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Published: Thursday, 2/7/2008

Civil rights panel is fair, balanced

In response to the significant media coverage and public comment regarding the Ohio Civil Rights Commission's investigation of three discrimination charges filed against the City of Toledo, we are compelled to make several important corrections to what has been previously reported.

To begin with, a few weeks ago, the Rev. Floyd Rose made a statement describing Toledo as being "50 years behind" in civil rights and attributed the statement to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. We immediately sought to correct that erroneously attributed statement and Mr. Rose promptly recanted.

Indeed, contrary to Mr. Rose's statement, we have worked in high fidelity with elected officials such as Sen. Teresa Fedor and Rep. Peter Ujvagi (who recently expanded civil rights protections to include service members). We believe that the citizens of the Toledo area truly value equality and fairness, and that they rightfully expect their public servants to feel the same way.

Then, last week, it was stated during a mayoral press conference that Darlene Newbern, regional director of the OCRC's Toledo office, was a personal friend of Perlean Griffin, one of the persons who filed a charge against the City of Toledo. This statement is categorically false. As an enforcement agency, we pride ourselves on the impartiality of our investigative process and hold ourselves accountable to the highest ethical standards.

At this press conference, moreover, it was also stated that the OCRC did not contact relevant witnesses in the process of our investigation of these charges. This statement, however, is misleading at best, and we are confident that the record will show that several requests were made to interview these witnesses, but - for whatever reason - they were not made available during the investigation.

What seems to have been lost in the flurry of hearsay, rumor, and innuendo is that the "probable cause" finding made last week is only the first step in a much larger process, a process designed to identify and remedy unlawful discriminatory practices in a fair, efficient, and effective manner. Just like any other employer, the City of Toledo can request reconsideration of this initial finding and make an appearance before the board of commissioners. If this is unsuccessful, the city will then have a full opportunity to defend itself in a public hearing before an administrative law judge, again just like any other employer. Suffice to say, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission's process is fair and balanced, and has served its purpose well for nearly 50 years.

G. Michael Payton

Executive Director

Ohio Civil Rights Commission

Columbus

Opposition to levy isn't based on Rose

Hogwash. Our honorable Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is already threatening to lay off police, firemen, and refuse collectors if the voters don't vote to renew the 0.75 percent city income tax levy. As a voter and taxpayer in the city of Toledo, I have the right to adequate police and fire protection as well as refuse pickup.

All these services were provided prior to the 1984 passage of the 0.75 percent levy, and we were told then that this levy was to fund these departments. But like so many times before, once the levy was passed, the proceeds were applied to other pet political projects.

I will not vote for this levy renewal. In fact, I will do everything that I can to discourage others from voting for it.

I will vote, however, for a levy, the proceeds of which are dedicated by law to be used exclusively by our police, fire, and refuse departments.

My decision has nothing to do with the Rev. Floyd Rose and his attention-grabbing "civil disobedience" charade. If anything, Carty is probably just using voters' dislike for these types of tactics to gain support for his levy.

My decision is based on the fact that I'm really tired of being lied to by "His Honor."

William Poznanski

Melvin Drive

Reverend's remarks promote racism

Once again, the notorious Rev. Floyd Rose has to play the race card. Shame on him.

I don't have a stake in whether the 0.75 percent temporary tax passes. However, I don't see anything in that tax proposal that would suggest it's directed at the black community. As I understand it, it will result in the continued protective services by police, firefighters, etc.

No one likes more taxes, but how does that discriminate against any race?

Of course, Mr. Rose has to make headlines no matter what the cost is to the community.

Wake up folks and don't let this loudmouth continue to fool you. In spite of the fact that he is a "reverend," he is really only promoting his own brand of racism and hate by using the pulpit in the same way as a few other of his well-known fellow preachers. That's a very tacky way to make a living.

Now, if Mr. Rose wants to continue down this road, it could come back and bite him. Who is going to suffer the most if services are cut back?

We need fewer people trying to promote racism for their own benefit and more folks trying to work together in the name of God.

A city can only be as good as the people living there.

It has nothing to do with big buildings, big business, sport teams, or some kind of government-sponsored panel or commission. Open your Bibles. Healing cannot start without forgiveness.

We all need to lead by example and show our youth how it should be done. Start by loving your neighbors and supporting your police and firefighters who are there for each and every citizen.

Ed Byerly

North Baltimore

Rose's racist tirades divide blacks, whites

Just the other day, for some reason, I found myself wondering what happened to the Rev. Floyd Rose. Then, lo and behold, he comes crawling out from under his rock a few days later, spewing the same racist tirades that kept Toledo's blacks and whites racially divided for so many years.

While he sprinkles the word "equality" in his diatribes, his true message remains unchanged. As always, he pushes for preferential and special treatment for blacks and punishment for today's white population for perceived injustices committed by a tiny portion of whites a generation or more ago.

His presence, speeches, and actions are no different than those of his white counterparts, the neo-Nazis, who marched in North Toledo a few years ago. He does nothing but incite more racism and hatred among both blacks and whites, reversing any progress, albeit small and slow, achieved over recent years.

I am sure he will continue with his constitutionally protected hate speech, but at least one member of the target of his racism will respond differently than did the targets of the neo-Nazis' racism with writing instead of rioting.

Mark Harrell

Maumee

'Blades' would be catchy, fitting name

For a fitting and catchy name for our new municipal pro-hockey team, why not the Toledo "Blades." It's a phrase that refers nicely to skating, rolls easily off the tongue, sounds good paired with the "Hens," and has been around since 1835.

Of course "One of America's Great Newspapers" would have to give its blessing, but given the free advertising connection it would make, that shouldn't be a problem.

Tom Barden

Kenwood Boulevard

Hockey team name should look to future

Let's think about names for our new hockey team that have to do with an industry that is making a big name for itself in Toledo, an industry that is moving us into the future.

Here are three possibilities - all of which would not be pluralized (like the Miami Heat): Solar, Energy, or Power.

D. Ellen Critchley

Bexford Place



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