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Published: Monday, 11/2/2009

Skeldon is not the man for this job

Why does Tom Skeldon, the Lucas County dog warden, need to be told by a committee to do things such as immunize the dogs that come to the county shelter, promote more adoption and less euthanasia of dogs, and establish a manual for operating procedures?

After 22 years in this job, Mr. Skeldon has yet to do any of these things?Why did it take 22 years for someone to realize that this just might be a problem?

I've been living in Toledo for a little more than a year, and I am appalled by Mr. Skeldon's clear lack of caring and empathy for dogs. Anyone who works in a field that involves animals should have enough compassion to realize that these are living, breathing creatures that feel pain and emotions. Clearly, Mr. Skeldon either does not realize this or just plain doesn't care. Either way, it's obvious that this man has no business in this job or any job that involves animals.

The dog warden advisory committee's first suggestion to improve the dog warden's office and public relations should have been to ask for Mr. Skeldon's resignation to allow the position to be filled by someone actually qualified to do the job.

Valerie Adamski

Rochelle Road

So Kroger won't keep its store at Manhattan Plaza - further depressing an already struggling part of town - not even after a multimillion dollar subsidy offer from the city? Those "little" stores just aren't profitable enough, so you folks will just have to get in your car and drive to a bigger one. Don't have a car? Sorry.

Who else would rather see something like this: The next time Kroger officials ask for rezoning or a tax abatement for a new store, the city and the county get together and say, "You want something? So do we. Keep your store on Manhattan or rebuild it if you want to. Part of the cost of doing business here is that we don't abandon our core city."

Isn't it crazy to offer Kroger tax incentives to build big, new stores where they were going to build anyway, like the one on Sylvania west of King Road and other upscale areas? That's what the county did, and what the city offered Kroger to keep its Manhattan Plaza store open.

We are not desperate, nor are we fools. Let's demand a little bit of economic justice for a change.

Mike Ferner

113th Street

A report just issued by the Institute of Medicine concluded that exposure to secondhand smoke significantly increases the risk of having a heart attack among both smokers and nonsmokers. The report went on to recommend no-smoking policies in all public places. The results of the report really should not be a surprise to anyone.

As a newcomer during Jack Ford's administration, I remember the excitement when the ban on public smoking was enacted in Toledo. I also remember the legal battles and enforcement issues that ensued. Mr. Ford took a lot of heat over the issue and eventually lost his re-election bid.

Some say he lost because he did not save Southwyck and the lack of progress in the Marina District. Well, not much has happened at Southwyck, except its demolition, and what will happen with the Marina District project is anybody's guess.

In my mind, Jack never got the credit he deserved for making Toledo a healthier and better place to live. Thanks, Jack, on behalf of all Toledoans, especially my grandchildren.

Joe Walter

River Road

Not all pit bulls deserve to die. Some are just as good as any other dog you could own.

Clara M. Buckenberger

Elmhurst Road

Toledo and Lucas County aren't suffering from brain drain, they suffer from common-sense drain. What starts out as a good idea ends up being quickly contaminated by the loony ideas of a few people in power.

Take the Lucas County dog warden oversight committee that recently finished its evaluation of the warden's operation. Three of the committee's suggestions appear to have some merit but the fourth suggestion is ridiculous, costly, and dumber than a boatload of hair.

The committee recommended the dog warden start going door to door checking for unlicensed dogs. However, the committee requested the warden refrain from focusing his resources on specific neighborhoods, all in the spirit of political correctness.

That's like having two houses side by side, with Michael Vick in one and Donald Trump in the other, and going to Mr. Trump's house first so as not to make Mr. Vick feel like he was singled out for inspection of his dog-fighting operation. How ridiculous!

The dog warden knows which neighborhoods have the most unlicensed dogs as well as fighting dogs. So do the police, the fire department, city workers, and probably even the TARTA bus drivers. Why waste limited resources and staff on door-to-door inspections of neighborhoods where law-abiding dog owners are already buying licenses? Use of a simple computer could eliminate most all of those homes where owners are on record of buying the most expensive dog licenses in the state.

I do not agree with many things the warden does, like his kill-all-pit-bull policy, but in this case he is being asked to waste a ton of taxpayer money for the sake of political correctness. No common sense.

Richard H. Hayes

Densmore Drive

I totally agree with The Blade editorial regarding Lucas County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon.

Last year I rescued a dog from the dog warden. Upon getting her home, I noticed there was blood in her urine. I immediately took her to my veterinarian, where they found that she had bladder stones. I was advised that she had to have been in pain and should have been treated for this serious problem. Surgery was scheduled for the next day.

I contacted the dog warden and spoke with Mr. Skeldon, at which time I was advised that I should "bring it [the dog] back, and they will take care of it." I asked what that meant and was told she would be put to sleep. He also stated that he should not have made her adoptable. I was totally appalled by this statement.

My dog continues to thrive, healthy and happy, at my home. I am so glad that I rescued her from the hands of Mr. Skeldon.

A. Grzechowiak

Ogden Avenue

I just received my copy of the book Hockey Night in Toledo and I'd like to compliment all responsible for the excellent report on hockey in Toledo through the years.

As the wife of one of the original Mercurys, Barney O'Connell, I just had to write to tell you how much I enjoyed it. It took me back. I arrived in Toledo in May, 1949, after we were married in Winnipeg and we stayed 25 years.

Barney retired in 1951. Our daughter, Shannon, was born in April while he was playing (between the second and third period). He went on to become a successful salesman with B.R. Baker menswear for 20 years. He also was a linesman in the 1950s and a color man on TV.

The children will certainly enjoy the book. Barney kept quite a scrapbook of his hockey years in Winnipeg and Toledo. He passed away in 1998.

Hope to see the Walleyes play in the new Lucas County Arena. That would be special. Lots of luck to them.

Many thanks again for the memories. I love The Blade, with my favorite being the Peach Section. I still follow hockey games, especially the Red Wings. It's in my blood.

Bernice O'Connell

Grand Rapids, Mich.



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