Paula Hicks-Hudson responds to Rep. Merrin amendment

Paula Hicks-Hudson responds to Rep. Merrin amendment
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson is sending strong words to state representatives regarding Toledo's lead ordinance.

In a letter concerning Rep. Derrick Merrin's amendment, which would leave lead regulations up to the Ohio Department of Health, she says it protects property owners who rent out dangerous units. However, some landlords say it is just the opposite.

"I agree whole-heartedly with what Merrin is saying, the laws are on the books," said landlord and lead inspector Anna Mills. "We have a $10,000 fine for not having them fill out the paper work, for not giving them the ability to do a test that they want. This is ignoring all of the bad houses and going after the good houses."

Mill says Toledo's law makes it near impossible to provide affordable housing.

In regards to Toledo's lead ordinance, Rep. Merrin says he would favor some local regulations, but "he would not tolerate blatant discrimination by a city council."

"There are federal rules we follow, there are state rules that we follow, and adding these dust wipes just makes it way too intrusive," Mills said.

Merrin is a Toledo landlord himself, which is why Hicks-Hudson described the amendment as self-serving. She goes on to say in the letter, thousands of Toledo's children are being poisoned and existing state law treats our children like human lead detectors.

"If the safety of the children was really at risk here, then they should be going after apartment houses, section 8, and owner occupied houses too," Mills said. "But no, it's just a money grab for rental properties."

The budget has already been passed by the house, and next will be voted on in the Senate.

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