Carty Finkbeiner's announcement speech - June 30, 2005
Thank you for coming on this rather steamy day to the riverfront of the city we love. Sixty-six years ago I entered this world at Toledo Hospital. A few years later I began my formal and street education. Eight years were spent at Nathan Hale Public School, followed by four years, on scholarship, at Maumee Valley Country Day School. Then on to college at Denison University. Summers I worked on construction jobs and played baseball for the Downtown Merchants, where Ron McDole, a friend and former all-pro defensive end for the Washington Redskins, and I were the only two white �boys� on an otherwise all-black baseball team.
Another summer I played for the East Toledo Merchants under the watchful eye of Bob Yenrick, who I believe is here today. After college, Frank X. Lauterbur, the athletic director and head football coach at the University of Toledo, hired me to coach the quarterbacks. Today, coach Lauterbur, coach Jack Murphy and our first quarterback, Dan Simrell, now the head football coach at the University of Findlay, are three of my honorary co-chairs. I learned so much about people those four years at UT.
That was followed by two years working for the anti-poverty program in Toledo�s central city. Under the inspiring leadership of the famed Wayman Palmer, I learned of the challenges facing minority families. Like my UT experience, I learned so much that has served me so well during my years of public service in this city.
Ten years as a councilman and eight years as mayor make me a veteran in the ongoing effort to uplift and grow this city along the banks of the Maumee River. Because I love this city and its people, today I enter the race to become Toledo�s next mayor.
Toledo is poised on the doorstep of a new century, but we must look ahead to the possibilities of the future while dealing with the challenges of the present. Toledo must fight its way out of its current stagnation, and the only way that will happen is by bringing all Toledoans together in a united effort.
Elected officials and private citizens must not only use every resource available to them, but must also ignite a spirit of hope and excitement that things can and will change for the better. Companies and non-elected community leaders must give of their time, their money and their influence to generate this momentum. Citizens can contribute in ways big and small with their initiative, their ideas and their involvement.
The talent, the brainpower, is here. It must be mobilized and energized.
Toledo has too much history and too much potential to �settle� � for mediocrity, for the status quo. �OK� is not good enough!
A mere 25 years ago Toledo was the wealthiest city in Ohio. But the past is past, and while we can remember it and honor it, we must not be bound by it. We must have forward-thinking leaders who create a new Toledo, with technology as the driving force.
In short, Toledo needs a renaissance, built from the bottom-up and the inside-out.
Toledo must once again be a pro-growth, pro-jobs city, one that takes advantage of the marvelous resources already in place while looking for new ways to insure a strong and vibrant future.
Toledo needs a mayor who will lead. Toledo needs a mayor who is an advocate and an optimist. Toledo needs a mayor with the personality and drive to bring the community together with the single goal of making Northwest Ohio a cutting-edge region for the 21st century.
The Finkbeiner administration will unite and promote, in every way possible, a clean, green, and safe city with vibrant colors everywhere � a city that inspires our citizens to improve our neighborhoods, educate our children and create jobs that offer a future in their hometown.
To accomplish our mission, we will:
1. Work with the University of Toledo, Bowling Green State University, Medical University of Ohio and Owens Community College to develop a “technology corridor,” creating the jobs of the future.
2. Develop the marina-housing-restaurant-entertainment project on the east side of the river that voters approved in September, 2001. The Marina District project will act as a complement to The Docks, which we built in 1995.
3. Seek private-sector developers to build a new sports arena in the city.
4. Meet with the ownership of Southwyck Mall to forge a compact leading to a revitalized mall in 365 days.
5. Meet with the ownership and property owners in the Westgate-Cricket West district to define the future redevelopment of this area.
6. Nurture small-business development, and establish a 25-person business advisory council, consisting of our best and brightest small-business leaders, to advise the administration on how it can help business develop in our region and eliminate government obstacles. This advisory council will review council legislation passed during the last 25 years, and we will rescind any laws that have hampered job creation.
7. Work with Ann Arbor and Detroit public and private leaders to create an automotive R&D corridor linking our cities. The purpose – job creation.
8. Fill the vacancies and voids in the Central Business District with new entrepreneurs and businesses, using tax breaks and incentives..
9. Encourage and promote a regional government to include, city, county and suburban governments all under one roof, in as many ways as possible.
10. Establish a grass-roots neighborhood program, in which every neighborhood has representation in City Hall and will be involved in decisions impacting them. This will be modeled after the Dayton program.
11. Develop a “neighborhood pride” program to encourage home ownership, civic pride and urban beautification. This program will include neighborhood competition to honor outstanding efforts to improve properties.
12. Restore the urban beautification program on main streets and in city parks while expanding these efforts into neighborhoods. We will raise $250,000 annually from the private sector to accomplish this.
13. Revitalize the urban-blight program, and return the demolition program for blighted housing to 300 demolitions annually.
14. Commit to hiring more police officers, so Toledo will no longer have the fewest police per 1,000 residents of any major city in Ohio.
15. Will actively and personally work to restore the Erie Street Market as a centerpiece of downtown revitalization.
16. Implement a city Gateway project that will utilize the resources of the city as well as the private sector to improve the appearance of the main entrances to the city.
17. Increase emphasis on repairing potholes more swiftly and permanently.
18. Commit to prioritize city Capital Improvement dollars to resurface city streets, with a target of 40 miles per year.
19. Commit to return every phone call to citizens within 24 business hours, and respond to specific concerns within 7 business days.
20. Establish monthly “Meet the Mayor” nights that will rotate locations throughout the city.
21. Establish a City Hall mentoring program that will pair city officials with young people seeking such guidance.
22. Establish privately funded, summer youth-development programs in city parks.
23. Develop a summer-job program for high school students, working with the Chamber of Commerce.
24. Seek commitments from our local companies to hire college students as “interns” during the summer months.
25. Develop job training and retraining programs for the unemployed and underemployed while working with corporations, labor unions and our universities.
26. Work with public and private school leaders to assure that new and/or improved academic campuses become the stimulus that creates family oriented neighborhood living opportunities around the academic setting.
27. Encourage adaptive reuse of vacated school properties into neighborhood community centers.
28. Monitor the levy requests of TPS to assess that the taxpayer is getting his money’s worth from their product.
29. Work with county officials, local civic leaders and regional organizations to seek ways to share resources, reduce costs and improve economic conditions in Northwest Ohio to the benefit of all.
30. Pursue further discussions on establishing a regional water/sewer authority to serve our area while ensuring Toledo residents a reasonable return on their infrastructure investments.
31. Will appoint a health and fitness honorary chairperson to promote a “healthier lifestyle” in Toledo.
32. Establish a courageous and bold committee to define how utility rates can be reduced in Northwest Ohio.
33. Restore the minority health commission to improve the life expectancy and general health of those impacted.
34. Seek “loaned leaders” from the business and union sectors to seek ways to reduce city costs and implement modern systems to promote increased productivity.
The problem with Toledo, extending to the entire state of Ohio, is an over-bloated, lazy, fat, greedy bureaucracy whose only intent it is is to enlarge itself at the expense of everyone who lives in their jurisdiction.
To demonstrate how insane Ohio is I've worked in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virgina, Kentucky, both Carolina's, Tennessee , Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Arkansas. To build a 200,000 square foot manufacturing building why are fees from the Department of Industrial Compliance a minimum of THREE to high as TWENTY TIMES the amount collected for the exact same building in any of the states I mentioned? Think I am kidding? Ohio Department of Industrial Compliance. Check it out.
It's true, $10,000 isn't going to stop anyone from building but the arrogant attitude of Ohio's public employees. Ohio government employees from all levels are not there to help and serve. They're there to eat your lunch.
I had a business in the area for 21 years before I felt forced to close shop and move 4 years ago. I wasn't a "big boy" but I was a union shop running between 8 and 12 employees year round. Union wages were between $24.75 and $28.00 an hour depending on what surrounding county we worked. All of our employees received medical insurance etc. Between 1994 and the time I left I can't remember ever having an employee that made less then $40K for the year. Most made between $50K and $60K.
In 2004 it got insane, the city agencies made it impossible to stay or I should say not worth staying. Thanks Toledo, you created the climate where working with you just wasn't worth the hassle.
So I sold out, packed up and moved to a state to a warmer climate and friendly to business atmosphere. The number of Ohio companies who have moved to around here is staggering. Thanks, Toledo, for doing your part to insure my area enjoys a prosperous 2008!
I am serious when I say this, Toledo bureaucrats and local governments view business as an enemy to be taken out. Like Carty they're all insane.
Allow me to add to what enjoyeverysandwich mentioned.
Look at the population size of your city, do you really think you need all that space in that ugly, white city hall monstrosity to house bureacrats?
Remember, if they have the room they will fill it but try to call the water department and get a real, live human being on the line.
I was forced to deal with a number of city departments and it always amazed me how the supervisory staff always seemed to be away for the week attending "meetings". I often wondered if these people even knew where Toledo was.
I can say it now, only because I will never return, but whenever you install a waterline the water department sends two "inspectors" over to watch the work as it is installed. It was a joke, 75% of the inspectors were contractors that failed in business and became inspectors. More then once two guys would show up, sit in their car all day and get drunk. I paid the wages in the form of fees so it wasn't like the taxpayers were getting the shaft. It was disgusting.
It was a long time ago but I remember the mayor took a taxpayer paid trip to China claiming he was drumming up business for the city. Who was he kidding? Was he really so retarded he thought Chinese companies would move to Toledo so they could deal with Toledo unions? Of course he wasn't retarded, who wouldn't want a first class vacation to China paid for by someone else?
I don't know the answer to this but 40 years ago Toledo was prosperous and I am wondering what the ratio of city employees there were the population as compared to today. Like the rest of Ohio you population has gone down while number of state and local government workers has gone up.
And then there is the unions. Ohio must give up its antiquated system of favoring unions and become a right to work state. Between 1995 and 2005, U.S. Department of Labor data show private-sector job growth in Right to Work states exceeded private-sector job growth in non-Right to Work states as a group by 79% and in Ohio alone by nearly 500%. Over the same period,
inflation-adjusted U.S. Commerce Department data show real personal income growth in Right to Work states exceeded overall personal income growth in non-Right to Work states by 39% and exceeded Ohio’s meager increase by 142%. Meanwhile, U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that, from 1994 to 2004, the number of citizens covered by private health insurance grew by 11.5% in Right to Work states, slightly more than double the aggregate growth in non-Right to Work states. In Ohio, over the same period, the ranks of the privately insured actually declined by 0.2%.
So tell me, people who stayed in Ohio, how are those unions working out for you and your city?
Go ahead and continue to mouth the magic words to make yourself feel better but it isn't happening everywhere.
Toledo is a lost cause and I couldn't agree more with Billy that if more people were free to leave they would.
As I said earlier I moved my business out of the Toledo area several years ago. It was a hard decision to do, I thought about it long and hard, but in the end I came to the inescapable conclusion I didn't have any choice. I absolutely had to leave or suffer.
So I moved over 700 miles south. Set up a new shop, it was tough for the first year especially at my age (mid 50's).
But second year was better, third was great and this year looks to be on track to be even better.
Things I don't miss about Ohio. Cold weather is one. I save $10,000 a year, based on 2002 energy costs, on heating and cooling costs in my little shop.
I don't miss arrogant, surely bureaucrats who view business as a reason for their existence.
I do not miss rigged bidding for state contracts that is so prevalent in Ohio. This is an absolute farce.
I don't miss state, county and city agencies shaking me down and extorting money out of me every damn time I turned around.
Things we enjoy you don't see in Toledo. The city I live in has a city owned electric utility and everybody gets charged ten cents a kilowatt hour.
All utilities are, electric, gas, water, sewer and garbage pickup are city owned. We get one bill a month and they debit my account. Also, as a public provided utility, we have the option of getting high speed Internet from the city for $19.95 a month with no taxes added.
Everyone in the city has TWO garbage pickups a week. Mine is on Monday and Thursday and it is the coolest thing I've even had. Also, as city residents, we have a pass that allows us free access to the city landfill. We can stack garbage, like tree limbs, leaves and even old appliances in front of the house and the city picks them up. It is included in our utility bill.
When you call about a city service a real, life human being actually answers the phone! Imagine talking to a real live human in Toledo. I know, that doesn't happen.
We have all this and without a city income tax because money is actually watched for and not squandered by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats.
I own my own home, paid $125,000 for it and my property tax is $525 a year. BTW we spend more money on primary and secondary education per student then is spent in Ohio so it isn't as if our children suffer. Bureacrats suffer but they are here to serve my needs and not feed from my labor.
In the meantime Ohio governments will get more ravenous for your money chasing away even more bussinesses that pay taxes. As far as business coming to Ohio the state nickname should be changed from "The Buckeye State" to "Bend Over, Here It Comes Again!"
I am willing to place a bet. Toledo has lost population and is now down to the 1950 level but I am willing to the number of city employees has doubled as services have declined. Anyone want to take me up on this little wager?
City Employee=Someone Who Can Not Work Anywhere Else.
Carty=Most Corrupt and Dishonest Politican in Northern Ohio.
Seeing as how Toledo is one of the last large Toledo employers it won't be pretty.
I've worked in hundreds of towns all across the east side of the United States and nobody holds a candle to the Toledo employees arrogance and sense of entitlement.
With maybe the exception of California, and we all know how their doing, I've never worked in a state with more bureaus, bureaucrcies, commissions, departments and governmental agencies more adept at extorting money from business then there are in Ohio. And government wonders why businesses won't locate in Ohio given any other choice.
State government. Nothing beats the Minority Business Enterprise program the state has and if you get the chance I would urge everyone to attend a pre-bid construction meeting, they're open to the public) on a state construction project. You will see corruption raised to an art form.
The MBE program was designed to help black owned companies receive state work but wanting to be all inclusive, multicultural and all inclusive the state dropped the idea of helping black owned companies to anyone who is a minority by setting "goals" for "minoirty" hiring on state projects.
A minority is anyone and everyone who isn't a white male.
When questioned whether "goals" are "quaotas" the Ohio MBE office will vehemently deny they have "quaotas" but you better reach or target of 9% minority employment or you could lose your contract. But they're not quotas, they're goals.
A pre-bid meeting generally takes 2 hours and an hour and a half will be spent discussing the hiring of minority businesses. These things are always a real hoot, some of the finest entertainment available until you realize Ohio taxpayers are footing the bill.
Here's how it works in real life and I assure you the practice is rampant.
I'm XYZ Electrical Contractors, we've been doing business in the state for 40 years and over 50% of the company is white owned. Wanting to get a $30 million state construction contract we learn that 12%, $3.6 million, of the value of our contract must be spent utilizing state approved minority business enterprises.
What I do is find a smart black guy who wants to make easy money without any risk exposure. I'll help him set up a ABC Distributors which will be a corner office of his house. All he needs is a typewriter, phone and physical address. ABC Distributors registers as a minority owned business and we're good to go!
When I get the $30 million contract I'll contact one of my suppliers telling them ABC will be doing my purchasing up to $4 million. Credit established!
Using ABC's letterhead my people will fill out ABC's purchase orders (this is while the owner of ABC is out fishing on Lake Erie) with instructions to ship the material to the jobsite and deliver the invoice to ABC with a copy coming to us. Of course our supply house will sell this material to ABC using our pricing. We know what we will be paying down to the last penny and if there is any negotiating we'll handle that while ABC is out fishing.
As agreed when ABC receives the invoice he will mark it up 1%. ABC receives an invoice for $3.721,000.00, tacks on $37,210.00 for a total of $3,758,210 and send us the bill. We get the bill and issue two checks; one is a two party check to ABC and our destributor for $3.721,000.00 and a second check made out to ABC for $37,210.00 for a couple hours work.
I knew one MBE supplier in Toledo that did exactly this clearing a solid six figure income while maybe working 2 to 4 hours a week out of the corner office in the family room.
Everyone is happy, especially ABC, the state bureau in charge of minority business is happy and can now apply for more state money to further enlarge the bureau since it can be documented they're bringing all this wealth to the minority community.
How's that for Ohio corruption?
Designed by Ohio politicians to enrich Ohio politicians. And not to pick on a party this garbage has been going on since the early 1980's that I know about it.
First project I had dealings with this style of corruption was at Owens Tech in Toledo where all construction cost the taxpayers 30% more then what it should.