The Press Newspaper
Mayor Marge Brown, who is seeking a third term, and her challenger, long-time Councilman Mike Seferian, sparred for about an hour in a debate before about 150 people in St. Charles-Mercy Hospital’s auditorium Wednesday evening.
The debate was sponsored by the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce, The Press, WRSCradio.com and Channel 13. Jeff Smith from Channel 13 served as moderator.
Brown and Seferian answered questions on a variety of issues, including economic regionalism, a new senior center, the need for a full-time fire department, how to improve drainage, how to maximize the city’s greatest assets, Lake Erie and Maumee Bay State Park, and what can be done to help existing small businesses.
On economic regionalism, Brown, who had been chairman of the executive board of The Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG), said sitting down and networking with area communities is important.
The Oregon school board, disappointed by voters’ rejection of a 5.95-mill emergency levy Aug. 4, has until Aug. 20 to place another levy on the November ballot. But first, they want to analyze last Tuesday’s election results before they make any decisions, according to School Board President Jeff Ziviski.
Four full-time employees with the City of Northwood received notices that their last work day is November 6 due to the recession.
Two full-time police officers, a full-time court employee, and a full-time secretary will lose their jobs next month because of a big loss to the city in income tax revenue.
“In May, we were hanging in there, just down 6.3 percent,” said Administrator Pat Bacon. In June, we were down 8.8 percent, then 9.7 percent in July. We knew we could handle a 10 percent loss in revenue. We anticipated that. In August, it went to 12.7 percent, then in September, it was 14.8 percent. That came out of nowhere.”
Much of the loss is attributable to shutdowns of four major automotive suppliers in the city for a couple months, she said.
“We went from being down $121,000 in May to being down $484,000 in September. That’s devastating. And that was not projected. It was far worse than we thought because we have so many automotive related suppliers. And when the Jeep plant’s down, the suppliers aren’t working. Or they go from three shifts to one shift,” she said.
At age 11, Walbridge resident Craig Burtch was diagnosed with multiple cavernous angiomas, a congenital abnormality that causes brain hemorrhaging due to a lesion in the brain.
"He had his first 'bleed' at 11 and he has had 10 bleeds since, with three brain surgeries," said Burtch's mother, Linda Hamilton. "Some of the bleeds were large enough to require three brain surgeries, and we traveled as far as Gainesville, Fla., and Phoenix for those surgeries."
In 2006, Burtch had two bleeds in the brain stem and had to be put on high doses of steroids to combat the swelling within the brain stem. Doctors now think that the high doses of steroids may be the cause of a bone disease called avascular necrosis, or AVN.
Who voters decide will be Toledo’s next mayor may depend on whether city leaders need to think “creatively,” or if they need a “reality check.”
Those are the words said repeatedly by mayoral candidates Keith Wilkowski and Mike Bell on Thursday during a debate at The Courtyard at Navy Bistro in The Docks restaurant complex.
East Toledo voters got to hear views from both candidates as they squared off in a forum sponsored by the East Toledo Club and The Press. Bell and Wilkowski finished as the top two vote getters in September’s primary, and only one will be elected November 3 to replace current mayor Carty Finkbeiner in January.
Bell attended the University of Toledo with a concentration in business, and was a UT football co-captain and student of the year. He has more than 19 years experience as Toledo’s Fire Chief and State Fire Marshal. He was the first African-American as well as the youngest person ever to lead the Toledo Fire Department with its 500 plus employees.
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