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City official and hotel worker seek seats on council

Two people have announced their intentions to seek at-large Toledo city council seats.

They are:

  • Perlean Griffin, 60, executive director of the city of Toledo's office of affirmative action and contract compliance.

  • Scott Robinson, 34, a hotel reservations supervisor at the Wyndham Hotel in downtown Toledo, who moved to the city from Michigan last year.

    Both are Democrats.

    Ms. Griffin said yesterday at a news conference at the Kent branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library on Collingwood Boulevard that she will seek one of council's six at-large seats. It is her first bid for public office.

    She said her priorities on council would be to work for more city money to pay for immunizations of children.

    In addition, she pledged to encourage central-city business development, help abused women, and foster a sense of cooperation.

    “We in the city of Toledo will work together for the good of us all,'' she said.

    First on Ms. Griffin's task list is to campaign for the endorsement of the Lucas County Democratic Party. Though the municipal election is officially nonpartisan, Democrats and Republicans endorse slates of candidates.

    Ms. Griffin has worked for the city 27 years. She is paid $73,000 a year. Her salary was raised from $64,000 effective Friday, though her duties did not change.

    A spokesman for Mayor Carty Finkbeiner said she did not know why Ms. Griffin received the raise.

    She was named in August to the board of directors overseeing the Erie Street Market.

    Ms. Griffin grew up in Toledo and is a graduate of the University of Toledo.

    The six at-large council members include council President Peter Ujvagi, Betty Shultz, Peter Gerken, Gene Zmuda, Louis Escobar, and Art Jones.

    Mr. Ujvagi said last week he is considering a run for mayor and will not seek election to another council term. Mr. Jones, who was appointed to the seat vacated last year by C. Allen McConnell, will run for election to a full term.

    Unlike district councilmen, who stand for election only in one of six districts, at-large council members are elected by voters citywide.

    Mr. Robinson twice ran unsuccessfully for city council in Melvindale, Mich., a southwestern suburb of Detroit. He also was a commissioner on the Melvindale economic development commission.

    “I tried to get on city council in my old city. That's one of my goals. I want to make a difference,'' Mr. Robinson said. “Fiscal responsibility is a big thing with me. Also, to raise the housing values,” he said, adding that he wants the city to take a more active role in getting residents to fix up their homes, especially in the central city. “Frankly, it is just blight.''

    He said he would require all Toledo homes to meet building codes before they could be sold.

    Mr. Robinson said he wants a greater police presence on Toledo streets and would step up enforcement of weight limits on city streets to help them last longer.

    Mr. Robinson said he worked on U.S. Rep. John Dingell's (D., Mich.) 1998 campaign, and on Ohio state Rep. Teresa Fedor's (D., Toledo) campaign last year.

    He and his wife, Ronnie, live on Parkwood Avenue.

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