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Published: Saturday, 10/8/2005

Finkbeiner's demolition plan continues its reverberations

The political effects of mayoral candidate Carty Finkbeiner's proposal to raze blocks of rundown buildings continued to reverberate yesterday.

Mr. Finkbeiner lashed out at Mayor Jack Ford for allegedly labeling his proposal as "racist."

"How one could point his finger at me and say that this is racist is absolutely false," Mr. Finkbeiner said.

But a spokesman for Mr. Ford said the accusation was never made.

"That's absolutely false," said Mary Chris Skeldon, Mr. Ford's public information officer.

Mr. Ford on Wednesday said Mr. Finkbeiner's plan is "discriminatory." Later in the same news conference, he clarified his remark to say he meant class discrimination.

"It was discriminatory by class as this would disrupt the lives of the most vulnerable people, people in poverty," Ms. Skeldon said.

Mr. Finkbeiner's idea is to relocate the residents of two to three-block areas where a majority of the buildings are substandard and develop new housing. He said the idea has been used successfully in Toledo before, such as in Warren-Sherman.

Ms. Skeldon said Mr. Ford chose the location of Lawrence and Palmwood avenues to respond to Mr. Finkbeiner on Thursday to show how new home construction can take place without disrupting the existing neighborhood.

Toledo City Council candidate Karen Shanahan yesterday defended the recently created Democratic political action committee that has endorsed her and a handful of other local Democrats this year.

Ms. Shanahan responded to what she said were "sarcastic" references to LucasCountyDemocrats.org, the political action committee set up by "A-team" Democrats. She attributed the remarks to Democrats associated with the "B-team," which is in control of the Lucas County Democratic Party.

Earlier this week, Mark Sobczak said at the Toledo Board of Realtors candidates' forum that he was endorsed by the "real Democratic Party, not just a Web site."

"LucasCountyDemocrats.org is not a Web site, it is a PAC of the real Democrats of Toledo," Ms. Shanahan said.

Mr. Sobczak and Ms. Shanahan are among 12 candidates for six at-large council seats.

Compiled by Blade staff writers

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