As a long-time, vocal critic of Sandy Isenberg, I strangely find myself on the same side of an issue with her. Namely, the disgusting display put on by the "good old boy" portion of the Lucas County Democratic Party that robbed voters of having their chosen candidate, Wade Kapszukiewicz, assume his rightful position as county treasurer.
Is Dennis Duffey, or anyone for that matter, guilty simply by association? No. Guilty by complacency or maybe even complicity? Yes!
When it comes to John Irish, Mr. Kest's second-in-command, there are two possible scenarios. Either he had no idea that Mr. Kest was rarely in the office and was teaching classes in Cleveland, or he knew all about it and did or said nothing.
Either one represents major flaws that should preclude him from taking over for the disgraced Mr. Kest.
There are no ethical or moral gray areas about Mr. Kest's actions to any reasonable person. Do ethics even exist in the county treasurer's office right now? Apparently they haven't followed the lead of every major corporation since the Enron debacle regarding ethics.
My employer and tens of thousands of other employers have clear ethics guidelines. Failure to report known or suspected ethics violations is essentially equivalent to committing those violations. Sanctions range from termination to civil or criminal penalties. Sandy Isenberg is right, so she should keep fighting. Those committee members who sided against the wishes of the voters should hang their heads in shame, if they have any.
The year was not even a week old and as far as I am concerned, the voters in Lucas County have lost!
We voted for a man to become the new Lucas County treasurer, only to be hoodwinked by a career union official. As far as I can see, this is only to protect the job status of John Irish so he can draw full benefits from the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.
I know many people who have lost their jobs short of full pension benefits and they survived.
The Blade talks of recycling politicians in the Ohio House and Senate for a lifelong career without due regard to voters. I believe that Sandy Isenberg has more clout in her present position than she had before.
My present sorrow stems from the fact that a year ago I built a new house in Lucas County, much to my regret!
So the Lucas County Board of Elections has my permission to remove my registration from the voter list. I no longer want it there. I will consider voting again when the temperature in Toledo reaches 125 degrees in January.
Don't best friends who are also co-workers usually know what is happening in the other persons' life? Does it make any sense that John Irish and others in the Lucas County Treasurers' Office did not know what Ray Kest was doing?
So now, some within the Democratic Party feel we should support Ray's "friends" by extending their employment?
Those same Democrats have blocked the voice of the voters and that will not be soon forgotten.
They not only look foolish but have tarnished the values of the Democratic Party in Lucas County. Shame on them!
Fritz Wenzel's Jan. 4 article quoted Sandy Isenberg as stating: "They want to run this like the Gestapo, seriously, like a Third World country," she said. "This is not the People's Republic of China. What is this?"
Apparently, Ms. Isenberg doesn't like it when the shoe is on the other foot. Her remark reminds me of the way she operated when on the Board of Lucas County commissioners.
Just as Ms. Isenberg forgot who put her into elective office as a county commissioner, she now forgets who the players were who dumped her into the chairmanship of the Lucas County Democratic Party.
Ms. Isenberg should just pick up her marbles and go home. The voters of Lucas County wisely retired her. She should have stayed retired.
Just a couple of questions for the Lucas County Democratic Central Committee members who voted to elect Dennis Duffey as the interim treasurer of Lucas County.
Who among them believes that John Irish and Dominic Montalto did not know exactly how Ray Kest was spending his days and our tax dollars? And yet they have now bent over backward to protect the jobs of these two "gentlemen" by placing Mr. Duffey in charge of the treasurer's office.
If Mr. Kest had been in the private sector and misused money from his employer as he did from the citizens of Lucas County, he would be in prison and anyone who worked with him who had knowledge of his activities would likely be among his cell mates, or at the very least, seeking new employment.
Further, am I to understand that Mr. Duffey will continue in his full-time position with the electrical workers union and take on the responsibilities of the treasurer's office as well? Isn't that eerily similar to what Mr. Kest did: collect his treasurer's salary (a full-time position in everyone's mind but Ray's) and teach classes at Cleveland State University as well? That's just great.
I hope Mr. Duffey gives all due credit to Mr. Kest for paving the way for him.
The message sent by this action is clear.
It matters not who the voters elected treasurer. Cronyism is alive and well in the Lucas County Democratic Party.
I am ashamed to call myself a Democrat and those who voted for Mr. Duffey should just be ashamed.
If Jimmy Hoffa had been a good old boy Lucas County Democrat, he'd still be alive and kicking. Boy oh boy, do we take care of our own, regardless of the vote of the people.
Shame, shame on the Democrats.
With all the complaining about the budget, belt tightening, layoffs, and all the other budget problems, I have one thought: Does the money problem have to do with the smoking ban that had been in place and drove so many businesses and people out of Toledo to other smoking areas?
I can only believe that with the loss of revenue, the establishments lost employees, bought less food and drink to serve, were open fewer hours, and thus used less gas and electricity.
Suppliers lost business because they sold the bars less, which in turn hurt their suppliers and employees, etc.
Toledo lost the taxes from all this.
It is OK to sell cigarettes to people in Toledo and collect the tax, but don't let them smoke them here.
Does some of the blame start at One Government Center for putting the smoking ban in place?
We hope they learned that the people should have the right to speak on an issue before implementing any law that hurts the city as a whole.
Sometimes thinking ahead solves problems, and you need people in power who have the ability to look ahead, not just in the "today."
DALE R. PERNE
I wonder why we haven't heard anything about Halliburton helping in the rebuilding of the poor nations that got hit with the tsunami.
Must not be enough money in it.
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