A year after leaving Toledo's mayoral office, Carty Finkbeiner may return to public life.
Mr. Finkbeiner confirmed yesterday he'd be willing to fill an opening on the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority's board of directors created by the Dec. 26 death of Toledo car dealer George Ballas. But the former two-term mayor insisted he's not lobbying for the unpaid job helping to oversee a high-profile public agency.
“I would certainly be honored to be considered, but neither have I formally requested such consideration nor has anyone in a position of authority formally requested me to do so,” he said.
The Lucas County commissioners control the appointment, and port authority board member Jerry Chabler has lobbied each of the commissioners to consider Mr. Finkbeiner. Despite Mr. Chabler's past political sparring with the former mayor, he cited Mr. Finkbeiner's experience in economic development and devotion to the region.
“I raised a lot of money to defeat Carty Finkbeiner [in past mayoral bids],” Mr. Chabler said. “But in this case, I think Carty Finkbeiner is one of the best appointments, especially in these economic times, that the commissioners can go with.”
With a week left to apply, Commissioner Harry Barlos said a “number of individuals” have either come forward or been suggested to fill Mr. Ballas' seat, but he was unable to provide more detail.
Mr. Barlos and the other two commissioners, Maggie Thurber and Tina Skeldon Wozniak, emphasized that they won't decide on a replacement for Mr. Ballas until they review all applications for the vacancy on the 13-member board.
The port authority operates the region's seaport, train station, two airports, and some business-financing programs. It also supports the region's lead economic development agency, the Regional Growth Partnership.
Six of the 13 port authority board members are appointed by the mayor with city council approval. Six more are appointed by the county commissioners. One member is jointly selected by the city and county.
Mr. Finkbeiner knows the process well, having appointed many of the current members.