Friday, August 12, 2005

Carty: Ugly Sell Out of Labor, Job Seekers

"The mayor's vote received some booing from members of the audience, and applause from representatives of the local building trades unions who were in favor of the shopping center's construction for the jobs it would create." reprinted from the Toledo Blade, July 25, 2001.

In 2001 Mayor Finkbeiner broke 2 tied Council/Plan Commission votes to clear the way for Wal-Mart in residential South Toledo. Yesterday he held a press conference: "FINKBEINER REJECTS COSTCO" in favor of health food stores and tread mills. So much for the men and women of the various building & construction trade unions who are expected to see their leaders write Carty BIG campaign contributions. So much for those out-of-work men and women in Toledo, apparently Costco's record of generous salaries and benefits are a lower priority to Carty than shameless pandering to the 12th Ward.

And unlike Wal Mart (& Carty), Costco respects its employees: The Teamsters represent about 15,000 workers at 56 Costco stores in California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. Click here for the source and study. Carty's two biggest supporters are Bill Lichtenwald of the Teamsters and Dennis Duffey of the Building Trades. Is Carty's position on Costco their position?

As the chairman of City Council's Economic Development Committee, I am furious that Carty would sell out the unemployed and our local construction industry by rejecting a major investor and jobs producer. Then again, the whole mess we Democrats find ourselves in is on account of Carty putting his interests first. Its ugly and shocking to see Carty put himself ahead of jobs for Toledo. Is he off the Port Authority yet?

Costco is welcome in Toledo. We have a new set of design standards, especially with the joint work of the construction industry and Walk Westgate folks. Those standards would be engaged with this new development. Costco would be the catalyst to even more development across Central to the north, and across Secor to the east.

Later this month we will conduct a town hall meeting on the future development of Southwyck. I look forward to forums in West Toledo to continue the dialogue with residents and business owners on future of the Westgate area.

44 Comments:

Blogger Aaron said...

I am a Westgate area resident and strongly support Costco at Westgate or in the vicinity so long as:

1) It architecturally fits in
2) The other loyal shops in Westgate are cared for in their relocations (if necessary).

I've been very pleased with the way other business has been sprucing up around the new Walmart on Central. That corner was blighted for too long.

Its good to hear talk of the Walk Westgate project because I loved the idea of a more pedestrian focused center in the area. However, the project has been very quiet, and I don't understand who hasn't bought into the idea...maybe the owners of the properties? Sounds like a golden opportunity for politicians to show how they are there for the community AND business. If there has been recent activity, it needs updated on their web site.

http://uac.utoledo.edu/WalkWest/1Walk%20Westgate%20front.htm

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who lives near Westgate (Old Orchard), I'm strognly against a Costco there! You support it and you've lost my vote!

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whats wrong with supporting good paying jobs? Would you rather have nothing, or a buisness that will bring comsumers to an area that desprate for dollars.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Lisa Renee said...

Unless the Blade mischaracterized what Mayor Ford's opinion is, it appears none of the four main candidates are jumping up and down over Costco:

Blade

The campaign manager for Mayor Jack Ford said the mayor told Westgate's owner earlier this year that he was "concerned with the integrity of the neighborhood" around the shopping center in case of redevelopment. ''He continues to hold those concerns at a very high priority," said Megan Vahey, "and was reassured by the owner that they would take those concerns into serious consideration."

2:27 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

We are all concerned about the integrity of the neighborhood, not only of the Westgate/Old Orchard area but the entire city. The owners of Westgate participated in the process of developing the new design standards, and are concerned about the neighborhood too. This is a very exciting project.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Sepp said...

Frank, as chairman of Toledo's economic development committee, how much of the blame do you share for the exodus of businesses in town? How much of the blame belongs to you for businesses avoiding Toledo and setting up shop in the 'burbs?
Speaking of selling out workers and businesses, didn't you vote "no" on the rezoning request for the private school in McCloskey's district? All the craft trades, teachers, building maintenance people and spin off jobs that would have employed a large cross section of our community. As for cosco, jobs are jobs. Why steer any jobs away from the area?

6:47 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Sepp, I sought the ED committee assignment last December out of a sense of urgency for renewed development efforts. Then Carty & the Kest gang snubbed their nose at the endorsed Democrat and popularly elected County Treasurer, and President Escobar wanted Wade to keep his position as ED chair as a result. So I took over about a month ago and have been busy. This morning, in fact, I gave remarks at the Chamber of Commerce.

I'll accept my share of responsibility for the actions I have supported.

Now, I'm not sure what school in Bob's district your refering to, but if it was a charter school, I probably did oppose it. Why have an out of town corporation drain our public tax dollars away from our public schools, our teachers, maintenence folks, and other professionals?

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Now, I'm not sure what school in Bob's district your refering to"

COME ON FRANK!!! The city is spending MY tax dollars to defend this guy on the issue of demanding kickbacks for rezoning for this school and you dont know what anybody's talking about???

This is just like your boss and the Superior Bumper issue at the DNC (which you also didnt answer my question) Like Ford, are you ignorant on this issue, or flat lying?

Billy

8:11 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Wasn't Bob's matter involving Pilkington and a requested donation to an East Side organization? Look, I wasnt on council when alleged incident occured, the councilpeople who were have been giving depositions and would remember more clearly. Not a good sitution in any event.

Superior Bumper issue & the DNC? My boss? Is this a Kim's Auto/eminent domain thing? Billy, I'm struggling to answer ya here, can you be more specific?

In any event, I'd like to know your reaction to Costco & Finkbeiner's motives.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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If you can't beat 'em, file for the patent . That seems to be the strategy employed increasingly by companies in the tech industry.
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9:07 AM  
Blogger Lisa Renee said...

"That would be a shame for that area," Councilman Rob Ludeman said at the end of a news conference. The Republican added later: "Westgate has a flavor all its own."

Democrat Keith Wilkowski, a former Lucas County commissioner, said the center "can do better" than a Costco.

A campaign spokesman, Bob Reinbolt, said yesterday that Mr. Finkbeiner opposes large-box retail in general and was leery of Costco because of one of its store's effects on a neighborhood in Dayton.

"If this development is similar ... we'd have serious concerns about it," Mr. Reinbolt said.


So I'm wondering since none of the three appear to be supporting Costco why this isn't directed at all of them. With the exception of the 2001 Walmart situation I don't see how they differ on this.

Now you do have a case of if Carty opposes big box in general as to why he supported Walmart in the past, but it seems this situation isn't him not supporting workers, it's not wanting Westgate changed that much.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Finkbeiner had a press conference to announce his opposition to the project. Ford is looking for a way to make it a win-win with the neighbors - and at least Ludeman & Wilkowski havent played politics with it - jepordizing the development & jobs - like Carty has.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Lisa Renee said...

Carty didn't say he opposed Costo just that he opposed Costco being built at Westgate.

Unless the Toledo Blade wasn't accurate.

Toledo mayoral candidate Carty Finkbeiner wants Whole Foods, treadmills, and university buildings, not Costco, at the Westgate Village Shopping Center.

Mr. Finkbeiner, at a news conference yesterday at the shopping center called to punctuate his opposition to a proposed “big-box” style Costco store there, he said he’d be open to having one nearby.


Blade

I realize you don't like him Frank, but to single him out for something that it seems everyone is concerned about? I don't see how what he stated makes him selling out labor.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is singled out because he is the same person who brought Home Depot right across the street from Westgate, also brought Wal-mart to south Toledo. Two Big box stores that treat their employees terrible.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Lisa Renee said...

I know people that work at both locations that don't think having a job there is terrible. Some of them have gone there since Foodtown left and make more there than they did before. A few more went to Wal-mart after they lost their jobs at Farmer Jack.

I realize some people are anti-box stores. It seems that is what all four mayoral candidates are being cautious on.

I tend to agree with aaron as far as what he stated as his two requirements.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'd like to know your reaction to Costco & Finkbeiner's motives"

OK here goes: Im first off no fan of Carty's - I just happen to feel he'll be the next mayor of Toledo. Carty brought both Home Depot and Walmart to town. I enjoy walmart, but do not patronize Depot.

As far as Costco, I read in the Blade that he would not be opposed to it in another location. I'd like to know more about where he thinks it should be. I do know there are several locations all over town that a big box store would fit in nicely. Maybe Carty has a plan that would actually be better. I would also like to know why he and anyone else would protest having it in Westgate as well.

Im also getting tired of his 'fitness center' broken record. We have fitness centers located all over town - he just needs to look for one.

I would also like to ask Carty how he feels after he pitched such a bitch about 'a drug store on every corner' that he got his way and many of those drug stores are gone. Now instead we have a dollar store on every corner - Gee, what a tradeoff.

Other reasons I wont vote for Carty include the emenant domain issue and the fact that he first banned handguns in the city, but now has a concealed carry license himself (elitism??) Like I say, Ive got many questions for Mr F, and I do not think he should be the next mayor. I just happen to think he WILL be the next mayor.

I also dont think Costco will be the make or break issue for the mayoral contest. Im much more concerned about why in 4 years of Jack Ford nothing has been done with the marina district? Note the words 'Sports Arena' didnt come into play here - no matter which side of the river the arena is placed, why has nothing been done about the marina district we voted on?

Another Ford question is why is it that he gave $300 grand of our tax money and the steam plant to J.J. and the return for our investment is a big hole in the ground with water in it? Is this going to be another money hole like the apartments and hotels that the city carries due to carty's willingness to spend our tax dollars to fund private enterprises? Personally, I feel that if you cant operate an apartment building at a profit, then you either change your ways of operating, or sell it to someone who can run the thing - municipal involvement has no business in this process - be it an apartment, a hotel, or a steam plant.

As for the other big two candidates, I need to know a little more about W-ski. Seems he was a big Ford dude right up until he tossed his hat into the ring. Whazzup with that? And Lude Dude? #1, is he even really running? And #2, for a 'publican, he sure voted right along with the pack on every little thing Ja-Fo wanted, so he's got some 'spalainin' to do too.

At least Ive got till november to make up my mind, because as of right now, I dont see much future for the City with any one of em.

My apologies for the length of my post.

Billy

5:04 PM  
Blogger Subcomandante Bob said...

True story.

Me and Carty were partying one night; we had each dropped about four hits of acid, and we were in the parking lot of the then-new Home Depot.

After polishing off a pint of Jack Daniel's (to take the edge off the acid), we were looking at the bright orange highlights of the building.

Carty said: "Check that OUT! The friggin' Home Depot sign is talking to me!"

I didn't have the heart to tell him we were listening to Sean Hannity.

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One question for you now frank.

You told me "Wasn't Bob's matter involving Pilkington and a requested donation to an East Side organization? Look, I wasnt on council when alleged incident occured, the councilpeople who were have been giving depositions and would remember more clearly."

Why is it that you cant remember Bob's crimes, but you can site everything Carty did wrong many years earlier?

Billy

6:40 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Lisa...the city has looked at a few other locations for Costco, this is the site they apparently prefer. The deal between Costco & the owners of Westgate, to our knowledge, is not yet consumated. And Finkbeiner's clear rejection is the kind of thing that makes executives think twice about locating in a community. We need the jobs. It is even more remarkable that Carty would sell out the trades as the top trades officials are his cochairs.

Look, we are in discussions that would redevelop not only with Costco at Westgate, but also creating exciting, profitable new space closer to Central & Secor.

(I want to respond to Billy's extensive comments later...finishing up my son's 4th birthday party & off to the mud hens game...thanks for everyones input.)

7:13 PM  
Blogger ToledoJoe said...

Wait a second here. You are telling me that a Toledo City Council member is going on trial for bribery and he's still on council?!?!?! All Frank says is that I wasn't on council then. No discussion of calling for McCloskey to resign or to return campaign contributions, while screaming that Schulz do it. This is an absolute outrage. Frank is being a major poltician here by critizing the republicans (rightly so) and ignoring another concilman who is going to TRIAL for BRIBERY. With Hancock and Mccloskey, the democrats are more corrupt than the republicans!! I hate people who talk out of both sides of thier mouth. Hancock, Mccloskey, and Schultz must resign. Demand it Frank or shut up about corruption.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard Costco pays $16 an hour.

Since when did anybody in Toledo oppose $16 an hour jobs?

Earth to all the mayoral candidates!

Come in, mayoral candidates!

This city's in trouble and we're in no position to walk away from good-paying jobs.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Blade is against it. Watch Frank change his position. He understands Lucas County politics: Never run in a competive district, do whatever the UAW and The Blade say. Then watch your city rot away while your political career takes off. Pathetic.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Hey man, I'm for Costco at Westgate & the redevelopment of Westgate in line with the goals of Walk Westgate as much as possible. Save your "pathetic" talk for somebody else.

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for standing up for jobs.

These NIMBY people make me want to hurl.

Aaron said it best. Make sure it fits architecturally.

Is there nobody in city government with the ingenuity to make that happen?

Gimme a friggin' break!!!!

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only reason Crazy Carty's against Costco is because it wasn't his idea in the first place.

After all, somebody who wanted to put housing for the deaf at the airport can't be taken seriously on quality of life issues.

Maybe Finkbeiner will propose housing for the blind at Westgate so they don't have to watch it become uglier and more abandoned with each passing day.

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toledo Joe, The term is "extortion".

Westgate has the traffic accessability and flow to prevent the traffic backups seen so regularly in areas where new facilities are built. It's frustrating when developers fail to take traffic flow issues into consideration when applying for permits to develop and build.

There is really NO space along the Secor corridor to accept new construction EXCEPT for around Westgate.

Brian~

4:48 AM  
Anonymous Sepp said...

Extortion is exactly what it's called. I'm sure that one reason that Bob finagled his way past the term limit is to have the city (read us) pay for his defense. All in all, its a lose / lose situation to Joe and Mary Taxpayer.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One question Ive got on Sepp's correct analysis on the extortion issue:
Yes, our tax dollars ARE paying for McCrookskie's defense - thats a shame in and of itself. BUT - why the hell are we spending those tax dollars on an OUT OF TOWN lawyer to defend him??? If its our bucks we dont have a choice to spend, cant we at least spend em on someone who shops here?? Doesnt the city already have lawyers on its payroll? Hell, let Wilkie defend him!!

Geesh!! Talk about outsourcing!!

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody else see a big contrast here. Under Carty, economic development included keeping OC downtown, building a new Jeep plant, watching The Docks flourish, and Fifth-Third field was started. Even Westgate was hopping. After four years of Ford, while losing OI and others, our idea of economic development is now a Costco in Westgate. That speaks volumes. Four years of empty promises and nothing accomplished has been a huge step back for Toledo. I can only imagine how Ford will sleep again if elected to his $125,000 a year job. Bring back Carty!!

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's my 2cents on Eminant domain. This applies to the seizure of businesses only, not housing. I'll use Kim's autom. as my example.

Kim's Auto gave its owner a way to make his living. The building itself was not much more than a shell to house his tools and give him room to work on cars. So when the city took it, they paid 'fair market value' for that little shell of a building. This gives no guarantee that Kim can find a new building, buy it, and resume work in a seamless transition. He is at great risk to be financially devistated by this seizure of his property - which was not used for the public, which is what eminant domain is all about, but given to another private enterprise.

What would be more fair to Kim - who after all, was their first - would be for the city to find him another storefront with as many bays and as much room to conduct his business as the one they were seizing from him - in a similar location so the clientele he'd worked to develop over the years wouldnt be gone - and set the boy up. It might cost the city a little more, but if they arent making enough of a return on their reason for taking his property in the first place isnt great enough to absorb said extra cost, they shouldnt be taking it in the first place.

Just my thoughts.

Billy

9:09 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Love the story this morning 'Costco as a catalyst' by Jon Chavez in the business section of the Blade.

Steve Serchuk is quoted, "I'm a big believer that neighborhoods are like people - they're either busy being born or busy dying." "Westgate lost its competitive advantage completely to Franklin Park," Mr. Sercuk said. "With Costco, Home Depot, they'll get it back."

The deal is not yet done between the owners and Costco, now is not the time for Bad Carty's ranting. We could spook Costco & miss a great opportunity.

I take issue with the illustrations the Blade printed as the "possible" image doesn't reflect our new design standards nor the very relevant ideas from Walk Westgate. For example, according to Plan Commission Director Steve Herwat, every 200 parking spaces requires a pod of landscaping. Also, the proposal I've discussed with folks in the Ford Administration (which by the way, has had a staffer on this for nearly two years trying to renew Westgate) has Markway (the street south of Cricket West) extending west thru Secor and jutting north acrocc Central towards Sears and Elder-Beerman - creating walkable necklace of new development for small businesses adjacent to the new magnet. Someone made a good point a minute ago about traffoc flow in the Secor, Central and I would include Talmadge area. My committee is alsoo working with the Administration on a TIF (tax increment financing) district around Westfield that would dramatically improve inflow and egress, including new highway ramps at Talmadge and Corey going in both directions.

Starbucks! Don't tell me a Starbucks at Westgate wouldn't be one of the chain's hottest stores in Ohio.

What's striking to me is how flexible and down-to-earth Costco comes across in both this story and the sidebar on its CEO.

My bottom line, we need to find a way to make this work for Costco and Westgate. Kudos to Councilwoman Ellen Grachek for standing up for the neighbors and engaging with the owners. Kudos to Mayor Ford for tasking an quiet and effective effort to his ED department, and netting a big fish here. And kudos to Old Orchard resident and behind-the-scenes contributor, President Tina Skeldon Wozniak.

Its a refrain I use alot: Working together to create jobs.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Sepp said...

"Its a refrain I use alot: Working together to create jobs".
The slogan sounds good but, action speaks louder than words. Who wasn't "working together" for the last 4 years when jobs lost outpaced jobs created? The Ford administration has been asleep at the wheel. A good example is how they heard "off the street" that O-I was planning on leaving and did nothing until the last minute to keep them. O-I has been here for almost 120 years and is a great part of Toledo's history...GONE.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Sepp, the Ford Administration hasnt been asleep at the wheel, nor did they hear about OI on the street - but were engaged for a long time.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont blame Sepp on what he said - hearing of OI's consideration of moving 'on the street' are not Sepp's words. The Blade reported them as coming from the mayor's office.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Well I can tell you the Mayor spoke to OI's CEO as soon as McCracken took over a couple years ago - and had staff repeatedly engage on the issue.

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point made above. "Working together for jobs." Where have you guys been the last four years! Economic develompent should not be a priority only in the last six weeks of an election.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank, Sepp was right. I heard it on a radio show right from Jay Black. He said they heard on the street that o-i was moving. I guess your calling him a liar right?

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Sepp said...

The "heard it on the street" comment came directly from the mayor's office and was quoted in the blade.
The blade also quotes hizzoner as saying that "we spoke to them (O-I) seven or eight times" -the blade Jan 05
"Ford has done nothing" is the refrain on the street. Maybe after you get more immersed as the economic dvlpmnt head, you get get some stuff turned around and put Toledo on track with or without the mayor's help.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

I guess you guys are calling me a liar. Ever suppose that they were working on keeping OI before the rumors on the street started - which they also picked up on. When I started on Council back in Jan. 03 we were working on Downtown Parking Authority issues with the Mayor, where sensitivity to the "keep OI" discussions played a recurring role. Anything anyone says on a local radio show can easily get blown out of context. I know Mayor Ford and council were working on keeping OI since at least Jan. 03. Believe me or not.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Maybe Jay Black meant that they heard on the street that a decision had been made at that point - but that OI hadnt informed the City despite several conversations about keeping them downtown.

Look. OI is owned mainly by institutional shareholders around the world. Their business model changed ahelluva lot since they had thousands of employees working at One SeaGate. Like many companies, they shed middle management and sifted towards a team model, where the hiearchy of a skyscraper made less sense than a campus-like setting, close to their R&D folks on land they've owned since the 1960's. Saving money by canceling a lease at One SeaGate. Jeep was kept on account of the skilled workforce and proximity to supplier parts. Carty was told to keep his mouth shut when the state delegation went to Auburn Hills to talk turkey. As his campaign manager at the time, I can tell you he didnt want any of his literature to have any reference whatsoever to jeep on it - that is, until after the folks in Auburn Hills made their decision.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Sepp said...

You said, "nor did they hear about OI on the street" but, you knew EXACTLY who said it in your last post. I wouldn't call you a liar but, I think your wearing blinders when it comes to the mayor.

3:02 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Fair, Sepp.

Right now I'm going to bed after hosing off the front of my house.

4:00 AM  
Anonymous Sepp said...

I always try to be fair Frank. It's my own policy to be so.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Tip of my hat to Mayor Ford, Councilwoman Grachek and President Skeldon Wozniak.

THANKS FOR STANDING UP FOR JOBS, NEW CONSTRUCTION & THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

8:00 AM  

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