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Monkey-shines in Frogtown create red herring
Commentary by La Prensa

Now that the dust has settled, let’s review the record.  Some 15 months ago, Fifth Third Bank requested a waiver from Toledo City Council so that it could demolish three buildings on Huron Street to create a private parking area. 

On February 22, the majority of city council rejected a request for a public hearing on the merits, made by councilperson Wade Kapszukiewicz. This motion was supported by councilpersons Ellen Grachek, Karyn McConnell-Hancock, and President Louis Escobar, but rejected by the rest of council.

Not wanting to proceed “in the dark,” Kapszukiewicz stated that a hearing was necessary, “giving a voice to our citizens.” “Fifth Third Bank is not opposed to such a hearing,” he added.

Some citizens opposed the waiver.

McConnell-Hancock concurred; “I understand that city jobs may be at issue, but we can’t ignore the citizens; it is a question of due process.”

Councilperson Frank Szollosi countered that, “it is ok to break the law to keep jobs downtown,” referring to rule 23 of city council requiring a councilperson’s request for hearing to actually go to hearing, which was scheduled in March.

According to Szollosi, “Brinks won’t deliver to Fifth Third, fearing an armed robbery,” referring to the stated need for a secure area.

“I have my hair cut by Bert across the street and his business would go down if we loose bank business,” referring to Fifth Third’s promise that it would move some of its operations to Sylvania if the waiver was not granted [And also referring to Bert the barber],” continued Szollosi.

Over two dozen Latinos were present asking for such a hearing with posters in hand. They were also stung by earlier comments made by Ashford and Robert McCloskey (Dist. 3), asking for the resignation of President Escobar for remarks he supposedly made concerning the bank move to Sylvania .

Ashford objected to the posters, singling out one in particular, which is shown on this page of La Prensa. It has been reported that some individuals believed the sign depicted Ashford as a “monkey;” but the specific individuals have never been identified. Supporters of the poster-protesters state that the poster depicted Ashford as a puppet of “corporate greed.”

 As the photo on this page shows, we are dealing with a puppet depiction and how often have you heard that someone is a puppet for another? Ad nauseam, no doubt.

Ashford helped create a red herring in Frogtown by such innuendo. But did Fifth Third? What is this about Fifth Third announcing layoffs of a dozen or so workers, three days after the Feb. 22 vote?

The majority of council erred in not granting a hearing. Rule 23 was violated. The citizens of Toledo are entitled to debate the merits and demerits of demolishing downtown buildings in order to create another parking lot, just as they were entitled to a hearing when council elected not to debate the “No Smoking Ban,” that was partially defeated by city voters last November.   






«Tinta con sabor»      Ink with flavor!



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