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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Elect a Competent Mayor for Toledo, Ohio

OMG! Oh, my goodness! Here we go again. It seems that Toledoans are already bashing potential candidates for the position of Mayor of the City of Toledo. That observation may be demonstrated by examining this blog entry and message thread in Glass City Jungle.
Harrumph, that election is still a year and-a-half away!!!
Just two-and-a-half years ago, Toledoans dethroned incumbent one-term Mayor Jack Ford (D), and returned former two-term Mayor Carty Finkbeiner (D) in the general election after having held a primary election that had included many candidates. One of those primary election candidates was Keith Wilkowski, who is presently exploring the possibility of another run to become Mayor of Toledo.
Regarding the 2005 primary election to select the Toledo mayoral candidates, does anyone remember this blog entry from HistoryMike?
It is interesting that Toledoans bemoan what they perceive as a lack of competent candidates for Mayor. Come to think of it, Toledoans generally perceive candidates for any elective office as incompetent. Ergo, the elected officials are perceived as incompetent. And yet, when given an opportunity, the majority of the voting-age public in Toledo tends to do several things, all of which are negative, when it comes to the electoral process. One: competent potential candidates are criticized promptly and persistently. Two: critics (many in the blogosphere choose to remain anonymous) are quick to criticize candidates but slow to put themselves forth as candidates, or to put forth positive suggestions on the issues for the potential candidates, or even for suggesting a specific person as a candidate who might be a competent Mayor. Three: the majority of voting-age public fail to vote. Consequently, a minority of the people selects the nominated candidates in the primary elections and therefore elects the successful candidates in the general elections.
Let me elaborate on that last statement. It is my observation that, generally speaking, approximately one-half (50%) of the voting-age public is registered to vote. Of those who are registered to vote, approximately one-half actually turn out to vote; that translates into one-fourth (25%) of the voting-age public voting in elections. In a one-on-one majority election, it only takes 50% plus one of the votes to elect the candidate; that ultimately equates to 12.5% of the voting-age public choosing our elected officials. It is possible to be elected with even less in a plurality race, like school board elections in Ohio where those voted into office need only to gather the highest number of votes amongst the candidates. Therefore, in reality, the electorate actually consists of a minority.
Let the Toledo naysayers continue to disparage our current Toledo mayor and our potential candidates for mayor and scare away those who might have otherwise considered running for Mayor of Toledo. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is those naysayers who really create the situation of which they are so critical. The fault is theirs. It is they who are to be blamed, not the mayor nor the candidates for mayor.
For those who are of the opinion that I am incorrect, I challenge you to identify yourself. I further challenge you to step up to the plate in either offering yourself as a candidate for Toledo mayor or working on behalf of a candidate for a competent mayor of Toledo. Don’t just be a negative unconstructive critic that cries for change; actively work on behalf of change in a manner that puts forth positive suggestions and ideas!

Postscript:
Dare I say that I think most political naysayers are amongst the 75% of the voting-age public who do not vote, meaning those who do not even bother to register to vote and those who may be registered but don’t bother to vote??!!!
Gee, somehow, I do not think Toledoans are unique in this regard. I kind of get the feeling that people are the same throughout the United States.

This message has been another service of Roland Hansen Commentary – and you have my word on it.

3 comments:

Lisa Renee said...

You have to be able to raise at least $500,000 to be able to run a successful Mayoral campaign with a shot at winning. That's what keeps most people from running for Mayor. Same with an at large council spot. To win, you have to raise at least $40,000 possibly more to get the name recongition needed to win.

I understand why Keith did the poll, it takes time to build a good volunteer base, and while it is 18 months away, starting the conversation about the possibility of his running does get his name out there which helps when it comes to the name recognition standpoint.
While the theory that more people should run is a good one, the reality is if you want to win, that's what it takes and that stops most people who have seriously contemplated it from running. Then there are the naysayers who will critique whoever it is and say they would be better without admitting/having personal knowledge of how much time and personal investment it takes to run for office any office. Things that seem simple like the signature process can be a problem, as I discovered.

Roland Hansen said...

Astute observation, Lisa Renee. Unfortunately, many folks do not understand the finance aspect of political campaigns. Many people may criticize the amount of money spent in a campaign but do not suggest how a viable candidate can effectively get her/his message across without using paid media.

Lisa Renee said...

So very true Roland, part of the problem is the local party still living in the days where it believes the old days of advertising and door to door work more than proper utilization of the net which is much cheaper and if done properly can be just as effective.

Part of the problem is our local media, given even if you have "earned media" you might not get equal coverage, if you are not one of the favored ones, you will have to spend more to get what some have gotten for free.