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Published: Saturday, 4/18/2009

City Council clerk to tell mayor: Quit or face recall

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER

Toledo Clerk of Council Jerry Dendinger is expected to notify Mayor Carty Finkbeiner as early as Monday of his right to resign or face a threatened recall election.

The mayor's five-day window to resign, which he has said he wouldn't exercise, is the next step in the effort to remove Mr. Finkbeiner from office with just a few months left in his term.

Friday, with help from a co-worker and a couple of hand trucks, Mr. Dendinger transported the 45,500 signatures submitted by the recall group Take Back Toledo from the Lucas County Board of Elections to City Council's offices, all within the same 22-story building.

The elections board staff spent three days verifying 39,994 signatures, leaving about 5,000 signatures unchecked but available if necessary. Of those verified, 20,444 were valid, meaning just more than half of the signatures collected were from registered Toledo voters.

The Take Back Toledo group dropped off the petitions in an attention-getting show April 9, with the businessmen leaders of the group carrying six boxes of petitions from their vehicle to the board of elections office.

The board of elections fit the same petitions into three boxes, following the verification process.

The backers of Take Back Toledo accuse Mr. Finkbeiner of making bad financial decisions, embarrassing the city, and driving away potential development.

Under the city charter, Mr. Dendinger has until Monday to notify Take Back Toledo that the petition drive was successful.

Mr. Dendinger planned to formally notify the mayor of the petitions no later than May 7, to guarantee the recall question is submitted to the board of elections at its May 12 meeting.

Brian Schwartz, coordinator of the Take Back Toledo committee, said the organization would use the next couple of weeks to regroup.

The recall question is expected to go on the Nov. 3 ballot, when Toledo voters will elect Mr. Finkbeiner's successor.

Contact Tom Troy at:

tomtroy@theblade.com

or 419-724-6058.



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