Tuesday, September 18, 2007

White Paper: Fixing Toledo

After 2 years of campaigning, some of the issues facing Toledo have become very clear and the resistance to deal with the issues by elected officials is often driven by a concern they may lose the backing of the unions and city employees. The last election highlighted the reality of this as the electorate did not vote. Those elected won by connections in the political and union arena, not by issues, so to survive as an elected official, there is logic in appeasing the political party and unions. However, this is not to the benefit of Toledoans and we need elected officials to work for the good of the city not the good of the unions. Though my venture into Toledo politics is over, my concerns are not.

We need a good school system but we don’t have one. The city can do everything right to grow economically, but it will not until the school system or alternative schools offer our children a good education. Middle-income families are fleeing Toledo to the suburbs to escape the ineffective public school system. The chokehold TFT (Toledo Federation of Teachers) has on the system inhibits creative, flexible and innovative programs.

We have more than enough revenue in the general budget, we just plain blew it when we negotiated the city labor contracts and gave away the bank. Residents of Toledo do not need to pay more taxes; we need to realign the employee compensation to reflect the market.

It is time to stop manipulating business opportunities to further political agendas. It does not take long for interested businesses to feel threatened and chose the suburbs to bypass Toledo politics.

The following is a list of recommendations offered for consideration by elected officials and residents of Toledo. Our community would be in a much better position if we approached the business of the City of Toledo as a business. The residents are the customers of City Government and we are not treated very well.

Embrace charter schools and the voucher program, it is offering a much-needed alternative to a failing public school system and can be instrumental in retaining and recruiting families to Toledo. They also provide a buffer to the threat of teacher strikes. Criticizing charter schools because they are “for profit” is invalid as they must perform and meet the expectations of student’s parents or they will not stay in business.

TPS needs to earn back students through quality educational programs, not through squelching competition.

TPS personnel should observe successful charter schools as a learning experience not consider such visits a threat to TPS. The following quotes demonstrate the negative attitude regarding charter schools. Quote from TPS management personnel and an elected official: “it would be the same as a scab crossing the picket line” or “I wouldn’t step foot in one of those places”.

Send out a blind survey and ask the 60% of teachers and administrators of TPS why they don’t live in Toledo and also to those who do live in Toledo but send their children to private schools. They are the professionals in the industry; we need to understand why so many do not send their children to TPS and ask for recommendations to improve the system.

Taxpayers disapprove of the trash tax and threat of reduced services, as they should. Balance the budget by looking inward for cost savings not outward for more revenue. As the UAW recognized the necessity to adjust the contracts to retain auto industry jobs in this area, so likewise, the Union leaders representing city employees must recognize the same need with the city to keep the threat of privatization off the table. Without a realignment of city employee compensation, the electorate may very well revolt and demand privatization of services and refuse to pass the ¾% “temporary” payroll tax the city has enjoyed for over 15 years. Such recognition of reality and a partnership between the unions and the City is pro-union as it will ensure job retention while keeping the city healthy.

· Within two years, eliminate the 10% city pick up of the employee portion of payment to PERZ and provide a 5% pay increase
o First year: reduce by 5% the city pickup of the employee contribution to PERZ but provide an across the board 2.5% pay increase.
o Second year: again, reduce by 5% the city pickup of the employee contribution to PERZ but provide an across the board 2.5% pay increase.
· Effective Jan. 1, 2008, all city employees would contribute $100 per month towards their medical coverage and $20 co-pay for office visits and prescriptions.
· Establish a task force to study medical coverage programs offered by private industry in the surrounding area and modify the program accordingly.
· Establish a task force to study the general budget and determine what percent of the general budget should be applied to wages and benefit packages for police/fire and trash collection. This percent would be the benchmark for future contract negotiations.

· Stop bundling groups of legitimate businesses to vilify (i.e., convenience stores). If they do not comply with the laws, take the appropriate legal measures.
· Review the cost and frequency of inspections. They may increase city revenue, but at what cost to small business.
· Create a complete list of all yearly inspections and the inspection costs to determine whether they are necessary (they have dramatically increased in frequency and cost over the past few years). Those identified as frivolous and designed primarily to increase revenue should be eliminated.
· Bundle into one package all costs and permits required to establish a new business; establish one office to administer all the information, forms and communication for businesses, simplify this process.
· Eliminate the living wage law in Toledo. It is used to manipulate businesses as it is not uniformly applied and hinders our ability to encourage new business.

Work with Toledo hotels to create shopping packages as Bass Pro is completed to draw visitors into Toledo as well as Wood County. With regional cooperation with Wood County both communities would benefit by creating “mini-vacations” for visitors.

Seek more volunteer organizations to handle the beautification projects.

· Reduce the size of council. Keep the 6 district seats but reduce at large to 2 seats. Residents need a representative who is accountable to them, without district seats, who would be accountable to their calls for service and how would the requests be assigned to an all “at-large” council. However, we need “at-large” seats to embrace all district issues and assimilate the needs into a citywide view of the requests.
· Do not reduce the pay for the Mayor; it must be attractive enough to draw quality candidates.
· Respond to requests for information and not use the “right to information” laws to delay response and avoid providing answers.
· Answer emails and phone calls.
· Embrace business and stop agreeing to additional fees to supplement the budget when there are shortages.
· NO NEW TAXES – hidden or otherwise.
· Responding to the hype of political candidates is detrimental to the well-being of Toledo and should be banned.
· The Administration would be more successful by operating and administrating with positive reinforcement rather than negative. The negative approach is tolerated but discourages open dialogue, ideas and growth.
· If a program is going to change, consider the programs a contract with the residents and give at least 30 days proper notification before implementation.

The police department could use some realigning. In 2006, the numbers were as follows:
692 number of policemen
300 number of patrolmen on the beat
120 number of Command officers
292 number of policemen assigned to other duties besides patrolling the streets
33 number of patrolmen on any given day out of service for various reasons
67 number of patrolmen available per day at each stationhouse for 3 shifts
· Create a relationship with Owens Community College to offer a degree which would prepare students to be employed by TPD after graduation so the “police class” could be cut from one year to 3 months.
· Determine an appropriate ratio for Command Officers to Beat Officers, a 3 to 1 ratio is too high. We need the men on the streets.
· What are the 292 policemen duties?
· In the morning and evening, position a police car at a school for 15 minutes during the busiest time and have the lights flashing. Rotate the school location each day so at the end of the week, there was a police presence at every school in the city. The police would still be available to respond to a call, but since they have to be somewhere in the city, why not at a school on school days.

Multiple calls of complaint are costly to the City, as they all deserve a response. Create a web-based list of all repair requests for streets, potholes, and complaints which can easily be accessed by residents. It could be a free Google spreadsheet with a link on the City Web Page. The list should be prioritized by severity, listing: location, type of call, date of call, date of expected repair, estimated cost of repair and completion date. To the public, there is no rhyme or reason to how the requests are considered, prioritized, or assigned, this would answer those questions.

The city has ownership of hundreds of residential properties with 30’ frontage primarily in the central city. They all must be maintained by the city: grass mowing, snow removal, police patrolling, etc., which is a cost with no revenue to the city. It drains our resources and our budget. Make it inexpensive, simple and easy to get these properties off the city books and generate some revenue through property taxes.

· Have a fire sale; offer each property to any buyer for $1.00.
· Bundle the closing costs, title transfers, etc. into one simplified package and low cost fee; i.e., $25.00.
· If the property has a condemned house, bundle the permits required to demolish and into one package, again, at a low cost fee.
· Offer a $500 incentive to the owner upon completion of the demolition of the building.

Not only the residents of Toledo, but Toledo as a whole benefits from the unlimited trash collection program, it is instrumental in keeping the city clean. Continue the program, we already pay for it.

Be consistent in the messages to residents. First we are told the Administration wants to eliminate recycling because it costs too much money and isn’t worth the cost. Then we are told we must recycle and to get residents involved, they will pay $3.00 per month. Educate the residents on the recycle program and be consistent.

Return trash pickup to the alleys. If an area is littered and needs cleaning, have the refuse truck driver note on a route list, turn it over to the appropriate compliance department issue a 30 day warning to the property owner. The notification should contain an estimate of cost for the city to clean the area. If not cleaned in 30 days, send a crew or hire an independent contractor to clean the area and send a bill to the owner.

When the ¾% temporary tax was passed, it was to include an incinerator. With the issue of landfills, recycling and energy, it is time to revisit the possibility of an incinerator. Technology advances can offer better processes and the heat emitted can be used to generate electricity. A committee should immediately begin researching the latest technology of refuse incineration.

For the health of Toledo, we need to move away from "politics as usual", our elected officials should be expected to make the difficult choices for the health of Toledo, not to ensure their next election.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


We had wonderful response and filled the truck! About 25 stopped by and gave and gave. One Mom and her 12 year old son stopped with 2 large boxes and several bags of food which he collected from family and friends as a service project for school. Another gentleman stopped by with several bags of food and 2 checks for $100 each for the Salvation Army. In all $315 was donated in addition to the food. We dropped off everything after we shut down at 1:15 and got home around 2:45. It was a very good day!

Friday, August 31, 2007


The Salvation Army Food Pantry was bare Thursday morning

Join us in a “Food Raiser” event

Sat., Sept. 1, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Martial Arts Center Parking Lot

5122 Heatherdowns Blvd; (at Reynolds Road)

Fill a pick up truck with food!

Needed items: Primarily canned goods, boxed goods such as:

Canned fruit, Canned vegetables, Canned beans. Canned meats, Canned soups; Small packs of chips, Small packs of cookies, Crackers, Rice, Dry pasta, Canned spaghetti; Instant noodles, Instant potatoes, Box cereal, Peanut butter, Boxed dinners, Instant milk

No glass containers, frozen foods, perishables

Monday, August 20, 2007

News Release: "Accentuate the Positive" in District 2

Toledo, Ohio. Karen Shanahan, second-level white belt martial arts student and Democratic candidate for Toledo City Council - District 2, announces release of her third video on YouTube.com. This video accentuates the many positive aspects of District 2 and how negative aspects need to be eliminated.

Shanahan promotes preserving our parks, repairing the rough roads, fostering a small business alliance, encouraging block watch and securing our streets, “canning” the trash tax and advocating for senior citizens.

The video was created for her campaign by Dan Adams, and may be viewed at Accentuate

Thursday, August 16, 2007

News Release: Self-Defense for Senior Citizens

Toledo, Ohio. Karen Shanahan, second-level white belt martial arts student and Democratic candidate for Toledo City Council - District 2, announces that she will host the second in her series of self-defense demonstrations for senior citizens. Sempai Shelly Blanco, of the Martial Arts Center, located at 5122 Heatherdowns and 7430 West Central, will be the instructor. There is no charge for these demonstrations; the second one will be held.

Date: Thursday, August 16, 2007

Time: 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Place: Common Space Center for Creativity

1700 N. Reynolds Road, Toledo

(3 blocks north of Dorr Street)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Small Business Alliance

I've been working with a few of the Small Businesses in District 2 who have expressed an interest in instituting the Small Business Alliance if it will be active and not just a "coffee clutch" as it had become in past years. As a council person, I'll work with the small businesses to define issues which block growth; once define, action items will be assigned to specific committees and results in resolution will be discussed at the following meeting. It will be necessary to prioritize the issues and work through each one. As a member of council, I'll be challenged to resolve government issues which are identified as blocking progress. District 2 is a thriving, progressive area which will move forward with the active participation of small businesses in our District.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Budget - To Balance or not to Balance in Nov, That is the Question

Should the Mayor present a balanced budget to City Council in November to? Balanced budgets have previously been presented in November, which Council then disassembled and reassembled to better serve the community. It was a coordinated effort and it was effective, but would it have been any less effective if the budget presented in November was not balanced?

If a budget is presented in November that is not balanced, Council is given an opportunity to look at the requests of city departments not just the requests as adjusted by the Administration. If a balanced budget is presented in November, Council is still expected to review and adjust the budget, not just rubber stamp a balanced budget.

On a much smaller scale, I’ve worked on budget committees, though smaller, the process was the same: departments submitted their budget requests to finance; finance calculated expected income; department budgets were returned and given another opportunity to make their own adjustments. Finance then submitted the budget (usually not balanced) to the council who then recommended adjustments to departments so the budget would balance.

For the benefit of the City, it is essential that the City Council and Administration work together to provide the most effective balanced budget possible each year. On council, I’ll work through either process with other council members and the Administration knowing the requirement is to balance the budget by March of each year

Self Defense and Seniors

The demonstration of self-defense methods held at the Margaret Hunt center was such a positive event! The Seniors and the staff thoroughly enjoyed the program and it offered realistic methods to prevent attack. My Mom, Pauline, Grandson, Henri (Mom was taking care of him Thursday) and Mom's friend, Maxine, attended and participated. Henri, 9, gave a demonstration of an "elbow strike" (he's been taking martial arts for 4 years now) and everyone applauded at his technique. It was a huge plus that media came and was willing to focus on the need for such training for Seniors. Several mentioned that it never occurred to them to use any of the techniques we demonstrated. I have another class schedule for Sept. 5 at the Eleanor Kahle Senior Center and hope it will be as informative and well received by the next group of Seniors.

Many thanks to Shelly Blanco for generously giving her time to teach self defense at the event, she willingly gives of her time for demonstrations throughout the city. Working with her has been a privilege and totally positive experience!

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Letter to the Editor posted in the Toledo Free Press:

I'm concerned with the ethics of elected officials, not only those who commit the violations, but also those who stand aside and ignore criminal activity. In recent years, elected officials who were aware of violations by Mr. McCloskey remained mute until the violations were brought to the attention of authorities by businesses in the community.

The ethics laws are irrelevant if violators are not reported. Tightening ethics laws, making them more stringent is of no value if no one speaks up and reports the violators. It is as though there is a code of silence or a fear of embarrassment or retribution if the truth is brought forward. It is difficult to report peers for violations, but we elect officials to make difficult choices.

There were no repercussions for the silence of our elected officials in the McCloskey incident; in fact, those who chose silence were re-elected. We should expect and demand higher standards of the elected leaders of our community, they should set the example, not explain away the lack of action. Those who remain silent and allow the ethics violations to continue enable criminal conduct. There should be sanctions imposed on elected officials who elect to remain silent.

Karen Shanahan, Toledo City Council Candidate, District 2

Come for a Visit

This is an open invitation to any of the bloggers to "Meet the Candidate" at any of 3 separate events. The invitation is extended by Ellen Critchley and Shelly Blanco:
Karen Shanahan –Democrat for Toledo City Council District 2
Karen is my client. When we first started working together, I didn’t know her well. It didn’t take long to realize that Karen is bright, hard working, a logical thinker, has great ideas and follows through – in other words, she’s sensible and stable. I’m proud of her and her many stances on issues that affect her district and all the citizens of Toledo.
Here are a few casual opportunities to meet her and discuss the issues. If you choose to contribute to her campaign at any of these events, that’s fine, too. Checks should be written to: Committee to Elect Shanahan. No corporate checks, please.
Thursday, August 9 7-9 pm
Pauline Kurschat’s home (Karen's Mother)
1532 Claybourne (west of Byrne, south off Glendale)
They will serve hot fudge sundaes!
Saturday, August 11 2:30-4:30 pm
Shelly Blanco’s home (co-owns Martial Arts Center in District 2)
6105 S. Chanticleer Drive (across from Wolfcreek YMCA off Holland-Sylvania)
They will serve coffee & desserts.
Thursday, August 23 7-9 pm
Pauline Kurschat’s home (Karen's Mother)
1532 Claybourne (west of Byrne, south off Glendale)
They will be serving hot fudge sundaes!
I endorse Karen Shanahan for Toledo City Council – District 2. Please take an opportunity to meet Karen soon so that you, too, will know she is the best choice in the upcoming election. You may also learn more about Karen on her website - http://shanahanselect.com/ , or contact her at 419-380-0244 or kesjr@bex.net.
Thank you for considering Karen Shanahan. I hope you will meet her and that, if you live in District 2, you will vote for her in the Primary on Tuesday, September 11, and again in the General Election on Tuesday, November 6.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Walking & Comments

I spent several hours Sunday campaigning door to door near where I grew up. My best friend lived on the street when we were in high school and it brought back many wonderful memories. The comments were many and involved taxes (too much); trash (unfair); alleys (so bad they can't be used); crime; roads; guns.

Regarding the taxes, I was asked what as a council person can I do to stop the school levy being proposed (this from a school bus driver). Roads: they are so bad in some areas, it is impossible to get the bus down the streets. Trash: why are we paying an additional tax and getting less service, what was the real reason for the tax. Alley: they are so bad, everyone has to park on the street, they can't get back to the garages. Crime: we need something on the books that removes the children from the home of convicted sexual predators. It was heartbreaking to listen as a mother tell of a daughter who had 3 young daughters and was living with a sexual predator. The grandmother is near panic over it and the safety of the girls; there is nothing legally that can be done. Guns: he wanted to know my position; well, owning a gun is not my preference, but it is your right and none of my business, but we agreed it was disconcerting to think of a concealed weapon in a public park full of children. What of the school levy, council has not input on the TPS, so they wondered what the Mayor has to do with it, why they were talking to the Mayor about the levy. I explained he could only come out publicaly along with Council and advise the voters.

Alleys & Roads: As trash is collected, have the driver of the refuse truck note locations where roads need repair and alleys need cleaning. In the case of the alley, the refuse worker would turn in the report at the end of the run and the city would issue a warning to clean the alley within 30 days and if not cleaned, the refuse team would do so and the owner would receive a bill for the cost of cleanup. This would need union approval, but I'm confident they would work with the city to help effect this change.

When we "dump" our alleys, the owners no longer have access to their garages or off street parking which causes congestion on the streets. The alleys are as much a part of the city infrastructure as the roads and should be maintained. We should not abandon alleys.

Trash tax: CAN IT!!

Finally, after 3 hours and not one question about "strippergate", I commented to my friend who lives on the street and walked with me that no one had even mentioned "strippergate". She looked puzzled and asked, "What's that"?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

YouTube Where's Hildo?

In response to the article in the City Paper July 18, 2007, we put together the following video which discusses the issues relevant to District 2. YouTubeAD

Monday, July 23, 2007

Seniors in Self Defense

Karen Shanahan for Toledo City Council – District 2 * Committee to Elect Shanahan
3633 Denise Dr. * Toledo OH 43614
419-345-9862 * www.shanahanselect.com
NEWS RELEASE July 23, 2007
CONTACT: Karen Shanahan
419-345-9862 kesjr@bex.net

Candidate Karen Shanahan Promotes Self-Defense for Senior Citizens

Toledo, Ohio. Karen Shanahan, martial arts student and Democratic candidate for Toledo City Council - District 2, announces that she will host a series of self-defense demonstrations for senior citizens. Sempai Shelly Blanco, of the Martial Arts Center, located at 5122 Heatherdowns and 7430 West Central, will be the instructor. There is no charge for these demonstrations, and the first one will be held:
Date: Thursday, August 2, 2007
Time: 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Place: Margaret Hunt Senior Center
2121 Garden Lake Drive (southeast of Arlington at South Detroit)

The media is invited to be present.

news release sent by Ellen Critchley, Critchley Creative
fax 419.710.0869

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Solar Energy

I'm ready for technology to find a way to replace oil in this country.
The Blade article shows there is some forward movement, but in the scheme of things, this is just the beginning. We've been waiting since the 70's for a "breakthrough" but as the gas prices dropped, the interest waned. On the campaign trailer, I spoke with an inventor who is working on fuel cells and trying to get funding. In believes if the money spent on the Iraq war had been spent on energy technology, our dependence on foreign oil would be down by 70%. I look forward to the day when the USA is no longer paying for foreign oil -- and it is possible... I ready for it to be probable!

Support of All Local Democrats - Press Release

July 13, 2007: Toledo, Ohio. Karen Shanahan, Democratic candidate for Toledo City Council - District 2, announces that she remains committed to the Lucas County Democratic Party and all local Democrats. She looks forward to working with all party stalwarts - leadership, elected officials, other candidates and volunteers - and to move the party forward together, ensuring victory for Democrats in 2007 elections and in the all-important 2008 Presidential election.

Vote of Conscience Not Coercion

The Blade article about Mr. Irish resigning http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070713/NEWS09/707130399/-1/ARCHIVES30
When I suggested to the Blade that the Central Committee should meet to vote on the retention or dismissal of Mr. Irish, I also was adamant that the vote should be taken by secret ballot to ensure a vote of conscience and not of coercion. I have been advised that the National by-laws of the Democratic Party do not allow a secret ballot.

I now understand why nothing ever changes in the LCDP. The comments and subtle threats and innuendos that when along with the recent issue are enough to train a person to only take the safe position and never disagree. Since there are differences of opinions on every issue, the voters then have elected officials and candidates towing the line of mediocrity with the hope of not offending anyone.

There is a chance the party can move forward if the next vote by the Central Committee is made by secret ballot. An interesting experiment would announce a secret ballot vote (I bet more members would attend) and once the ballots are collected, do the same vote by raise of hands. Do you think the results would be the same?

By the way… my vote is for Ellen Grachek to lead the Lucas County Democratic Party!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

City Property for Sale

As a child, I grew up in a house on a 30 foot lot, the houses were so close, and we shared an eaves trough. The house next door fell into disrepair as it became rental property and the owners decided to sell. My grandfather lived in the house on the other side of the property, so he and my parents together purchased the house and decided to tear it down. One permit required it be fumigated and when we reached the kitchen and pulled down the plaster, the walls were lined with dead cockroaches, hundreds of them. After it was demolished, the property was split in 1/2 and we then had a 45 foot lot. It was so wonderful, we had a yard to play in and grow gardens and flowers. I flooded the side lot in the winter and had a "skating rink" and it was good.

The point of my story is this, why not sell 30 foot residential lots to the owners of adjoining property for $1.00, agree to bundle all required permits for a total cost of $25.00 and if they demolish the property, give a rebate for the cost once the demolition is completed. This could potentially eliminate 100's of "nuisance" properties, which must be maintained by the city, put them back on the property tax rolls.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Lead the LCDP

I just watched McNamara again about the "stripper" incident. He keeps calling for John Irish to resign. Does anyone know who he recommends for the position? One usually does not call for a resignation if one does not have someone lurking behind the scene ready to jump into the task. Would really like to know.

City Budget on Excel Spreadsheet

If you are an Excel Spreadsheet user, I have converted the budget from the PDF file supplied to Joe McNamara into an excel spreadsheet. It is color coded to match the sections of the original and each section is on a separate tab. Using pivot tables is very useful in analyzing the data to consolidate data. It is posted on my Web page: Sanahanselect.com

Please let me know if you access the spreadsheet and if you found it useful.

Who Should be Mayor

I have a question for Tom Morrissey... who does he believe should be Mayor. If Carty is recalled, does he believe Rob Ludeman is the right person for the job?

Ellen Got it Right

Ellen turned a negative into a positive over the improper conduct of a young lady at the LCDP golf outing by requesting the party to take corrective action though by-law changes and working more diligently to recruit women for office. I wonder why Wade didn't speak with someone at the event and request immediate action when he witnessed the inappropriate behavior. It would not have received the media response, but it would have effectively prevented the continuation of the behavior. Had Wade addressed the incident when it was taking place and they refused to put a stop to it, I could understand creating the media frenzy which ultimately took place.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Karen Shanahan YouTube Ad

I have the priviledge of working with a very creative, talented young man, Dan Adams, an old friend of my Son's. He has created the YouTube Ad and I wanted to share it with you. We need to get down to basics in city government: Repair the roads; Secure our neighborhoods; Can the trash tax; Support our Seniors; Empower small businesses. Let's take a stand today!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

River Road Park Update

List of City property for sale:

Areis (link)
click on Areis and type in under address 3620 River Rd. and data,

History of previous attempt to sell the Park

Many of the neighbors stopped by and commented: 1.) The city crews have been told not to maintain the river access on the hill; 2.) The hill to the river has become the dumping ground for the grass clippings when the park is mowed; 3.) The property was originally used to draw water for the treatment plant, it has tunnels throughout that go under River Road to the building in the main portion of the park on the north side of River Road; 4.) This unique piece of property should not be sold but maintained for quality of life of future generations of residents of Toledo.; 5.) Several years ago the City leaders met with the neighbors and put together a master plan for the park which included an overlook of the River and park benches.

I spoke with a neighbor with four generations who used the park and Maumee River access. We talk about the quality of life in Toledo and what amenities are of interest to visitors and those who may decide to reside in Toledo, parks are an essential part of our life and we must fight to maintain such valuable green space. It is also time to keep the promises and commitments made by the City administrators.

In 1999, The Mayor was approached by someone who wanted to purchase the property, so the property was quickly put up for sale ($299,900) but through public protest, the sale was stopped. Many of those at the Rally wondered if once again the Mayor had someone preselected for the sale based on another request to purchase the property. I think it is fair for Toledoans to know if this is the situation once again, so I will email the Mayor today and ask. Should I receive a reply, I will let you know.

A list of over 800 City of Toledo properties from the City Website is available to view in an excel spreadsheet which I created at posted at the following Google web page: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pHEX7CSkhcGPLCz0zueR3eg&output=html

These 843 properties are financially draining our resources; the city needs to divest these properties. Every one of these properties is the responsibility of the City of Toledo and must be maintained. We should concentrate on selling such properties, not parkland that is used and would be used even more if the City properly maintained it.

City Administration has stated this is not a park, however, in Areis (link)

click on Areis and type in under address 3620 River Rd. and data,
the official description of the property is:
"RIVER TRACT 16 N 1/2 BET CANAL & BDWY EXC W 590.56 FT ON N LINE PT S OF N 45 FT ALSO LOT 1 BURNLEY WOOD S & ADJ N 250 FT PT BET BDWY & RIVER EXC NLY TRI 10 FT ON RIVER" "Zoning Description: Parks and Open Space"

The Mayor commented on Fox 36 evening news Saturday evening that I was doing this only to get a few votes and if I wanted the property, I could buy it for the $500,000 value. I'm doing this because I firmly believe we should retain this property for the public quality of life. Though we have a budget crunch and need to be more fiscally responsible, when the budget problem is resolved, this property should still exist for public use. I recognize the cynicism in the Mayor's comment, but the $500,000 price tag is exactly why this property should be retained, so the average resident of Toledo, like you and I, can enjoy the beauty of our city.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Rally to Rescue the Park

3620 River Road at Brookford (west of Toledo Country Club) Please spread the word and attend the Rally. The sign went up on June 1st. On June 2nd when I went to the OLPH festival, a resident stopped and asked if I could do something to stop the sale. It seems every 5 years, they put this piece of parkland up for sale. Twice now, the neighbors have been able to stop the progress and the City took it off the market. This is prime riverfront property and one of the only parcels left in the area that is still public providing public access to the river. Once it is sold, it is lost to the public forever! JOIN ME SATURDY !! SPREAD THE WORD !! SUPPORT THE EFFORT !!

Rally to Rescue the River Front Park
Join District 2 Council Candidate Karen Shanahan at the Park
3620 River Road at Brookford
Saturday June 9
12:00 to 12:30

The City has listed this property for sale.
Do you want to lose this riverfront park?
It is the only remaining public access in the neighborhood.
Do you prefer public access or private ownership
Show your support for the park by attending the Rally
Adults, children, pets are invited.
Bring a sign to “Rescue the Park”
Karen will provide ice cream sundaes and music.
See you at the Park!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Veterans Bridge Dedication, June 23, 2007

We are so very pleased that Rex, my Husband, has been selected to sing the National Anthem at the Veterans' Glass City Bridge Dedication on June 23, 2007. He received a call from ODOT this past week inviting to sing as a representative of the American Legion. He feels so honored to represent the American Legion at such an historic event. We look forward to seeing all of you there. Rex has been honored to sing at a number of events in Toledo. I've included the photo from the 2006 Memorial Service in which he sang (he's wearing the red jacket and saluting)

For those of you who are Mud Hens fans, he will also sing the National Anthem at the game on July 4th (the 43rd anniversary of when we met). It will be a fun day.

OLPH Festival 2007

The OLPH festival was great, see photo of Volunteers from today, Sunday.
Back row is Sensei Hurtseller from the Martial Arts Center (www.ohiomartialarts.com); his son; our Son-in-law, Tony House (Executive Chef of the Navy Bistro); our Son, Herbert Shanahan III (he and his wife were visiting from Columbus OH); Middle row: Sempai Shelly Blanco's 2 sons; Me; Our Daughter-in-law, Chrystal Shanahan; 1st Row: Sempai Shelly Blanco from Marshal Arts Center; our Daughter, Jennifer House; and our Grandson, Henrik House. On the previous days, my Aunt, Margart Aton; her husband, Bob Aton; and Granson, Alex, also campaigned with me.

We met so many District 2 folks and it was good to hear their comments. #1 concern.. job growth; #2 concern.. taxes, specifically the "trash tax", #3 concern.. difficulty of small business working with Toledo. However, everyone agreed District 2 is a fantastic area of Toledo and a wonderful place to live. My Aunt, Margaret Aton, (we're the same age)has had children endrolled at OLPH and now her grandson attends, she was great taking me around to meet and greet her friends at the parrish.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Senior Citizen Care Issues

My husband has had both knees replaced this year, the 1st on March 14th, the 2nd on May 2. For the 2nd replacement it was decided he should go to a senior rehabilitation center for a few days until he was able to walk about and take care of himself and at the same time begin rehabilitation. The doctor recommended a specific center as the “best in the area”. If this facility is one of the best is considered one of the best in the area, then same on Toledo. The stay was a nightmare. He was to leave Saturday; I went on my lunch hour Thursday and had him released. WE MUST TO DO BETTER THAN THIS!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Zooming in on the Zoo

I was putting papers in the recycle box and came across the photo of the polar bear cub, he is so cute and the children visiting the Zoo are so excited about the cubs. How great for our Zoo. After much controversy in 2005, it seems most of the issues are not resolved and the Zoo is again on an even keel. The new Director must be given high praise for her actions in quieting the polarized, heated debates which took place. I know at the meeting I attended in 2005, the answers were less than straightforward and I was very frustrated at the inaccurate and misleading information being provided. It is difficult to question any aspect of Zoo leadership as residents of Toledo have grown up with the Zoo and it is near and dear to us, so when anything the management does is questioned, it is done so at the risk of appearing to be anti-zoo. The issue of eminent domain was the basis of much of the heated argument and discussion and when we were told they could not take anything by eminent domain, when pressed, the word was changed from "couldn't" to "wouldn't" so in truth, the rezoning does allow seizure of land by eminent domain. Though this is not a major issue for me, the fact that the representatives tried so diligently to indicate it "could not" happen was of great concern and frustration.

I LOVE MY ZOO -- and, thankfully, enough public outcry and debate required the necessary changes and prioritization to ensure the Zoo was put back on the right path to ensure it would remain a wonderful attraction to Toledo. This is just one more example of the effect concerned citizens can have when an institution becomes an issue. Thank goodness.. our Zoo is again thriving!

Formal Announcement of Candidacy

Karen Shanahan for Toledo City Council – District 2 * Committee to Elect Shanahan
3633 Denise Dr. * Toledo OH 43614


NEWS RELEASE May 19, 2007

Shanahan Announces Run for City Council District 2

Toledo, Ohio. Following a martial arts session at Martial Arts Center on Heatherdowns Boulevard, Karen Shanahan announced her candidacy for the Toledo City Council - District 2, for the election in November 2007. She chose this location because she enjoys the practice of martial arts there and because it is a good example of a successful small business in District 2.

Shanahan’s remarks:

I’m Karen Shanahan, here to announce my candidacy for Toledo City Council - District 2. I’m ready to serve and ready to make a difference. Although I’m a relative newcomer to politics, I have life experience that will benefit the citizens of District 2 and all Toledoans.

I’m committed to be your voice on City Council and, when elected, my main goals will be to:

Create the “Rough Roads Repair Registry” of District 2
Balance the city budget, not ask for a family budget balancing act
Bolster Block Watch
Supplement senior citizen support
Stand with Small Business in District 2

1. Create the “Rough Roads Repair Registry” of District 2
Our neighborhood roads need repair. As I create the “Rough Roads Repair Register,” I’m asking every homeowner in District 2 to send an email or call me if a road in our District needs repair.

2. Balance the city budget, not ask for a family budget balancing act
Our residents dig deep into their pockets to fund programs. I’ll ask the questions to ensure the funds are responsibly budgeted.

3. Bolster Block Watch
This is a great resource that encourages neighborhood interaction and security. By meeting regularly, getting better acquainted with our neighbors and receiving input for the Police representative, it increases awareness of what is occurring in the neighborhood and forms a stronger connection with each other.

4. Supplement Senior Citizen Support
Increase awareness of the conditions at the senior care facilities. After my husband recently had a stay in a rehabilitation center, it is obvious we must do better to care for our senior citizens. The services provided were marginal at best.

5. Stand with Small Business in District 2
The Martial Arts Center is a glowing example of a small business success story in District 2. The owners are enthusiastic, positive and energetic, and they continually give back to the community.

Because of the needs of the Reynolds Road corridor, we are going to reorganize the Small Business Alliance and I’ve pledged to lead the formation and implementation of an Action Task Force to tackle and resolve issues for small business in District 2.

I’ve contacted a nationally known economic development advisor who grew up in Toledo. He is willing to offer suggestions and advice to move District 2 forward.

I am a native of Toledo, grew up in the Old South End in a blue-collar family with strong Union affiliations. Rex and I have been married 42 years and have two adult children and one grandchild. I went to college after raising my children and am currently employed as a logistics professional at The Hub Group, where I focus on problem solving for customers from California to Texas to Indiana and other states in the Midwest. I will bring this problem-solving expertise to City Council.

I am Karen Shanahan - and I thank you for showing your concern for our community by joining me today in my run for Toledo City Council – District 2.

Monday, May 07, 2007

FR #1 Walbridge Park Shelter House

What fun we had and so good to have supporters offering encouragement for the campaign. Lisa Renee, Migueal and Emily are such an inspiration and wealth of knowledge. Richard Brown stopped by even though he was getting ready for his fantastic Press Conference kicking off his campaign. He will do well and will be a positive influence on the School Board. Great and many thanks to my daughter, Jennifer House, grandson, Henrik House (9), Margaret and Bob Aton and their grandson Alex (9) and Nancy and Fred Heaney and June Boyd for their tireless help at the event. The most fun of all was watching the 2 9-year old boys singing karoke to "What's New Pussycat" (I did the whoa, whoa, whoa), too funny and they were really sincere and working hard. Gary Anderson, my campaign manager, remains steadfast and diligent in pushing me along.

Next FR... watch out... we're having a disco party with disco ball, DJ and the whole nine-yards. no charge... free will donations at the door and WE WILL ROCK !! Don't miss it... it will be the 3rd week in July.. more to come!!

I'll be on Andover tomorrow canvassing from 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Come join the fun!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

TPS at a Crossroads

The issue of TPS and public education in Toledo is exploding, even today, Dal Lawrence called for the resignation of some TPS Board members and the appointment of 2 ex-officio members. We are at a crossroads of TPS and this is a root cause of the intensity of response to each development, each day. In the Fall of 2006, in my blog, the following proposal was offered: "Hold a summit of educational leaders to include: TPS Superintendent; TPS School Board; TFT President; University of Toledo President; and business leaders of regional major corporations to discuss the probability and processes to implement the following plan: Contract with The University of Toledo to manage TPS educationally, financially and administratively, this would mirror the “charter” school concept. All TPS students would receive financial credits toward college courses at the University of Toledo for each year they complete if they achieve required academic standards", etc. http://shanahanselect.blogspot.com/2006/09/press-release-development-policies.html

Some may have objections to having UT involved with TPS in a formal matter; in fact, President Jacobs has stated that is not possible. But I would envision great excitement in our community should TPS fall under an "umbrella" of educational ideas and concepts with UT. It could boost the morale of all involved.

The problems that exist in TPS are multi-layered and extremely complex. We have dedicated, experienced educators and administrators in TPS, but we also have a bureaucracy created by federal, state and local regulations; and because this is a litigious society, protections for TPS employees.

The end result is stifling and as a result, teachers, administrators and children are suffering and families are leaving to find more effective school systems. My wish and prayer is that this is resolved sooner than later; but the status quo will not provide the results needed; rather, creative, innovative partnerships within the community should be used to implement effective changes.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


On Monday, I was invited to guest on WSPD 1370 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. with Michael Miller as guest host. Key points were the budget, trash tax, flowers and reasons why I'm running for District 2 Council Seat. The most memorable comment came from Lisa who offered that it was "easy" to sit back and say I wouldn't vote for the trash tax. Let me offer that it would really be "easy" to say nothing; there is no risk in keeping silent. Over the past week as a result of some comments on the air, I've been counseled about a few of the comments and given additional insight as to how careful I must be not to say anything that, once elected, can come back to haunt me. If I were a "seasoned" politician, I would realize the wisdom of remaining neutral and not "pander" to others and say what they want to hear. Is that what voters want, candidates to remain neutral?

My greatest concern is have enough wisdom to act in the best interest of the community and the comments made in "blogdom" offers alternative views and insight to almost every issue. So, fellow bloggers... go for it! Here is your challenge.. voice your opinion today and over the coming weeks on the issues:
Trash Tax
Dorr and Reynolds vacant shopping plaza
Economic develop
Small business
Business friendly
Pay package for city employees
Schools / charter / vouchers / residency
Ambulance take over by the Fire Department

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Roads or Roses Photo Album

I went through the neighborhood and took some photos of the streets on S Beverly Hills Drive, E. Beverly Hills Drive and Roberta. One of the neighbors mentioned they have not dome anything but patches in 20 years. The roads are in sad condition -- how does this look to visitors?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Roads or Roses

Council deemed it necessary to levy a new tax so the 2007 budget could be balanced. It is now even a greater responsibility for Council to ensure every expenditure is essential rather than optional.

The additional expenditure of $39,900 for flowers at the gateways is questionable when we have roads in District 2 that are in the condition of S. Beverly Hills Drive. Some may consider $39,900 a drop in the bucket against a budget in excess of $240,000,000, but every drop counts.

I urge Council to carefully weigh any spending requests – we need roads not roses.

Saturday, March 31, 2007


Prior to the Council vote for the budget on Friday, I held a press conference to encourage Council to stay strong against the trash tax.  I still feel there are unanswered questions, but wanted to share the text of the press conference on the blog page.
How should Council balance the budget?

We're told there has not been a tax increase since the ¾% increase was passed in 1982.

Incomes have increase 8 times since 1982.

This equates to 8 times more revenue per wage earner

I want to encourage City Council to remain committed to no new taxes or fees and let them know they have our support.

The 4.5 million increase in additional employee benefits increases the budget by 2% while the expected increase in revenue is estimated at 1.6%.

What comprises the remaining 4.8% increase?  During the Town Hall meeting, there were many charts and graphs showing how inexpensive our services were and how little we paid compared to other cities, however, there was not explanation what was the cause of the 4.8% increase. 

I received a 2% pay raise in January, then my employer raised the employee portion of medical insurance which absorbed 36% of the raise.  Should the trash tax pass, it will gobble up another 15% of the raise.

We have witnessed a decline of 60,000 residents over the past decade in Toledo.  The continued call for more taxes imposed on residents which will cause even a greater exodus of residents and   businesses.  Balance the city budget, don't budget our family balance!

Friday, March 30, 2007


Council took the right step yesterday and did not vote for additional trash
tax or other "revenue enhancements" during the deliberations concerning the
budget. Council President, Rob Ludeman, stated he did not believe the
citizens would mind a "trash tax" as most of the complaints were about
closing the pools not regarding a "trash tax" and the Mayor believes the
same based on the Zogby poll. This adds pressure on Council to pass a
"trash tax".

If you would like to offer your support to Council to balance the budget and
not budget our family balance, join me this morning, March 30, 2007, at
11:15 a.m. near the recycle bins in the parking lot between Kroger Store and
Calvary Baptist Church on Glendale near Reynolds (across from Glendale
entrance to Maumee Valley Country Day School).

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Blind Obedience?

Quote from Conklin and Company Program on 2/18/07, Jim Tankersley regarding the attempt of the Lucas County Democratic Party reunite: “A lot can embarrass the party and they are also pointing to a section of the Party Code that says you need to support other endorsed Democrats and very clearly every time Frank Szollosi or Michael Ashford clash with Carty Finkbeiner, they’re not supporting an endorsed Democrat.”

It is the responsibility of every elected politician to debate every issue under their jurisdiction so informed decisions are made. It is not appropriate for any organization, person or group to expect blind compliance to the opinions of any other organization, person or group and I firmly believe that neither the members of the Lucas Country Democratic Party nor Carty Finkbeiner believes in such blind obedience by elected officials. If elected officials were expected to vote without question, then there would be no need for other than one person to govern.

"Difference of opinion leads to enquiry, and enquiry to truth; and that, I am sure, is the ultimate and sincere object of us both. We both value too much the freedom of opinion sanctioned by our Constitution, not to cherish its exercise even where in opposition to ourselves." --Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, January 28, 2007

K-16 education -- a promise to our students and a promise to our future.

The linked September press release was a discussion of the value of a partnership between TPS and UT. It included an assessment of the great potential for Toledo if an educational program offered college scholarships to every qualified student graduating from TPS.

Today, the Blade reported on meetings being held between community leaders and UT “to explore whether the University of Toledo could help guide the academically and financially struggling Toledo Public Schools.”

The announcement of these meetings comes within a few weeks of the announcement that UT was offering Michigan residents 120 - $12,000 scholarships which may help increase UT enrollment. Could UT offer such scholarships to TPS graduates?

What is the potential of a K-16 program? It would
* Move Toledo into the forefront of US. Cities by creating a comprehensive educational program for our children from K through 16, as higher education is no longer an option but a necessity. Manufacturing jobs will continue to decline so our students must achieve higher education if they want to be employable.
* Increase enrollment in TPS.
* Offer equal opportunity for a college education at UT to every qualified student who graduates from TPS.
* Increase enrollment in UT.
* Encourage TPS teachers and administrators to reside in Toledo and have their children attend TPS. http://shanahanselect.blogspot.com/2006/09/teacher-residency.html
* Create a vibrant, progressive community through higher education of our children. This is a catalyst to economic development.
* Increase population in Toledo.
* Increase tax revenue base.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Missing Ellen Grachek

What a loss for Toledo!! Ellen Grachek, a responsible, intelligent member of city council with a realistic, analytical view of issues chooses to leave rather than do fundraising.

I understand her dilemma as I begin campaigning for council. It would be refreshing for Toledo residents if Ellen were successfully passed legislation which would limit the spending on Council and other local races.

In addition to candidate spending, any legislation must include amounts spent on behalf of candidates by outside organizations such as PACS. These expenditures are not included in candidate’s financial reports, so it would be necessary to include these expenditures as well.

It’s also time to put out the call to the media to provide unbiased, equal and proportionate coverage for all candidates so voters can make formed decisions based on facts rather than sound bites, candidate created ads and name recognition. This would be revolutionary in the world of politics.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Mind of Her Own?

I happened to listen to about 10 minutes of the conversation between Frank Szollosi and Fred LeFevre on 1370 as I was driving to work which took place the day after the Council vote on the President of Council. Much to my amazement, Frank bluntly stated that Mark Sobczak had done an excellent job of pulling Wilma Brown over to his view. Why do men presume that women of authority who don’t agree with them must have received divine guidance from another man? I assure you, Wilma Brown makes up her own mind and does not march to the drum of anyone else.

This was a ridiculous remark and indicative of the paranoia that exists today between the 2 fractured segments of the Democratic Party (or is 3 segments now, A-team; B-Team; Wilkowski-Team). Wilma stood her ground on the appointment of Phil Copeland and was sanctioned along with the rest for her vote. Wilma stood shoulder to shoulder with Frank and the other A-team Democrats during the Mayoral race but refused to demean anyone on either side. But now, those same A-teamers have turned their back on this same community leader, if the A-teamers want to berate the B-teamers for being mean and divisive, I think it is time they really look at their own conduct. They are not behaving any better. In essence, Frank is inferring that a Republican would be a better president of Council than a woman with 30 plus years of service to Toledo through Girl Scouts, School Board (president a number of time) and now City Council, a woman who votes her conscience regardless of the consequences. In essence, Frank is stating that Wilma is not capable of reaching her own conclusions nor capable of making good choices.

Council President, an Opportunity Lost

At the City Council meeting Tuesday, January 2, a motion to elect a new Council president was made. A majority yes vote was required to pass the motion so the floor could be opened to receive nominations. It was disappointing to have a Council of 8 Democrats and 4 Republicans kill the motion as a majority yes vote was not achieved. The reason given by Frank Szollosi was that the Democrats didn’t have their “act” together and therefore had no business electing a president. He further explained there was a previous meeting with some of the Democratic Council members to discuss the position but a consensus was not reached. It was a choice between Frank and Wilma Brown. I was so hopeful Wilma would be selected. She has had a career spanning over 40 years which has required diplomacy, negotiation and dialogue. If there is anything we need right now, it is diplomacy, negotiation and dialogue between the split Democrats, the Administration and the Republican representatives. By killing the motion, there was no chance of electing a Democrat as president of Council and it indicates a belief by some of the Democrats that a Republican president would be better than a qualified Democrat, Wilma Brown. I would be concerned with Frank at the helm; even further division would yield conflict between the Administration and Council which would hinder progress in Toledo. Frank would be in a no win position as President as any action he would take would be deemed anti Administration or buckling to the Administration. At this juncture, we need at least a fighting chance of having an empowered Council. Frank has a future in this city, but this is not the time for him to lead as Council president and I doubt he really believes he would have any success in working with the Administration.