Tuesday, I joined 10 other citizens of Toledo under consideration to fill the At Large seat on City Council vacated by Theresa Gabriel's resignation last month. The remaining eleven members of Council reviewed our resumes and we were all given three minutes (exactly three minutes) to speak before their vote. My full remarks are below, if you would rather read them.
In the end, Kurt Young received the majority vote to win the seat. Mr. Young was the endorsed Democrat for the seat, and received the vote of nearly every Democrat on Council (there are a lot of Democrats on the Toledo City Council).
Councilman Tom Waniewski nominated and voted for me. He was my lone supporter on Council.
The position will be up for election in seven months.
Scott Sands Full Remarks To Toledo City Council; April 25, 2017
Members of Council … People of Toledo … Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you about this important position.
Most of you know me from my afternoon show on WSPD; so, it’s odd being on this side of the table from you. Please be gentle.
Your decision today is an important one. The future path our city takes could easily diverge in several directions, in part based on the issues before you.
Many of us share the same priorities … public safety, a responsible and balanced budget, infrastructure, economic development and job growth … But, the way we address those priorities needs a fresh perspective — a new way of thinking — not the same old politicians.
True positive change will come from ordinary citizens like me with new ideas for Toledo. Growth has to come from people on the way up, united around some common goals for the city like fighting drug addiction, keeping an eye out for our neighbors, cleaning up the streets and combatting blight. We have to drive change in this city from where we live individually … all the way to the top of Government Center.
I’m not just a dumb deejay. I’m also the Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartRadio in Toledo — I oversee a staff of dozens in an operation responsible for millions of dollars every year. Over the past thirty years, I’ve held similar positions around the country in cities as diverse as Mobile, San Diego, and Indianapolis.
It’s THIS EXPERIENCE I'd like to bring to the people of Toledo.
But, honestly, what I DO “on the radio” is why I’m here.
Doing that show gives me the chance to talk about everything I love in Toledo — from Tony Packo’s to the Metroparks … from the Hens and Walleye to the Glass Bowl … from Katie Holmes to the Jeep I drive.
Unfortunately, my show also becomes a place to complain about the negatives - and to hear about those problems from my listeners.
I’ve decided I don’t want to JUST be "the guy on the radio that bitches for three hours."
As the saying goes, if I’m not part of the solution, then I’m part of the problem.
So, that’s why I’m raising my hand … asking to be part of the city’s solutions for the future — a brighter, prosperous future.
In doing so, I’m committed to remaining objective and impartial in my votes, voting for what’s good for the most people, listening to everyone to reach a compromise when necessary ... and to say “no” when that’s needed.
I promise to not seek re-election. I only want to serve as a placeholder while other candidates run for this seat without the benefit of the incumbency.
Now, look, I’m no fool. I’m not naive. I know how this works. I’m not endorsed by either Party. I know some of you may have already met behind the scenes to rig this appointment based what the “Party wants.” And, that’s s shame.
That antiquated and partisan way of thinking is not good for anyone.
That kind of rigged politics is partly what has led Toledo in the wrong direction so many times before. That’s why our roads are riddled with potholes … why our police department is short staffed … why the budget is a disaster … why people are moving from the City … that’s why we have to borrow from the CIP to balance a budget … borrowing from the future City our kids may never know.
And, it’s just plain wrong.
Before you cast “YOUR VOTE” this afternoon, I would like to remind you that’s it’s really not "YOUR vote.” It’s really not "YOUR seat" to fill.
It’s the People’s seat on Council. Representing the People of Toledo … not the Democratic Party or the Republican Party … representing ALL the PEOPLE of TOLEDO.
There are 11 qualified candidates here. Vote for the one you think will move Toledo forward, regardless of their party.
I promise that’s exactly what I will do if you give me this opportunity.
I thank you, and I thank the people of Toledo for their time today.