Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Transition

Pardon the long delay between posts - most of my time the past couple weeks has been spent with family, catching up on work around the house, and absorbing the lessons of actions, words, and election results. The transition from an election to organizing for the new year is a delicate operation - looking forward to a reorganized City Council and working with the new Adminstration to get things done - despite our significant political differences the past year. Everyone takes in what has occurred, who did what, what comes next, and how do we work together to move things forward. We continue to make strides with our part in the Jeep expansion - tonight at council moving forward with $8.6 million in notes for a bridge and vehicle storage facility on a brownsfield site. Kudos to the workforce out there for earning a new vehicle to assemble, the Dodge Nitro. 150 new autoworkers jobs and greater security for those already working in Toledo. We will be conducting a public hearing Monday on the multi-million dollar Westgate reinvestment - 2pm, Council chambers. Glad to be supporting the private owners in creating jobs and attracting capital. Finally, its clear we need to follow-up on my memo to the Mayor-elect on starting the new year with a package of ethics reforms, including lobbyist registration, asking new hires to complete an ethics seminar - one of which has already been scheduled for mid-March, and drafting and adopting an ethics policy for members of Toledo City Council. We have an obligation to renew confidence and faith with the coming of the new year.

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman's decision is indeed in the best interest of his family, his city and his party. He deserves our gratitude and respect for the substantive case he made for change here in Ohio. Earlier this afternoon I met with Frances Strickland and discussed the steps that could be taken to unite Ohioans behind her husband's case for change here in our state. With the likelihood of a State Senator Eric Fingerhut candidacy, with former state rep Bryan Flannery already in the race, and very recent chatter on the possible entry of Jerry Springer - its clear voters in Ohio will go to the polls in May to make important decisions after vigorous debate. That's healthy.

And then there's the inside baseball on Ohio Democratic Chairperson. Several candidates: Athen's County Chairwoman, and leader of the Ohio Democratic County Chair's Association, Susan Gwinn. Montgomery County Chairman, Dennis Lieberman. Former ODP Executive Director Bill DeMora, currently with Ohio's League of Conservation Voters. Dennis Eckert, former U.S. Congressman and Cleveland Growth Partnership executive. Dave Giese, Erie County Chair. Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune. There is chatter about Lee Fisher entering the race. And we have Ohio House Democratic Leader Chris Redfern, who got into the race first upon word of Denny White's resignation. The ODP Executive Committee is scheduled to meet Monday, December 19th to select an interim chair through the May primary - when a new state central committee will be elected statewide and who'll then meet and vote again for chair. Traditionally, of course, the successful gubernatorial candidate gets to pick the state chair. The fact RON soundly lost and Republicans gained locally is a signal that, despite superb political turmoil, the Ohio GOP should not be taken lightly - regardless of single-digit approval ratings for their Governor.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Changing Focus of Blog

Its been interesting authoring this blog the past 11 months - an experiment really for an elected official and candidate. I opted for a free-for-all commenting format which produced plenty of hits and misses - and I enjoyed the criticism as much as the support. I've been far less comfortable with anonymous and derogatory opinions about others, though - perhaps because what unidentified people post here about my colleagues impacts my relationships with them. Going into a new year, and absorbing the lessons of this one - I'll be tinkering with both content and commenting settings to try and find the right balance for me. I've been amazed at the traffic here, and plan on adding more sophisticated features over the next few months as I get to them. I'd also encourage Toledo-area public officials, journalists, front-line rank-and-file employees, private sector leaders, academics, and citizen activists to try their hand at authoring their own blogs - we all could greatly benefit from greater (and more thoughtful) communcation and a better understanding of how emerging technology grows an economy. As I think about how to improve, of course, I'm open to suggestions...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Moving Forward

Upcoming issues...

1. The $5 million purchase of the Sports Arena property, accepting the option from the LCIC. Our hearing last week allowed council members and the public to have questions answered. The property will be a major piece in the Marina District puzzle.

2. Westgate revitalization and good jobs. We need to look at the overall redevelopment and investment potential, support the private owners plans, including Costco, and continue to insist on the elements of the Walk Westgate plan to achieve neighborhood quality of life goals.

3. Accountability in government.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Thanks

Already Thursday and no new post - will write more tonight. Thanks to voters in Toledo who participated in the election, I'm appreciative of their support for my re-election. I'm also grateful to the individuals and organizations that supported my candidacy - special thanks to my wife and son, parents and grandparents. My very best to Mayor Ford, his family, friends, and supporters - we fought the good fight. Congratulations to Mayor-elect Finkbeiner, Phil Copeland, Bob McCloskey, Mark Sobczak, George Sarantou, Betty Shultz and Joe Birmingham for their success with Toledo voters Tuesday. Also a tip of the hat to my brother, Matt Szollosi, for leading the ticket again in the City of Oregon.

Monday, November 07, 2005

36 Hour Drill

Street visbility, radio & newspaper ads, phone calls - thousands of phone calls, late breaking GOTV direct mail, last chance media hits....I'm maybe giving away too many trade secrets here. All legit, all designed to maximize turnout in targeted precincts and persuade the undecided.

I give the Ford campaign credit for the color sticky note on the front page the same day of the Blade endorsement. I'm proud of the fight and of the Mayor, and his entire team. Our entire ticket is working round the clock to win - and our confidence and sense of possibility are great feelings. The 36 hour drill is channelling those feelings into the execution of a presidential-level GOTV program.

Tomorrow will be beautiful - with all its victories and disappointments - just beautiful.

Saint Crispin's Day Speech
from Henry V by William Shakespeare


This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Szollosi Endorsements

A great run of newspaper endorsements all released today. I'm humbled by their confidence in my service.

The Blade

The Toledo Journal

Sojourner's Truth

La Prensa