February 9, 2008

Wholly Toledo — Mayor to Marines: Go Away, You ‘Frighten People’

Filed under: Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 11:21 am

Is the Glass City becoming the Berkeley of the Midwest?

In today’s Toledo Blade (HT Maggie Thurber; bolds are mine):

Mayor to Marines: Leave downtown
He says urban exercises scare people

A company of Marine Corps Reservists received a cold send-off from downtown Toledo yesterday by order of Mayor Carty Finkbeiner.

The 200 members of Company A, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., planned to spend their weekend engaged in urban patrol exercises on the streets of downtown as well as inside the mostly vacant Madison Building, 607 Madison Ave.

Toledo police knew days in advance about their plans for a three-day exercise. Yet somehow the memo never made it to Mayor Finkbeiner, who ordered the Marines out yesterday afternoon just minutes before their buses were to arrive.

“The mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people,” said Brian Schwartz, the mayor’s spokesman.

“He did not want them practicing and drilling in a highly visible area.”

….. Members of the 1st Battalion, 24th Marines have trained periodically in downtown Toledo since at least 2004 and most recently in May, 2006.

….. The Reservists’ visit was no surprise to Toledo police, who Tuesday issued a news release to media outlets on behalf of the Marines that asked Toledoans not to be startled by the sight of camouflaged soldiers toting M16 rifles.

….. Mr. Schwartz said the Marines declined Mayor Finkbeiner’s alternative offer for them to practice their urban patrol tactics inside the former Jones Junior High School, 550 Walbridge Ave.

(Marine) Major (Jeffrey) O’Neill said he was not aware of such an offer.

A pair of Marines spent the better part of yesterday setting up the Madison Building with generators, heaters, radios, and food to become the unit’s overnight headquarters.

….. (Marine) Sergeant (Andrew) Davis and other company leaders estimated the total cost of the aborted training exercise, including travel, at roughly $10,000.

It’s clear that Marine visits for training exercises have become a routine thing. At least one of these exercises had to previously have taken place since Finkbeiner was re-elected mayor in November 2005 after a term-limited break in service. If he didn’t like what the Marines did in 2006, he could have told them not to come back after-the-fact in 2006. But noooooo.

“Somehow,” the Blade’s coverage missed this crucial point.

Maggie adds:

This is the most insane thing I’ve ever heard of. Marines don’t frighten me! They give me comfort and confidence that our nation is so well-protected by such dedicated individuals. Perhaps it’s only Carty who is frightened.

What’s frightening is how out of touch the mayor is.

This is disgraceful. The Mayor owes the Marines an apology and a re-invite. The City owes them 10 grand.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


UPDATE: Roger Kimball at Pajamas Media has more.

UPDATE 2: Of course, the Blade didn’t identify the Mayor’s party.

UPDATE 3: Instapundit relays an e-mail — “The really rich part of this is that our downtown still has many vacant buildings. One of Carty’s ‘arts’ initiatives was to get artists to paint scenes that would be put up inside the windows of the vacant buildings so they wouldn’t look so ‘vacant’. Oh, and did I mention that the City and County were pleading with the Feds a couple of years ago not to move the local Air National Guard Base (and its jobs/payroll taxes) out of Toledo Express Airport? Pray for us.”

UPDATE 4: Blackfive wants the mayor to pony up the 10 grand himself.



  1. As someone who has worked with urban leadership in many cities, I think I can understand the Mayor’s issue. I suspect that it has little to do with the Marines…and much more to do with the perception that our urban areas are getting as being “urban jungles.” Anything that contributes to that perception can be seen as perpetuating the myth.

    Comment by Mark — February 9, 2008 @ 1:43 pm

  2. Even assuming the validity of your premise (which I don’t), the Mayor should have known that such an exercise took place in 2006 on his watch and several times prior to that, and prevented the waste of time and resources involved.

    He didn’t. The City owes the Marines 10 grand.

    Comment by TBlumer — February 9, 2008 @ 2:21 pm

  3. [...] The Jawa Report, StephenBainbridge.com, Wizbang, BLACKFIVE, NewsBusters.org, Atlas Shrugs, BizzyBlog, The Strata-Sphere, Instapundit.com and Little Green Footballs and Pajamas [...]

    Pingback by Local Story: From the "Say Whaaaat?" File: Toledo Ohio Mayor to Marines: Get lost « Wayward Fundamentalist Christian — February 9, 2008 @ 7:04 pm

  4. Mayor Finkbeiner tells the Marines to leave Toledo – Does not want them to learn the skills to save their lives…

    Finkbeiner, apparently only speaking for himself, said that Marines are not welcome in Toledo. Well I welcome Marines in Toledo to train and learn skills that will save their lives. Apparently Carty does not think they should practice the skills they n…

    Trackback by SwampBubbles - News, Politics, Reports — February 10, 2008 @ 1:17 pm

  5. Calling all marines to indiana we accept you here any time announced or unannounced. you are the protection of our country and never should be denied in any city in the usa. mexican people get in the citys and states easier than our military and they get paid more hahaha. shame shame mr mayor. What if it was a real terrorist? bieng uniformed of whats going on in your city is a big no no. maybe citizens should look more into why you couldnt be contacted by the us marine corp.

    Comment by 2.5karat — February 10, 2008 @ 5:34 pm

  6. The mayor of Toledo is an absolute power crazed idiot who lost his temper and threw a fit because they (the police) and them (the Marine Corps) didn’t personally request his royal permission to conduct maneuvers downtown. He is good at doing whatever he believes will benifit his opinions and his agenda to the point where he proves to the world his lack of operational brain cells. I actually voted for this dictator and I owe a HUGE apology to the past Mayor Jack Ford who was his last opposition for the Toledo Mayor job. Carty reminds me of a bully in a day care center. If he gets to play with a toy (the City of Toledo) then all is well. BUT, if someone takes his toy or doesn’t tell him where it is, then all around him are inept and it’s all their fault. It doesn’t matter that the toy is lost because last time he played with it HE HIMSELF didn’t put it away! (maybe his dog at the government office will help him find it)! He is the Hitler of Ohio and it’s time he be run out on a rail! Im sure someone is going to be fired over this incident (he is always firing folks), if not fired, their life will be made intolerable by this temper tantrum maniac. Quite honestly, if you have ever visited Downtown Toledo Ohio, you would feel safer with armed Marines at every corner than you do now. I always make it a point to NEVER go into downtown Toledo because it is not a safe place to be. I welcome the presense of the Marine Corps at least THEY are brave enough to be in the downtown area of this unsecure and not very nice community. Toledo is like a decaying tooth, sure they try to patch it up but its dead and it’s rotting with NO HELP FROM HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS.

    Comment by JD Crigger — February 11, 2008 @ 2:44 pm

  7. As a Marine Corps dad I was mortified when I read the Toledo article in the Columbus Dispatch.

    My son is 0300 (Infantry). He puts his heart into the survival of his Marine Corps brother. He sleeps in places that would make anyone sick enough to die. He eats when he has cover. He has no shelter from the elements. His shower is the rain. His best friend is his weapon. His fellowship is his Marine Corps brother hunkered down deep in silence. His fear is the chance that his Marine Corps brother will fall. He freely gives his life for his homeland.

    My son is a United States Marine. There isn’t a Mayor in the USA that can take that away from him. Toledo, I grieve your choice of Mayor. Ohio deserves better. Mayor, you owe Ohio an appology. Take the good step. Do something honorable. RESIGN! That’s appology enough.

    Comment by Andy Leavitt — February 11, 2008 @ 4:57 pm

  8. OH! OH! AH! AH! OH! OH! AH! AH!

    That’s BABOON speak Mr.Mayor

    Comment by mouthbreather — February 11, 2008 @ 6:25 pm

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