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Published: Sunday, 5/29/2005

Carty, for the sake of your legacy, don't run

Seven bite-size Lemmon Drops to nibble on while rooting for Danica Patrick in the Indianapolis 500:

  • Carty Finkbeiner, who turns 66 tomorrow, must have a monster ego. Why else would he consider running for mayor again?

    His popularity is at its peak now, 3 1/2 years after leaving office. If he doesn't run, he will be considered one of Toledo's greatest mayors right up there with Samuel "Golden Rule" Jones.

    But if he gives in to political temptation, he risks ruining his legacy.

    The expectations for Carty II are way too high. And they simply aren't realistic: Some people are convinced, for example, that Owens-Illinois Inc. would not be moving to Perrysburg Township if he were still in office.

    Lest we forget Toledo once suffered from "Carty Fatigue." That's one reason why Jack Ford, his successor and probable opponent should he run, was able to deflect criticism early on he flashed his "I'm Not Carty" pass.

    Mr. Finkbeiner left office on a high note because Toledo voters gave the green light to the Marina District a few months before the end of his second four-year term. The city had momentum, and he deserved credit for creating it.

    Mr. Finkbeiner is a rare politician in that he became more popular after leaving office. The same thing happened to Jimmy Carter.

    The filing deadline for the mayoral race is July 15. Will Mr. Finkbeiner decide to satisfy his ego or preserve his legacy?

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't one of the main selling points for raising the Toledo mayor's salary to $136,000 (from $75,000) in 2001 is that it would attract a better caliber of candidate? The five biggest names linked to the 2005 mayoral race are all political veterans. There's not a heavy hitter from the private sector a Ross Perot or Arnold Schwarzenegger, if you will in the bunch.

  • When I read the "Tap dancers click heels downtown" headline in Thursday's paper, I thought Gov. Bob Taft and officials from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation had been in town to answer questions about "Coingate."

  • The city of Sylvania and Sylvania Township are exploring the possibility of merging their governments.

    Rossford is reaching out to Northwood and Lake Township, among others, to examine the feasibility of creating a joint recreation district.

    I hesitate saying this, because petty provincialism supersedes practicality in northwest Ohio, but we might be taking baby steps toward a "uni-gov" system.

  • Those adamantly opposed to casino gambling in Ohio like to remind us that voters rejected it twice before, in 1990 and 1996. The insinuation, of course, is that voters will reject it the next time it's on the ballot too.

    What they conveniently forget to mention is that the gambling-related measures were voted on long before casinos came to Detroit and started draining money from Ohio. It's a completely different environment now.

    If it makes the ballot in November, the determining factor will be whether voters see it more as a "moral" issue or an "economic development" issue. My guess is that it'll be the latter.

  • Tell me again why seat belts are mandatory in Ohio yet motorcycle helmets aren't.

  • Attendance and revenue at the Toledo Zoo are lower than projected? I'm thinking had this happened a year ago, bar owners would have blamed it on the smoking ban.

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