Ward Calls For Toledo Town Hall Meetings

Toledo Independent City Council At-Large Candidate Stephen Ward, calls for citywide town hall meetings to take place.

Recently, there has been negotiations and layoffs. Today, it was announced that the police layoffs had been reduced from 150 officers, to 75 officers going to be let go. It was stated that 66 of those 75 officers will be from field operations on the afternoon and night shifts.

Ward states, “It is good that some of the officers were spared, however the citizens of Toledo still do not have peace of mind that they will be safe in their homes, and going about their day-to-day business.”

In 2006, there were 690 sworn officers. Since that time, that number has continued to decrease, but crime continues to be on the rise. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report as reported by the City of Toledo Police Department, there were 13 murders in 2007, and that number grew to 23 murders in 2008. There were 2,250 aggravated assaults in 2007, and that number increased to 3,700 in 2008.

Ward says, “Crime is not down. Crime is in fact on the rise. When you drive through parts of North Toledo or Central City it is obvious. The moment it was publicized that police would receive layoff notices, gangs begin celebrating by wearing t-shirts and other paraphernalia, and gang graffiti started to increase. And if that is not enough - one man is dead and another hospitalized after an overnight shooting, which happened just after midnight at the corner of Mercer and Williamsville in south Toledo. The gunman is still on the loose.”

It is the responsibility of city administration to keep the public informed, and to make necessary decisions for the betterment of all Toledo citizens. Toledo has a public safety committee, however where are they in the community?

Ward asserts, “We must regenerate our sense of safety and security. However before we do that, we must first consult with the citizens of Toledo. Because the Mayor and City Council are elected by the people, they must serve the people. The challenges facing Toledo effects everyone. No longer can important decisions be made with too little input from the citizens who will be affected by those decisions.

Therefore, I am urging the mayoral and and my fellow council candidates, to join me in advocating for all the citizens of Toledo. We must take a united message to Government Center, to encourage the Mayor and City Council to stop making rash decisions, without including the citizens of Toledo in that decision making process. As a Toledo resident, and on behalf of all the citizens concerned about our public safety...I implore the Mayor and City Council to please conduct Town Hall Meetings, so that Toledo residents can participate and be included in the decisions that will directly impact our lives and the lives of our children. We deserve and have the right to let the current administration know where we stand with the current issues that Toledo is facing.”

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