Skip to comments.Booting Marines Lands Mayor in Crossfire(No, it's not Berkeley, it's Toledo,OH!)
Posted on 02/13/2008 8:21:10 PM PST by kellynla
TOLEDO, Ohio -- Turning away a squad of Marine Corps reservists planning a weekend of training downtown has put the city's mayor in the crossfire of veterans.
Even some supporters wonder what he was thinking.
Mayor Carty Finkbeiner told the Marines, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., to turn around when they hit town Friday, saying he didn't want them scaring unsuspecting visitors and office workers.
City Council members have sent an apology to the Marines, and the local visitors bureau offered the unit's 200 members a free hotel stay, restaurant gift certificates and a visit to the zoo.
"I'm shaking I'm so upset," said Ron Hernandez, a former Marine who served in Vietnam. "It's a slap in the face."
The mayor said he didn't mean to inconvenience the unit, which had to cancel the exercise and return home.
Yet Finkbeiner _ a three-term mayor whose history of gaffes includes considering moving deaf people near the airport to solve noise complaints _ said if the Marines try to come downtown, he'll close the door in their faces again.
The mayor said he didn't know the city's police department had approved the latest urban warfare training until a few hours before the Marines arrived. Police sent out a news release to the media three days before the Marines arrived, but no one had alerted business owners or residents downtown.
A similar training exercise two years ago caught people off guard when they saw soldiers in camouflage running down sidewalks, crouching behind buildings and aiming their weapons, Finkbeiner said.
Not everyone thinks his stand against the Marines' plan to simulate firefights and ambushes and fire blank ammunition downtown was a mistake.
"This isn't about being for or against our military," said Jan Moore, a lifelong resident. "This is about avoiding potential danger."
She and her husband were downtown three years ago during another training exercise when a soldier in fatigues sprinted past their car with his gun drawn. Other soldiers then surrounded a building, she said.
"We didn't know what the heck was going on," she said. "My mind was going crazy."
Five minutes of panic passed before they figured out the city wasn't under siege. "Our first thought wasn't that this was just training," she said.
Maj. Dan Whisnant, commander of 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, said the training is vital to his troops, who were deployed to Iraq twice in the past two years. They've trained in the city four times since 2004.
Finkbeiner's string of memorable missteps goes back to 1994 when he was first elected mayor of the state's fourth-largest city, whose most famous soldier _ Cpl. Max Klinger _ was portrayed by Toledo native Jamie Farr on television's "M-A-S-H."
Finkbeiner once settled a lawsuit against the city with a former employee who accused him of hitting her with a mug. He wound up offering a tearful apology on the misguided proposal to put deaf residents near the airport. And when he asked for a boycott of a pizza chain because he said it didn't support the city, stores responded by offering "Crazy Carty Bread."
The dustup with the Marines has had bloggers and talk show hosts nationwide ripping Finkbeiner, who insisted he's not unpatriotic and called anyone questioning his loyalty a "baboon." He also offered to allow the Marines to return for training, but not downtown.
None of that appeased veterans who flooded city offices with complaints, some saying they'd never set foot in the city again.
"The timing of this was horrible, to do it when they got here," said Jerry Knapp, a former Marine whose son is serving in Iraq.
Another former Marine, City Councilman D. Michael Collins, said the mayor's banishment of the troops has given the city "an image that is not accurate or fair."
Collins doesn't think Finkbeiner meant any disrespect toward the Marines. He said the city should have told downtown business owners and residents about the training and let it continue.
"The mayor was in a bad situation," Collins said. "He was surprised there was going to be a military operation."
Please ping my fellow Marines.
Another dumba$$ mayor... Thanks for posting, Kelly.
The streets roll up precisely at 10 and the people who live there are not seen again.
Saturday night in Toledo, Ohio, is like being nowhere at all
All through the day how the hours rush by
You sit in the park and you watch the grass die
Ah, but after the sunset, the dusk and the twilight
When shadows of night start to fall
They roll back the sidewalks precisely at ten
And people who live there are not seen again
Just two lonely truckers from Great Falls, Montana
And a salesman from places unknown - ces unknown
Oh add all together in downtown Toledo
To spend their big night all alone
You ask how I know of Toledo, Ohio
Well I spent a week there one day
They’ve got entertainment to dazzle your eyes
Go visit the bakery and watch the buns rise
Ah, but let’s not forget that the folks of Toledo
Unselfishly gave us the scales
No springs, honest weight, that’s the promise they made
So smile and be thankful next time you get weighed
And wive and wet wive
Let this be our motto
Let’s let the sleeping dogs lie - ping dogs lie
And here’s to the dogs of Toledo, Ohio
Ladies, we bid you goodbye
John Denver - Toledo Lyrics
“Police sent out a news release to the media three days before the Marines arrived, but no one had alerted business owners or residents downtown.”
Unacceptable. The local govt has a responsibility to let area residents and businessmen know when this sort of activity is going to take place. If the Mayor is correct when he remarked that no one told him till only a few hours prior then I don’t blame him for canceling the operations. Simply reschedule them and let the community know EXACTLY where and when it will take place.
I wonder if theres any truth to that.
there was also some Al Qaeda activity connected to Toledo
The dummy is the mayor of the city, not the janitor of City Hall. He is supposed to know what is going on in his city.
What else doesn’t he know about?
Sounds like another liberal dumbass to me.
One other thing, when people realize the State and Locals are the ones in control of the elections, people will start voting to keep thugs out of office, since they have the power to control elections if not watched carefully.
Wake Up America!
I think you're right!
No party affiliation mentioned for corrupt/idiotic/criminal behavior of politician: DEMOCRAT
Affiliation identified in first sentence: REPUBLICAN
That is cold! lol
That is cold! lol
They have ceased to be “Civil Servants” and become our masters — living off the excess taxes they confiscate to pay themselves unearned salaries and pensions beyond that earned by those they “serve”.....
Now that society has been dumbed down by uncontrolled immigration from the Third World, and the subsidized copulation and population by brood mares dropping bastards onto the welfare programs and into a live of crime....Hope appears to be only a little town in Arkansas.
And, yet, she and her husband came thru the awful man Marine Corps training without a scratch. Thank God!!!
Who would elect a guy named Carty Finkbeiner to mayor anyhow? I picture a geek with a bad golf swing, drink glass in his hand and a very, very bad New York accent.
It was announced DAYS before...carty decided the LAST time the marines where here in twon that he didnt want them back...
He is a huge idiot..and if you support him.,..then you are too...
This Jan Moore listed in the article is a big time moonbat as well...enjoying her 15 minutes...
According to the article no one, other than the police, were informed of the upcoming exercise up till the last minute. Do you have any info that contradicts that?
Train in my hometown of Detroit.
There’s no one to scare there.
let's just hand the country to Hitlery or Barney Bama because we're "mad" ........
it starts locally folks....
but then again, lets' "Boycott" because we're mad.....
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