Ohio & Michigan's Oldest and Largest Latino Newspaper

Since 1989




    media kit    ad rates    classified ad rates    about us    contact us


La Prensa Home

Upcoming Events

La Prensa Photos

La Prensa Links

LatinoMix Radio

La Prensa Scholarships

Directory of Latino Businesses and Services

La Prensa Obituaries

La Prensa Classifieds

Past La Prensa Stories

Submit a Letter to the Editor

La Liga de Las Americas

District 3 council candidates present array of choices, experience

By Fletcher Word, La Prensa Political Correspondent

Four candidates are competing for Toledo City Council’s District 3 seat in next week’s May 2 special election to fill the vacancy created when long-time District 3 Councilman Bob McCloskey moved to an at-large berth.

The seat was filled temporarily when Taylor Balderas, the endorsed Democrat in the race, was selected by City Council members to serve on an interim basis. Along with Balderas, the candidates are Don Boisselle, Mike Craig, and Fred Kutz. Balderas is a resident of South Toledo, the others are East Toledoans.








Taylor Balderas

Last week, this reporter had the opportunity to speak with three of the candidates about the challenges they expect to face and who might best meet those challenges.

Balderas was something of a controversial selection because of her relative youth, a topic she, and the other candidates, referred to repeatedly in our conversations.

“My youth is not a negative,” said Balderas. “I’ve been here doing this job since January. Just because I’m young doesn’t mean I can’t represent my district.”

Balderas is chairman of the Health and Community Relations Subcommittee. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, she was formerly employed at Viva South, a community development corporation.

Her focus has been on safety in her district.

“There have been a lot of break-ins in that area and there has been a lot of uneasiness,” she said in the days after her appointment to council. She also stressed the need to revitalize neighborhoods by rehabilitating the homes.

How has the District 3 representative gained in wisdom over the last three months?

“Every day I’m gaining experience,” she said referring specifically to her attention to block watches and alley clearing and “how to get things done and the procedures on how to get things done.”

And the councilwoman’s personality, she noted, “is much stronger and more confident” as each day passes.

What has surprised her most about the jump from private citizen to public official?

“There have not really been any surprises,” she responded. “My schedule has been pretty much as expected.”

Balderas is also endorsed by: FLOC, the TPPA, Toledo Fire Fighters Local 92, Teamsters #20, AFSCME Council #8, AFL-CIO Council, Sheet Metal Workers Local #33, Insulators Local #45, Laborers Int. AFL-CIO Local 500, Cement Masons Local #886, IBEW Local #8, the Regional Council of Carpenters, Painters & Allied Trades Local 7, Iron Workers Local #55, Northwestern Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Toledo Port Council, Toledo Federation of Teachers  A.F.T.  A.F.L. - C.I.O., El Tiempo, and La Prensa.


Mike Craig—“we need economic development”

Craig is a clerk in the Lucas County Clerk of Courts’ office.

“There needs to be a strong independent voice for District 3,” said Craig when asked why he made the decision to run. “We’ve kind of been at times forgotten and there needs to be someone who will stand up. McCloskey was a strong voice and that needs to continue,” he added.

“Taylor needs experience—life experience, and time to get a voice of her own,” he said of the incumbent. “She’s too inexperienced to be able to form strong, informed opinions and has to rely on the expertise of others. I’ve been there for 45 years; Taylor Balderas has been there for four months.”

Mike Craig

Craig identified the number one issue facing the district as economic development, particularly the Marina District. “We have the largest ever development project waiting to get started. Balderas has had nothing to say about it. I would be heavily involved but so far we are now with our third or fourth developer and there have been no requests for proposals, no economic development meetings. These things need to be discussed.”

Craig expressed his disappointment at having to start from scratch on the Marina District as Mayor Carty Finkbeiner has terminated the services of The Pizzuti Cos. on the project. “It’s time to quit drawing pictures and start digging dirt. When I’m in office I want to be involved in that.”

Craig is endorsed by the UAW.


Fred Kutz—“housing stock is the number one issue”

Kutz, a graduate of Waite High School and The University of Toledo, is a retired manufacturer’s representative and urban planner. Kutz also made mention of the incumbent’s inexperience.

“I’m 59, she’s 22 or 23. I have done graduate work in public administration and urban planning, I’m a grant writer, I have 30 years of experience, I’ve been a precinct man and a ward chairman with the Democratic Party and I have a very good knowledge of the district—what was, what is, and what should be. And also lots of TPS knowledge. I was doing these things before she was a gleam in her father’s eye. Of the people running, I have the highest amount of ability and the highest amount of experience. I am the best candidate.”

Fred Kutz

And what would the candidate consider to be job one for the District 3 representative on council?

“Lots of things need to be done but housing stock is the number one issue across the city,” said Kutz.

“Look at the actual age of our housing stock—most are around 100 years old. We have the largest amount of pre-1940 houses of the five major metropolitan areas [in the state]. If you have an outflow of population, it’s because it is a human and normal desire to have more space.

“Policy makers, and you can go back 20 to 40 years, have not addressed the matter, they have been avoiding the issue. You can’t force a person to stay where they don’t want to stay.

“We have to stop kidding ourselves. We need balance, a wide variety of housing within our boundaries. It’s a natural draw for keeping people in TPS, our churches, and so forth.”

Kutz and Craig are both first-time candidates for elective office.


Don Boiselle—the only Republican

Boisselle, the only Republican in the race, was unavailable for comment. However, during a meet the candidates forum earlier this month, he declined to answer several questions because he had not researched the issues, he said.

District 3 includes all of East Toledo and part of South Toledo. The unexpired term of office will end December 31, 2007.





Web laprensa


«Tinta con sabor»     Ink with flavor!



Spanglish Weekly/Semanal

Your reliable source for current Latino news and events providing English and Spanish articles


Culturas Publication, Inc. d.b.a. La Prensa Newspaper

© Copyrighted by  Culturas Publication, Inc. 2005