Thursday, January 29, 2009


The Toledo Free Press published an interesting series of articles, which asked local politicians and high school students what they would do “If they were Mayor”. After analyzing the comments, I have a three-part commentary on the results of the review with an assessment of these comments. After listening to Politicians comments on being Mayor over the past years, it is frustrating that in this time, there is so little process offered by any of the possible candidates to move us forward.

Just stating, “green energy” does not explain how a Mayor can move this initiative forward. Being interested in “education” does not explain how a Mayoral candidate can effect improvements in education or explain how to implement the “Toledo Promise”. These are “hot buttons” of interest to the electorate, but we need solutions not just “hot buttons”.

Almost completely ignored was the infrastructure, refuse collection and safety issues. Nor was there mention of how they would balance the budget or create a “business friendly” environment in our Community. We need a cohesive government, but there were no suggestions on how or on what issues the potential candidates would work with City Council. There was no content on how to handle these problems.

It is disappointing to have so little content on how to manage Toledo. We need a candidate who has the courage to face the hard issues, fix the budget and begin reducing fees and fines, which have been created to enhance revenue. It is our right and expectation as voters to demand real answers not just open-ended rhetoric with lofty goals.

There was a great deal of information presented in paragraphs by the politicians and students. I consider this important enough to analyze, categorize and tally the comments to make it easier to assimilate the information. This has been accomplished in three separate commentaries.

Commentary One is a summary of the politician’s comments. It reduces their paragraph responses to bullet points and a category assigned to each comment. Finally, a tally of the categories for each comment by author is included.

Commentary Two contains suggestions on how to achieve some of the points offered by the politicians. These suggestions are essential for the success of Toledo.

Commentary Three lists the main ideas of the many High School student comments. This list gives insight into the fears, hopes, dreams and desires of our students and helps us understand what is important to our youth. Along with the list of student concerns is a brief commentary on what our government must address if we are sincerely interested in recognizing our youth to avoid “brain drain” and thus help ensure a positive future for Toledo.

As we move forward with this campaign to elect a Mayor, we must ask the hard questions. Just listing “hot buttons” without solutions, processes or programs to effect change is not acceptable.

Please read and review the analysis of the three commentaries.

No comments: