Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018
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Webb questions unanswered



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The saga of the Lucas County Democrats attempting to fill the office of county treasurer — open because its former occupant, Wade Kapszukiewicz, has been elected mayor — just keeps getting weirder and more dispiriting.

The party’s choice, former Toledo City Councilman Lindsay Webb, could not actually assume the office despite being appointed and taking the oath because a poor credit rating prevented her from getting the required bond for the treasurer’s job.

After this was revealed, she bowed out and said what politicians always say when their ships sink: I am looking forward to spending more time with my family. 

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Less than a week after graciously accepting her fate, Ms. Webb is asking the party to stick with its pick. She shopped around and found companies that were willing to put up the bond necessary for her to take the job. 

So now she wants the job again. 

This is a grotesque farce.

But farce aside, this development raises a few questions: 

After a few days of declining to discuss amounts, Ms. Webb and the county disclosed that her bond will cost $10,000 a year in premiums. This is compared to roughly $850 a year for her predecessor, Mr. Kapszukiewicz. 

This would seem to indicate a significant credit problem. So, how much are we talking about? The public has a right to know.

At some point, don’t personal financial problems become relevant for a county treasurer? They at least should be put into some kind of context. And that would require full disclosure and transparency by Ms. Webb.

Ordinarily, a person’s credit score is a private matter. That is true even of many public officeholders. In this case, however, Ms. Webb made the score a public question, particularly by continuing to pursue the job, after she seemed to give it up.

The treasurer job is bonded because the person in that office is responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in Lucas County taxpayer money. This is a real job, not a sinecure for a loyal partisan.

There are profound problems with the way public officials and party operatives have handled this matter: 

● Ms. Webb’s basic competence and sound judgment is now in question. 

● And the almost total indifference of the Democratic Party’s screening committee to the whole matter of competence feeds the cynicism of many and the skepticism of all.

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