The names of four
stand-ins for suspended councilmen Tyrone Riley, Yvonne
Harper, Larry Sykes and Gary Johnson will be announced very
shortly. Lucas County Probate Judge Jack Puffenberger is in
the final stages of interviewing approximately 10 finalists
from 128 applicants for the temporary council positions.
Puffenberger, a Democrat,
will ultimately decide as to who gets appointed. However,
we would be naïve to think that he is not asking others for
input. The Judge has reached out to Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz
and many others in consultation. The judgment of Local 500’s
David Fleetwood, Toledo Northwest Ohio Building Trades, and
the Lucas County Democratic Party are other voices that
Puffenberger will consider. The Judge is also a good friend
of Democratic Party leader Mike Beazley and has known the
political strategist personally for a long time.
What can we expect?
The Not Interested:
candidates” who Party leaders regarded highly, never applied
for the job. Candidates such as Candice Harrison, Wendi
Huntley and John Jones were not interested or quite ready to
serve in a city council capacity for various personal
No Familiar Faces:
Don’t look for anyone from
the past to surface. A forceful August 26, 2020 opinion
piece by the Blade’s Editorial Board made it clear that
there was no appetite for “second-time arounders.” However,
Harvey Savage, a previous council candidate, is a name that
surfaces on the list of finalists.
Democratic Party Chair
Mike Ashford is also a candidate. Although Ashford has a lot
of political support he is expected to run for an at-large
council seat next year and therefore, not expected to be
appointed by Puffenberger for the stand-in position.
Gender and Minority Gaps:
Women are running for
political office at unprecedented rates since Donald Trump
became president. Expect the trend to continue locally.
Puffenberger is expected to increase current female
representation on Toledo City Council.
Advocates have also
insisted that we have a council that reflects the diversity
of Toledo. Currently, Cecilia Adams is the only black or
brown face on city council. It is mandatory, according to
some, that the replacement of the four suspended minority
councilmen also be persons of color.
Names You Should Know:
Expect new faces and
surprising names to fill the available temporary Toledo City
Council seats. If you don’t know the following, take note of
these young, educated and accomplished people that have
risen to the top of Puffenberger’s list. These emerging
leaders make Toledo’s future bright:
Tiffany Preston-Whitman, Ed.D., director of Academic
Innovation and Testing Services for University College at
the University of Toledo.
Patrice McClellan, Ed.D., associate professor of Business
and Leadership at Lourde’s University and a critical race
Celeste Smith, regional director at Health Partners of
Vanice Williams, former Assistant Program Officer for LISC
Sharon Jeffries, retired Toledo Police Department
John Hobbs III, The Ohio State Cosmetology and Barber Board;
pastor of Dominion Fellowship Church.
Contact Rev. Donald Perryman, D.Min, at