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Published: Sunday, 11/6/2005

District 6 candidates vow to give area more attention


Toledo's District 6 faces environmental and economic issues that need more attention than the district has recently received, the candidates vying for the City Council seat say.

The North Toledo district's distinct issues include the need to dredge and develop the Ottawa and Maumee rivers, candidates say. Problems facing the rest of the city, such as public safety, high utility rates, and economic development, all involve District 6 as well.

Those running for the job are David Ball, 27, an independent-Green candidate; Donald A. Bensman, 76, a Democrat; Joe Birmingham, 36, a Republican; and Kate Ryan Schwartz, 30, an independent. None has held elective office.

Mr. Ball stresses the role of the environment in most problems. High utility rates in Toledo relate, in part, to the city's lack of alternative energy. Dredging the Ottawa River must be done in an environmentally safe way, and the companies that polluted it should be held accountable for their share of the cost.

Mr. Bensman focuses on business and economic development - and that means dredging the Ottawa River so boaters can use it and patronize businesses on its banks. He also wants to see some competition among the utility companies.

Mr. Birmingham says crime, public school performance, and jobs are the major issues, along with improving the rivers.

Mrs. Schwartz wants to see more retail opportunities in the district, perhaps culminating with the development of a "destination outlet center" to create jobs, tax base, and tourism. She would also hold town meetings for residents to bring their concerns to her.

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