MAY 6 VOTING

4 candidates certified for special election

Ballot held to fill vacancy on Toledo City Council

3/29/2014
BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER
Stainbrook
Stainbrook

The Lucas County Board of Elections on Friday certified the last of four candidates for the ballot to run in a May 6 special election for Toledo City Council, while board member Jon Stainbrook stepped up his criticism of the way the board is being operated.

Certified on a 3-0 vote, with one member absent, were Republican Joe Celusta, Democrat Bob Vasquez, and endorsed Democrat and appointed Councilman Matt Cherry. Independent candidate Marcia Helman was certified Monday.

The election is for the two years remaining in the current term for the District 2 seat, representing South Toledo, that D. Michael Collins vacated when he was sworn in as mayor Jan. 2.

The elections board meeting in One Government Center was punctuated with criticisms from Mr. Stainbrook, including of board member Tony DeGidio’s late arrival.

“Late again, all the way from Youngstown,” Mr. Stainbrook remarked as Mr. DeGidio walked in three minutes after the meeting was supposed to have started.

Mr. DeGidio retorted, “At least I stay to the end and don’t have a temper tantrum,” an apparent reference to the March 4 meeting when Mr. Stainbrook walked out after the board voted 3-1 to remove his ally, Meghan Gallagher, as director and replace her with board secretary Gina Kaczala.

The two continued to talk over each other while board Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler, a Democrat, started the meeting.

In 2013, Mr. DeGidio survived several efforts supported by Mr. Stainbrook to force him off the board because he was living at his parents’ Youngstown home rather than at the Sylvania Township address he listed in his voter registration. Mr. DeGidio changed his registration in December to an address in Jerusalem Township.

Mr. DeGidio, a Republican, was brought on the board with Mr. Stainbrook’s support, but the two have had a falling out, and Mr. DeGidio now usually sides with the two Democratic members, Mr. Rothenbuhler and John Irish, on disputed matters.

Mr. Stainbrook accused the board of refusing to hold so-called “regular” board meetings to prevent him from airing concerns about how the board is run. Only items placed on the agenda by the chairman may be discussed at special meetings, and Mr. Rothenbuhler has refused to place Mr. Stainbrook’s items on those agendas.

“Ron does not want to have regular meetings so we can talk about the real issues of the office,” Mr. Stainbrook said.

Mr. Rothenbuhler said a regular meeting schedule will be set the next time the board meets, but he could not explain why the elections board has failed to hold regular meetings since October.

Contact Tom Troy: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419--724-6058 or an Twitter @TomFTroy.