School board may flunk chemistry
Eight bite-size Lemmon Drops to nibble on while counting the days until Jack Bauer's return: This could be a very rocky year for the Toledo Board of Education. The five-person panel has three new members and already there seems to be a major chemistry problem which does not bode well for the hiring of a superintendent to succeed Eugene Sanders, who is leaving Aug. 31.
A Nov. 11 article was the first indication that the board could become a dysfunctional unit. Larry Sykes, one of the two holdovers, said it would be a mistake for Darlene Fisher or Robert Torres incoming members who campaigned on a platform of "change" to be elected president. ("These people don't have a clue of the responsibility that lies ahead, and they are going to be in for a rude awakening," Mr. Sykes said.) Meanwhile, Ms. Fisher said that "in order to bring the community together," either she or Mr. Torres should be the board's president.
Mr. Sykes sounded bitter. Ms. Fisher sounded arrogant. That's not a good mix.
On Wednesday, Ms. Fisher was elected president.
With such a deep divide on the board, her focus over the next few months should be on "stability," not "change." Otherwise, she will put herself at risk for a crash-and-burn tenure. Maybe it's because he ran one of the most uninspired political campaigns I've ever seen, finishing fourth in the 2005 Toledo mayoral primary. Or maybe it's because I fear he will be like his predecessor, Louis Escobar, and not put anything on the front burner. But I'm still scratching my head over Rob Ludeman, a Republican, being elected president of Toledo City Council. The latest power rankings for Toledo politics: 1. B-Team Democrats (no change); 2. Republicans (up one); 3. A-Team Democrats (down one). Bob McCloskey did not blame himself for his failed bid to become council president. He blamed The Blade, which has chronicled his legal woes.
"You guys are the reason," he said in an article Thursday. "You ruined my chance to be president of council. It should have been mine."
Yeah, and Terry (the character portrayed by Marlon Brando) in On the Waterfront could have been a contender. He could have been somebody. In a perfect world, Toledo would have a 90,000-seat stadium and host the Ohio State-Notre Dame football game every year. (Just like Jacksonville serves as the host city for the Florida-Georgia rivalry, and the storied Texas-Oklahoma series is played in Dallas.) Loyal reader Harvey, whose job takes him to Oakwood Avenue nearly every workday, has a suggestion for Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner: "Revisit 'Cokewood.' There are new houses and more being built, but in the old houses and out in the street, right on that block, it is business as usual." News of the extra year of lane restrictions on the Martin Luther King, Jr., Bridge the delay can be traced to flawed replacement draw spans designed by Kansas City-based HNTB prompted an e-mail from Kris: "Maybe to pay for its error [HNTB] should send every Toledoan $20 to cover the extra gas costs for sitting in traffic to get through there." It wouldn't surprise me if the latest chapter in the saga of former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett who was sought on two counts of aggravated robbery before turning himself in ends up being another lesson in jumping to conclusions.