Thursday, July 06, 2006

Not dragging feet?

Another brave defense of Mayor Carty Finkbeiner by my colleague Mark Sobczak in this morning's Blade. He suggests the city isn't "dragging its feet" with the city block-sized crater about a block down and caddy-corner to Fifth-Third Field. I asked the Administration to put up a plywood fence in late March. Perhaps Mark doesn't recall the agenda review when our colleagues agreed with me that something should be done, if not by Opening Day, absolutely by the All Star Week. I also brought it up as a referral at a council meeting at that point.

If the property owner won't put up the fence, the city has an obligation to protect public safety, and minimize the risk to taxpayers of a lawsuit. That floppy orange fencing is knocked down half the time.

The Mud Hens, Promedica, the Convention Bureau, and dozens of Toledo area businesses are shelling out millions to showcase our city, and in particular, the area surrounding the ballpark. This crater, on Monroe - the main ingress & egress to I-75 and the Anthony Wayne Trail - will be seen by literally tens of thousands of visitors, including national press, traveling between the Warehouse District and Highland Meadows for the LPGA.

At the meeting in March, a senior Finkbeiner official said they had at least two bids, from roughly $3,000 to $20,000 or so. The City has the ability to assess the negligent property owner for the cost of the fence. Why has the Mayor dragged his feet?

The tree lights, "keeping young people in" Toledo, as my colleague Mr. Ludeman suggested? That's ridiculous. In fact, there is a web development and public relations firm in the building right next to the crater on Ontario. Those workers have a 7 foot cliff bounding their parking lot, and a trash-hewn, abandoned city block-sized hole to look at every time they come to work, meet clients, and go home. How do you think that makes them feel about stickin'?

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