Editors note: This article is one of a series of profiles of the 12 Toledo city council at-large candidates running in the Nov. 6 election.
Terry Shankland has been as omnipresent in city politics over the last 10 years as he has been serving hot dogs, ice cream, and pancakes at neighborhood festivals.
In 1993 he ran for mayor. In 1995 he ran for city council.
He tossed his chef's hat in the ring for a vacancy on city council in April, 1997. And he was on the ballot that fall for an at-large city council seat.
None of his efforts resulted in election
This year, however, Mr. Shankland squeaked through the primary to be included in the 12-person runoff on Nov. 6.
While some see Mr. Shankland as a perennial candidate or out to get free publicity for his catering business, Mr. Shankland says he's dead serious. He converses knowledgeably on almost any subject of city policy or local politics.
Born in Toledo, Mr. Shankland attended the former Hopewell School on Jackman Road and Arlington School in South Toledo. He graduated from Whitmer High School in 1965 and enlisted in the Navy, where he was a ship's cook.
Mr. Shankland's parents owned a truck stop at Telegraph and State Line roads, among other businesses. Working with his parents introduced Mr. Shankland to the special challenges of having a small business.
Today he operates Shankland's Catering out of a former union hall in the Old West End that also is home to him and his wife, Diane. They have no children.
Last year Mr. Shankland closed the ice cream store he operated at Cricket West shopping center after 13 years, saying he was beginning to lose money on the operation.
Mr. Shankland said Toledo's small businesses need a voice on city council. He proposed an ombudsman whose job would be to help keep businesses in the city. “Our councilmen aren't knowledgeable about business,” Mr. Shankland said. “Nobody understands the little guy. If we don't make a profit, we get out of town.”
He said he is in favor of converting brownfields to industrial or retail uses. But he said he opposes converting green spaces in the city to retail use. Mr. Shankland opposed the rezoning of undeveloped land along Alexis Road for a home improvement store because of its proximity to Greenwood Park.
But several years ago he lent his voice in support of building a home store in the Westgate area in an area that was heavily built up.
“Once you put a shopping center on a green space, it's gone. It'll never be green again,” Mr. Shankland said. “That's why I'm against putting a shopping center in Maumee. We can't support what we have now.”
As for public safety, Mr. Shankland says more police are badly needed, but the city can't afford them.
He suggested creating a corps of citizen deputies - bus drivers, truck drivers, and little old ladies - who are equipped with a police band monitor and a cell phone.
The city has six at-large council seats, whose occupants represent and are elected by the entire city, and six district council members, who are elected by voters in different segments of the city.
Others seeking an at-large seat are Carol Buno, Louis Escobar, Peter Gerken, Perlean Griffin, Dennis Lange, Art Jones, George Sarantou, Peter Ujvagi, Matthew Zaleski, Betty Shultz, and Gene Zmuda.