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Toledo City Council unanimously asks Kapszukiewicz to reopen communication he closed

Council unanimously voted to ask Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz to reopen communications between council and his office he closed last week for unspecified reasons.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Toledo City Council unanimously urged Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz Wednesday evening to reopen communication between council and the mayor's office.

"Local government works best when officials can communicate freely," which better serves Toledoans, at-large Council Member Katie Moline, who introduced the resolution, said.

It is unclear why Kapszukiewicz placed a moratorium on communication between his office and council. In a statement released Wednesday, shortly after council passed the resolution, Kapszukiewicz did not say whether he would reopen the lines of communication he closed last week or offer any solutions as to how it would be resolved.

"Instead of debating meaningless resolutions aimed only at scoring political points, Toledo City Council’s time would be better spent resolving the problem it has created for itself by continuing to employ a City Auditor who, according to public records, hasn’t performed a single audit in 8 years," he said.

Moline said the mayor calling council's resolution "meaningless" is disappointing because a former member of council, Kapszukiewicz should know "resolutions are how council makes points as a body."

Kapszukiewicz also has not addressed how the moratorium on communication relates to the suspension of city auditor Jake Jaksetic.

Jaksetic, who is hired by and serves the Toledo City Council, was suspended by Council President Matt Cherry, and then formally suspended for 30 days by council in a 10-1 vote on Nov. 1. Moline, the sole vote against his suspension, said Cherry's move to suspend Jaksetic without first consulting the rest of council was improper.

Cherry has not provided a reason for Jaksetic's suspension. Kapszukiewicz criticized the auditor for poor job performance and claimed Jaksetic had not completed any audits.

A city auditor performs financial and operational audits of all city departments, divisions, boards, commissions and other city agencies. Moline said as of Jaksetic's suspension, no one is performing the duties of city auditor.

Records obtained by WTOL 11 showed Jaksetic has completed at least eight financial reviews for the city.

Kapszukiewicz clarified that the files sent in response to the request were not actually audits, but financial reviews. At-large Council Member George Sarantou, who is a former city finance director, also described the files as financial reviews. 

Moline said Kapszukiewic's response to council urging him to reopen the communication showed "the power has gone to his head" and that "it sounds like he's having a tantrum and is acting like a spoiled child" because Issue 21 which would increase the number of terms a mayor can serve, among other unrelated charter changes, failed Tuesday.

"This is why we do need term limits" for the mayor, Moline said.

Moline also said language in Kapszukiewicz's statement was "caustic" and "may be related to the fact that the auditor has raised issues that he doesn't want to discuss publicly."

Prior to his suspension on Nov. 1, Jaksetic sent a letter to council accusing the city of making the move in retaliation for him raising concerns about city-contracted work such as the water meter replacement project.

Council's resolution was sponsored by District 1 representative John Hobbs, District 3 Representative Theresa Gadus and at-large council members Nick Komives, Cerssandra McPherson and Michele Grim.

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