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Published: Wednesday, 4/27/2005

Ford won't veto objection to liquor permit

BY TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

After delaying action for several days, Toledo Mayor Jack Ford said yesterday he would not veto a City Council resolution objecting to renewal of a liquor license for a Reynolds Road bar.

The mayor's statement followed a Toledo City Council agenda session in which council members discussed holding a special session to override the mayor's veto, if necessary.

City Council voted 11-0 on April 19 to file an objection with the Ohio Division of Liquor Control opposing the permit renewal for Jalapeno's Restaurant, 519 North Reynolds Rd.

The mayor signed 26 pieces of legislation passed in last week's council meeting, but had not signed the Jalapeno's resolution as of yesterday.

Councilman Rob Ludeman, a potential Republican candidate for mayor, brought up the missing mayoral signature in council's biweekly agenda-planning session.

Council President Louis Escobar said he would call a special session, if necessary, for Monday to override the mayor's veto.

Mr. Ford said through a spokesman yesterday afternoon that he held up the Jalapeno's resolution because the owners had approached him on a recent "Meet the Mayor Night" and raised questions that he needed answered.

"He said that given the strong sentiment of the police he will not veto the legislation," spokesman Mary Chris Skeldon said.

Whether the mayor would sign the resolution or allow it to take effect without his signature was not clear.

Mayor Ford previously signed council resolutions from last week's meeting objecting to license renewals for Dreamers at 319 North Superior St. and Tia's bar at 2246 Ashland Ave.

"There was a process and the process was done appropriately," Mr. Ludeman said.

He said a veto would "circumvent" the process.

Toledo police report that Jalapeno's was the source of 24 crime reports and 34 calls for service in 2004; 21 crime reports in 2003, and 11 reports in 2002. So far this year, police have filed nine crime reports and responded to 14 calls for service.

The crimes reported in 2005 include four thefts, one warrant service, one obstructing warrant service, one auto theft, one assault, and one report of shots fired.

Mr. Ludeman said the owners of Jalapeno's contend that many of their problems were due to a promotional arrangement they had with a radio station.

However, he said the complaints predated the radio station promotion.

According to one report, officers passing Jalapeno's at 2:13 a.m. on Feb. 6, 2005, observed a crowd in the parking lot and heard gunshots.

After the crowd dispersed, police found five .40 caliber shells.

A woman who answered the telephone at Jalapeno's yesterday said no one was available to comment.

A letter filed with council by Rome Marinelli, the owner of an adjacent property on North Reynolds Road, said Jalapeno's was responding to the city's complaints. Mr. Marinelli said those measures included hiring security on busy nights and a clean-up service for the parking lot.

Contact Tom Troy at:

tomtroy@theblade.com

or 419-724-6058.



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