The Blade’s excellent job of reporting the disheartening growth of blight in Toledo has unfortunately created knee-jerk reactions by city leaders (“Mayor decries Blade’s report on city blight; Collins says housing court to blame for cleanup delays,” June 18).
While the city’s code-enforcement and nuisance-abatement efforts need to be improved, focusing solely on enforcement treats the symptom but ignores the disease.
The cause of blight in Toledo is the growth of poverty. Low home-ownership rates lead to the decline of housing stock and neighborhoods.
City leaders need to take a holistic approach and adopt initiatives that raise the median income of people who live in Toledo.
The community also needs to focus on improving the financial literacy and capacity of its residents. Greater support of Toledo’s Financial Opportunity Center and efforts to link tax incentives to hiring local residents would be a good start.
Editor’s note: The writer is a former Toledo City Council president and 2013 mayoral candidate.
Ford too late in addressing issue
Toledo City Councilman Jack Ford sure jumped on the bandwagon about Toledo’s blight (“Ford calls for creation of city Blight Authority; Councilman wants inspection chief gone,” June 17). The situation didn’t arise overnight, and it won’t disappear in a snap.
Had Mr. Ford established some kind of authority when he was Toledo’s mayor, the mayors who followed him would have recognized the importance of cleaning up our city.
Gateway project bodes ill for road
Once the realignment of the Anthony Wayne Trail’s entrance into downtown Toledo is completed, some may think all will be well (“Plan debated for gateway to downtown; Many like change; traffic moves could hurt others,” June 12). But it won’t.
There is no comfort in knowing that the poor condition of our streets is taking a backseat to a pleasingly landscaped entrance to downtown.
As a lifelong Toledoan and Old West End resident, I am not impressed by the city seeking to concentrate on an $8 million deal for one intersection.
Inmates should clean city
City officials should put the criminals who are in the Lucas County Jail to work on cleanup duty. Taxpayer money takes care of them. They should be made to work for it.
Marina District still blighted
Chinese investors bought land in Toledo’s Marina District and have done nothing with it; it’s still blighted (East Toledo: Smokestack demolition set to start on July 10; City will pay $388,000 using federal money,” June 19).