Letter to Toledo City Council Regarding Ordinance 381-19

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

November 12, 2019

Dear Members of Council,

Toledo’s children deserve the best future we can give them. That is why I have always supported the broad goals of the lead poisoning prevention coalition to adopt a lead-safe ordinance, and that is why I signed ordinance 381-19 into law this evening.

However, I fear that the ordinance adopted by City Council tonight may frustrate our attempts to prevent children from being lead poisoned.

My Administration and the Law Department had asked you to wait to enact any amendments until the current court case is resolved. While I still believe that was the more responsible approach to take, we now need to find a way to work together.

The ordinance invites a number of new questions that we must now resolve. Who will staff this new Division in the Department of Neighborhoods? How will this whole effort be properly funded? How will we partner with the County Auditor on rental registration? And how will we transition all of the work that the Health Department has already done to this new exclusively city enterprise?

I am hopeful that we can figure it out. As a number of you said tonight, our goal must be to get this right. But if we are not making real progress as we work through these new questions and details, I also hope that you will be open to further amendments and clarifications.

Our children deserve nothing less.

Wade Kapszukiewicz Mayor, City of Toledo