Left: New council president Rob Ludeman; photo by historymike
(Toledo, OH) The selection on the fourth ballot of Republican Rob Ludeman to the post of council president brings to an end a saga that had the potential to force the Toledo legislative body inbto gridlock.
To be sure, there will be hard feelings between many of the ocuncil members for months to come. Plenty of accusations and attacks surfaced in the weeks prior to yesterday's voting, and there are likely to be personal feuds between individual members for quite some time.
Ludeman possesses characteristics that may make himt he most desirable person for the job. His quiet leadership and calm demeanor will likely serve to assuage the sizable egos that inhabit council chambers. In addition, he is a bright, thoughful public servant with a wealth of experience, making him a better candidate than newcomers like Mark Sobczak.
As a businessman in the Toledo area for several decades, Ludeman understands the role of the market better than most of the career politicians who tend to find themselves in One Government Center. I take issue with his willingness to extend tax abatements to seemingly every firm that holds out its hand, but one cannot make much of a case that Ludeman will obstruct the process of attracting employers to the city.
While his close association with Carty Finkbeiner might mean that Ludeman will not challenge the new mayor, my suspicion is that Ludeman generally follows his instincts rather than the crowd. Moreover, as a man of deep personal conviciton, Ludeman brings a type of moral leadership that people like Bob McCloskey cannot claim.
Finally, on a personal note, I have found Rob Ludeman to be a decent, hardworking individual whose first concern is his duties to represent the public. I applaud the collective decision to place Ludeman in the council presidency, and I believe that he would be qualified to assume the role of mayor in the unfortunate event that Mayor Finkbeiner would not be able to continue in his duties.