Carty Finkbeiner recall, Toledo, Ohio, 2009

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An effort to recall Carty Finkbeiner, the mayor of Toledo, Ohio, began in January 2009.[1][2]

A decision of the Ohio Supreme Court on July 27, 2009 ended the recall effort. After a pro-recall group collected about 40,000 signatures, a lawsuit was filed saying that the petition forms omitted one sentence and therefore, all the signatures should be discarded. All of the court's justices agreed with this assessment.[3]

The recall election would have been held on November 3, 2009.[4]

As the recall effort gained steam, Finkbeiner announced that he does not intend to seek a fourth term as Mayor of Toledo.[5]

Finkbeiner earned $136,000/year and was in his third four-year term as mayor when the recall started.

Signature drive

For the recall effort to succeed, its supporters needed to collect 19,753 valid signatures from registered Toledo voters in a 90-day window ending April 18, 2009. According to the Lucas County Board of Elections, as of April 16, there were 19,827 valid signatures.[6] If the effort succeeds, Finkbeiner would be removed from office with about three months left in his four-year term.[1][7]

Signatures verified, then challenged

The Lucas County Board of Elections spent three days verifying 39,994 signatures, leaving 5,000 unchecked, but available if need be. The board determined 20,444 to be valid, meaning the effort has enough signatures to put the recall on the fall 2009 ballot.[8][9]

Finkbeiner then hired an attorney to challenge the validity of the signatures. According to Finkbeiner's legal team, there were around 2,500 signatures that are invalid. They also alleged false signatures, doctored affidavits, and language that doesn't meet state requirements.

Petition language questioned

Finkbeiner's legal team said that the petition forms were missing the sentence, "Whoever Commits Election Falsification is Guilty of a Felony of the 5th Degree."[10]

On June 9, 2009 the Lucas County Board of Elections announced that the language of the petition was legal and the signatures were valid.[11]

Finkbeiner's team appealed that decision to the state's highest court, ultimately winning a verdict that although the Toledo City Charter does not say that recall petitions must include the sentence that was left out, the state's election laws do require the missing sentence.

Supporters of recall

A group called Take Back Toledo led the recall effort. Tom Schlachter, Brian Wilson, and Ed Nagle are its leaders.[12]

As reasons for going ahead with the recall effort, the group cites:

  • "Three years of nationally embarrassing gaffes."
  • "Increased taxes and fees."
  • "Creating an atmosphere decidedly unfriendly to the creation and expansion of business within the City of Toledo."[12]
  • Spending money on the Erie Street Market while cutting funding for new police officers and firefighters in the proposed 2009 budget.[1]

o Mayor Finkbeiner's order in February 2008 that a Michigan reserve unit of the Marine Corps stop training in downtown.

  • A November, 1994, statement Finkbeiner made referencing deaf people living near Toledo Express Airport.

Finkbeiner's position

Finkbeiner says of the recall, "In a time of national and local severe recession, instead of pursuing their selfish personal and political agendas, they should help us raise money for the United Way and Salvation Army, and fight for auto jobs just as hard as I did to keep Jeep a few years back. They should also support us in working to bring alternative energy jobs and companies to Toledo."[1]

Finkbeiner also believes the recall effort is fueled by personal vendettas against him.[13]

Pay cut

On May 9, 2009 the Finkbeiner announced that he would cut his own salary by 40%. On September 17, 2009 the mayor release a statement that read, "Mayor Finkbeiner voluntarily imposed a 10 percent pay reduction upon himself for the better part of the first six months of the year. He pays back to the city treasury on a quarterly basis and has written checks totaling $5,000 through June 30th, including $2,000 to pay for police overtime for the July 4th weekend."[14]

Previous recall effort

Tom Morrissey, a University of Toledo student, ran an unsuccessful "Recall Carty" petition drive in 2007.[1]

See also

External links