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Wednesday, August 27, 2014
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Published: Wednesday, 7/3/2013

Lopez used union labor for home project

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The union-backed candidate for mayor put her money where her mouth is when it came to her own home.

Anita Lopez, the elected Lucas County Auditor running to be Toledo's next mayor, insisted upon union labor last year when she moved forward on a $23,000 bathroom renovation project.

A Blade review of city permits filed for the work show the two companies working on the project are union shops – Mondo Mechanical Co. of 705 Burbank Drive, a signatory company with United Association Local 50 – Plumbers, Steamfitters, and Service Mechanics Union, and Turner Electric of Sylvania, which is a signatory company with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 8.

Ms. Lopez called reporters to her home Monday morning to defended her credit history, which shows late payments and more than $260,000 in personal debt. The Democratic candidate said she borrowed to pay for the bathroom renovations to move her parents into her house.

Patrick Andrews, president of Accessible Renovations of Perrysburg, said his firm was hired to do the design but none of his direct employees did construction work at the Lopez home.

“We did the overall design and scope of the project,” Mr. Andrews said. “We assisted with that portion. It was a very small bathroom renovation.”

Accessible Renovations uses union and non-union labor.

“We have multiple types of trades partners and from time to time we enjoy using union labor and other times it is not appropriate,” Mr. Andrews said. “The permits that were pulled, to the best of my knowledge were all union labor.”

Juan Hinojosa, owner of Mondo Mechanical, lauded Ms. Lopez for renovating her home to accommodate her parents.

“God bless her heart for wanting to take her parents into her home,” Mr. Hinojosa said. “How many people stand up to take in parents so they can have a place to call home.”

Ms. Lopez said she financed the job with a loan from Toledo Metro Federal Credit Union. The credit union paid off what she owed on a 2010 Jeep Commander and rolled that amount into a new loan that now includes the $23,000 spent in 2012 for the home renovations. The car became collateral for the loan, for which she owes about $34,060 and has a $831 monthly payment, Ms. Lopez said.

She has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO, the Northwest Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, AFSCME Council 8, IBEW Local 8, the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators & Allied Workers, United Association Local 50 – Plumbers, Steamfitters, and Service Mechanics Union, Teamsters Local 20, the Teachers Association of Washington Local Schools, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades- Glazers Local 948.

Contact Ignazio Messina at:

imessina@theblade.com

or 419-724-6171.



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