Toledo City Council has many issues to contend with: rising unemployment, lagging economic development, budget deficits, increasing crime, decreased city services, employee layoffs, and potholes. Now, unleashed in the midst of all these issues, is the search for a replacement to council for Mark Sobczak, who resigned.
If the process plays out in usual political fashion, we will again witness the partisanship and divisions within the parties and the end result will be a flawed, biased appointment of a person to fill the seat. It plays out like a three-ring circus, which creates great press the media enjoy but is harmful to effective government.
Will the best person be appointed, or the best-connected person?
I challenge the Republican and Democratic county chairmen and council to effect a paradigm shift and consider the best interests of Toledo rather than the interests of the political parties: appoint a statesman to the position, a person who has no desire or inclination to run for office.
Seek a person who is experienced and can provide leadership without bias to a party. Reach out to the community, appoint a business leader or a Donna Owens or a Tom Crothers or a Tom Pounds or a John McHugh, experienced but not politically motivated to seek office.
Select a statesman who affects policy rather than policy affected by politics.
Once this appointment is made, appoint this experienced statesman president of Council, again, avoiding politics, considering the needs of Toledo.
How refreshing it would be to have our political leaders take the high road, being more concerned with the welfare of Toledo and dismissing "politics as usual."
Editor's note: The writer was an unsuccessful candidate for City Council in 2007.
"Free trade" is defined as trade between countries carried on without quotas on imports or exports, and without protective tariffs. Implicit in this definition is the understanding the goods and services produced are not only made and manufactured, but also owned by companies (people) in the host country.
International corporations have perverted the notion of free trade by exploiting pockets of poverty throughout the world. They take advantage of lax environmental standards in order to gain a competitive advantage. And they treat workers in their adoptive countries as beasts of burden, with little regard to their long-term health and well-being.
The perversion of free trade by these corporations stifles creativity and weakens competition. And we are all the weaker as a result.
We need to stand up to corporations that exploit loopholes with regard to international trade agreements.
We need to demand accountability from our government for working people both here and abroad from these unscrupulous businesses.