Personally, I like my mayors squeaky-clean.
If Carty Finkbeiner wants to install a shower in his office, I'm all for it - unlike some local nay-sayers.
City Councilman Frank Szollosi, for example.
The councilman told Blade city hall reporter Tom Troy that, while he's "all for fitness," he can't quite fathom bestowing such perks on anybody on the city payroll at a time when "we're fighting to put police on the street."
Aw, c'mon Frank. Carty's not just any city employee.
It's true that a shower might be an extravagance if installed in certain Government Center offices, but surely the mayor of a metropolitan city deserves this meager perk.
Of course, one does wonder if a shower stall outfitted with slabs of those acrylic panels might not have been a thriftier option than custom tiling.
(That, plus tile means the constant chore of keeping grout clean - trust me on this.)
On the other hand, the Finkbeiner administration made a reasonable effort to keep down the overall cost of maintaining The Fitness Mayor.
As Chief of Staff Bob Reinbolt noted, exercise equipment that's going into a new work-out room was donated by an employee.
Can't you just see the e-mail that must have circulated to city hall in-boxes?
Looking to get rid of that unused treadmill or Nordictrack? Did your Suzanne Sommers Thigh-Master not work out so well? DO WE HAVE THE SOLUTION FOR YOU - AND IT'S TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!!
Sorry, but I think a shower is a reasonable perk for a mayor, especially one who's a slave to long work hours and daily exercise.
However, now let's talk about the process, shall we?
As in: Carty, Carty, Carty
It would have been so easy, so simple, so utterly effortless to avoid such eyebrow-raising headlines as Mayoral shower stall raises questions.
And Toledo's mayor - who very likely emerged from his mother's womb as a ready-to-go politician, complete with vice-grip handshake - should know this already.
Trying to slide in below the $10,000 threshold (the point at which an expenditure requires council approval) sure appears to be a deliberate and sneaky maneuver on the part of the administration to avoid detection.
Why not just put out a press release - a boring, run-of-the-mill, garden variety press release - saying something like this:
For immediate release: New, small-scale plumbing project in city hall nears completion.
On behalf of newsrooms throughout the city, let me just say this about that: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
That puppy would've hit the circular file faster than you could say "snooze alarm."
Oh, and one more thing.
Mr. Reinbolt assures us that the exercise equipment will be available to be used by others in the mayor's office.
Would the first city-hall worker brave enough to use Carty's treadmill please call and, um, let me know how that all works out?