TOLEDO, Ohio — City Council and the Mayor's Office are only one floor apart at One Government Center but Councilman Larry Sykes believes the city should be making changes now when it comes to lead safe homes.
However the mayor's office wants to wait until after a pending lawsuit is over.
"I just felt it was time to move forward with my ordinance I changed and it states that anyone that is renting properties has to have a lead certificate stating that it is lead safe," Councilman Larry Sykes said.
Councilman Sykes proposal is expected to be introduced at Toledo City Council next Tuesday. He believes the city needs to act now to make sure homes are lead safe.
"It's critically important how it impacts our children's cognizance and ability to learn, how it creates a problem in school with disciplinary action," Councilman Sykes said.
While The Mayor's offices agrees it's urgent, they said a current lawsuit over council's last attempt to enact similar rules should be finished up first.
"This just can't be about one court ruling, this has to be a sustainable long-lasting solution for a problem that's faced by Toledo and by many other cities in America," Communications Director Ignazio Messina said.
An initial plan by the city lists over a dozen organizations that have been helping craft their proposal. They want to phase in inspections over four years and, like Sykes, work with the Department of Neighborhoods.
The Mayors Office wants inspectors to certify homes as lead safe or lead abated and if landlords don't meet the deadlines, they would face a $250 fine per day they are past inspection.
Sykes would like to create a position where their one job is to help people through the entire process, from finding out if there is lead in their home to connecting them with resources.
So, with offices one floor apart, why did they create two separate plans with essentially the same goal?
"Mr. Sykes is very passionate about making sure homes are lead safe, making sure homes are not poisoned by lead, which we know for a fact happens. We want to work with Mr. Sykes and anyone else on council to make sure that we have a reasonable law on lead," Messina said.
"I have yet to sit down with the Mayor and see what his plan is, he has met with other people for the most part," Sykes said.
Both sides said they're willing to work together, but it seems to be the timeline that's causing a disagreement.