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Published: Friday, 6/22/2007

Finkbeiner insists he s changed man

BY TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
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Mayor Carty Finkbeiner insisted that he has toned down the fiery temper he was famous for in his first two terms, and has cut way back on "cussing" and invoking the Lord s name.

But the mayor s behavior with his underlings is once again under scrutiny after Patsy Scott, the head of his information technology department, resigned abruptly yesterday, claiming the mayor verbally abused her in the weekly staff meeting.

Ms. Scott s resignation, which she put in the form of a two-page letter giving her three-week notice, was not accepted by the mayor, who had his chief of staff issue Ms. Scott a notice of dismissal later in the day.

The blow-up between the two came just four days before a crucial city council meeting where the mayor s wireless Internet initiative is set to get a public review. Ms. Scott was co-leader in charge of that project.

Ms. Scott said the mayor s behavior was unprofessional and inexcusable. She said she was one of only two directors who stayed on in the mayor s cabinet from the term of former Mayor Jack Ford because the mayor assured her he was a changed person.

Mr. Finkbeiner said yesterday he really is a changed person, and said Ms. Scott did not witness the kind of outbursts he used to engage in.

"I have been a much, much more controlled, reasonable, thoughtful man, who has worked very hard incidentally to cuss a whole lot less than I did the eight years before, and I have succeeded at both," Mr. Finkbeiner said.

"I don t cuss day in and day out. I don t cuss more than some people who work for the city of Toledo. Might have the first years, but I don t now," the mayor said. "When I want to make a point and decorate it I don t even put the Lord s name, which I was guilty of doing in the past. I ll say damn it or something of that nature."

Mr. Finkbeiner added: "I do spice up my language. I don t think that makes me a bad person even in the good Lord s eyes upstairs.

"Occasionally I reprimand myself and I say daggone it I let a word fly that I shouldn t have. That didn t happen yesterday."

He said his "animated" style motivates his staffers and city employees and demonstrates his passion for the city.

"The day I lose that spark is the day you get a lousy mayor," Mr. Finkbeiner told reporters at a news conference today.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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