TOLEDO -- Some are wondering if political fireworks are about to ignite at Toledo's Government Center. Newly-elected City Council President Michael Ashford has a rocky past with Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, but now that Ashford's in charge of council, will that spill over? He says what's in the past is in the past, but there are some issues which could seriously test this new relationship.
A few days following the "re-vote" to elect a new Toledo City Council president, Ashford is confident he'll be able to get to work with Mayor Finkbeiner. Ashford says he's already had a positive meeting with the mayor's chief of staff. "What can we do when it comes to job creation, what can we do to make our neighborhoods safe, what can we do to increasing our fire and police personnel," said Ashford.
Lucas County Democratic Party Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler hopes Ashford and Finkbeiner, both Democrats, will focus on common goals and ease the long-standing tension between "A-team" and "B-team" Democrats. A serious test may come during the 2008 budget process when the monthly garbage fee will likely come up for renewal, something Ashford strongly opposed.
The new council president says right now he's worried about more immediate issues. "What are we going to do with the MLK bridge? How is that going to be fixed, where are we going to find the money and the financing?" asked Ashford. "That's very important that we address that right away."
Count on News 11 to follow this story as it develops.