Council members debate domestic partner benefits

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - A proposal from Toledo Mayor Mike Bell calling for benefits to be extended to the registered domestic partners of city employees was officially placed on council's agenda on Tuesday, and was debated for about an hour by council members.

Rob Ludeman says he's against the proposal and questions the timing of the measure, coming on the heels of concessions being secured in the latest round of union contract negotiations:

"Magically there appears some funds or some way to include another group of people in the benefits that were reduced by the bargaining units because we didn't have the funds to run the city."

Councilman Mike Collins says this is an important public policy question which should be decided by the public:

"I'm going to propose we take the ordinance as directed to us at council and we amend that ordinance and place it before voters in November."

The issue has been placed in committee, with a hearing set for May 30 at 4 p.m. Toledo City Council President Joe McNamara and Councilman Steve Steel are among those supporting the measure, saying it's a matter of civil rights and treating all city employees equally.

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