derail Konop's? Did he privately discourage people from expressing an interest in his 'committee plan' in order to demonstrate a complete lack of interest from the community? Knowing Pete, that is very likely.

- Why is the Republican Party pushing so hard to carry out the wishes of the local paper and its publisher? We all know it's because of the close, personal relationship Stainbrook has with John Robinson Block. But are Republicans as interested in the idea as his supporters are? And have his supporters who are going door-to-door actually evaluated the plan or looked at the pros and cons? Or did they just 'believe' what Stainbrook was telling them?

- Is this 'three strikes and you're out' for The Blade? They failed to garner support for their push to keep the old United Way Building. They failed to garner support for their push to prevent the YMCA from selling/closing the South Toledo Y. Now they have failed to garner support for their county charter form of government. And they just raised the price of their daily paper to $1.00. What's next?

- Stainbrook's petitions are due tomorrow and he needs over 14,000 valid signatures. If he doesn't get them, will his self-promoted 'reputation' for being able to put 'boots on the ground' be diminished? I mean, in other people's minds - not his own....

* Toledo Public Schools has a new superintendent, Jerome Pecko, and I wish him all the luck in the world. I want to have a good public school system in Toledo - I just disagree with the methods our current board is employing to achieve that goal. But I believe he may have gotten off on the wrong foot. TPS is facing a huge deficit and will be putting a 7.8 mill levy on the ballot for November, after a stinging defeat of their income tax plan in May.

Pecko also said something a bit disturbing (clip being played on WSPD). He said that if students are leaving TPS because they're afraid of a diverse student population, then their parents are doing them a disservice. Now, he didn't say that was happening, but 'if.' However, 'if' that is what he thinks the problem is, he is going to work to address an issue that isn't the cause of students leaving the schools. And 'if' he is merely reflecting the impressions or thoughts of the TPS board, then it's no wonder the school system has such a terrible reputation for actual performance.

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