Local leaders remember "giant" of local politics

Local leaders remember "giant" of local politics

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson was holding a breakfast fundraiser on Saturday morning when word came that City Councilman and former Toledo Mayor Jack Ford had died.

The two had worked closely together on city council.

Ford even wrote a speech in recent days for Hicks-Hudson, that she read at her campaign event.

“I'm truly honored to have known him, to have worked with him, to be a part of his circle and I'm very saddened by his loss, because he was a great man,” said Mayor Hicks-Hudson.

Councilman Larry Sykes served with Jack Ford on council and on the Toledo Public School Board.

He called Ford a "giant" in the community and had trouble holding back tears remembering him.

“In his last thing that he did on city council, he wanted $5000 for CareNet. For those that don't have insurance or healthcare. So he was always looking out for the unfortunate and the at-risk,” said Councilman Sykes.

City Councilman Mike Craig says Ford was a bright, even funny man.

“If you would first meet him, that might not be your first impression but he had a very dry sense of humor. And you know he had some great stories to tell. He was a good guy,” said Councilman Craig.

Councilman Rob Ludeman called it a tragic and very sad day, but didn't hesitate on the legacy Ford will leave behind.

“The smoking ban. I was on council at the time and we took a lot of heat, a lot of harsh words were said by folks. But today you can do into a restaurant anywhere in the state of Ohio and not have to worry about cigarette smoke affecting you or your children or your grandchildren,” said Councilman Ludeman.

In 2014, Councilman Ford led the charge for creating a Blight Authority, to take a more aggressive approach in eliminating run down and abandoned homes in the city.

Former Councilman George Sarantou praised Ford's ability to work across party lines.

“Jack Ford was a gentleman. He was bipartisan. He wanted to do that public work for the public good, and he was just an outstanding public servant that really cared about his community,” said Sarantou.

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