by Rev. Donald L. Perryman, Ph.D.
The Truth Contributor
Life is dotted with these kinds of interruptions. A day starts out normally, and life’s just humming along. Then something happens that immediately erases your plans.
– Tara Nieuwesteeg
December is year-end for the Democratic Party, a period after campaigning when it settles down for a long winter’s nap.
Just a couple of weeks ago, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Then, suddenly, without warning, Stephanie Eichenberg resigned from the TPS board. Then, Lisa Sobecki announced her candidacy for Lucas County Commissioner to create a crescendo of clatter. So, after hearing the noise, quite naturally, I thought I should rise to investigate the matter.
This is what I found:
TPS is working on a tight turnaround to have Eichenberg’s replacement selected before the Board’s organizational meeting in early January. A regular board meeting was scheduled for December 14, and a special board meeting will take place on December 27. So, TPS will likely choose someone by the end of December 2021 at the latest.
Many people in the community (as well as in the Party), weary of the selection of board members from the comparatively plushy 43614 neighborhood, are advocating that the appointment reflect the district’s diversity.
There are certainly plenty of high-quality African Americans available for the board seat.
As many as six ethnic minorities comprise the list of 10 applicants. They included pastors, community workers, financial service professionals, government and corporate employees, social workers, and registered nurses.
Rev. Randall Parker III, who previously served on the Board in April 2015, stands out prominently. Parker replaced Cecelia Adams, PhD, who left to join Toledo City Council, but he lost his election bid to Perry Lefever, who has since left the Board. However, Lefever, who is not an ethnic minority, has also applied to fill the position vacated by the departing Eichenberg.
Elgin Rogers, Jr. is also an outstanding candidate. Rogers currently works for Lucas County and has served in high-level positions for the Lucas County Auditor’s Office and several community groups’ boards.
TPS would undoubtedly prefer to hit the ground running and thus select someone who can contribute without a steep learning curve. The Board would not have to start from scratch with either Parker III or Lefevre. Both know the Board’s procedures and understand how its processes work. If appointed, each also has the existing political infrastructure to hold the seat and get reelected.
While the TPS board appointment is intriguing, Lisa Sobecki’s surprising candidacy to challenge incumbent Gary Byers for Lucas County Commissioner, perhaps, sets off a political cataclysm.
Since being elected as State Representative, Sobecki has been a passionate and allegiant advocate for her constituents, tackling every significant issue. But, after two terms of hitting her head against the wall grappling with an overwhelming Republican majority in Columbus, Sobecki eyes an opportunity to come back home where she can make a difference.
Sobecki’s chances to successfully move from State Representative to County Commissioner are excellent.
In Columbus, she currently serves as a ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee. In addition, she is active on the Primary and Secondary Education Committee and the State and Local Government Committee. She is also a former TPS board member, county employee, and union representative.
However, what is most striking is that Sobecki may already have amassed a war chest of at least $100,000 in the bank just to start.
It appears that Lisa has also garnered support and endorsements from several influential backers. The Toledo Federation of Teachers, other Education associations, AFL-CIO, and the mighty building and construction trades are a few who are already backing her. In addition, look for Tina Butts and The Movement, Laborers International Union Local 500, and possibly The Teamsters, all who haven’t yet decided but may also come along.
Finally, there is talk that Sobecki is likely to get the Party’s endorsement over Byers, the incumbent. A challenger last got the Party endorsement over a Lucas County Commissioner occupant in 2004 when the Party endorsed Pete Gerken over Harry Barlos.
One thing is for sure, endorsements are coming early in January.
And, the screening committee, weighted heavily by the influential building trades, “to their team just gave a whistle.”
And, “away, they will fly like the down of a thistle.”
And, “I heard them exclaim as they went out of sight,” HAPPY POLITICS TO ALL. AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!
Contact Rev. Donald Perryman, PhD, at firstname.lastname@example.org