Toledo Mayor & Toledo Council President Release Statement Regarding Ordinance 002-20

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Ordinance 002-20, a proposal to require a license for drywall installers, has been the subject of a great deal of debate and discussion over the past several weeks. Two public hearings have been held, and countless additional conversations have taken place – both at City Hall and throughout the community – regarding this ordinance. This discussion has been both healthy and productive. We need more of it. That is why, instead of voting Tuesday on this ordinance, we are recommending that Toledo City Council refer the matter to committee so a thorough and deliberative process can be adopted through which all opinions on this issue can be properly heard.

Without hesitation, we support the goals articulated by proponents of the ordinance. All Toledoans want local work to be done by local workers, and they want those workers to be well-trained and fairly compensated. No one disagrees with those goals. But, we are also concerned about unintended consequences that could stall the economic momentum taking place in our city. City Council has heard from business leaders and developers, who have testified publicly, that passage of ordinance 002-20 will drive them, and their millions of dollars of investment, out of Toledo. Just as no one wants out-of-town workers building unsafe structures in our city, no one wants to drive investment out of Toledo, either.

Other cities have faced similar dilemmas and managed to find solutions that helped achieve the commonly held goals that people on all sides of this debate share. We can do the same thing here in Toledo.

Admittedly, striking this balance will be difficult – but we have done difficult things before. Over the last 20 years, the City of Toledo has passed landmark legislation on a number of difficult, initially controversial, issues. On each of these issues – gun violence, living wage, Ohio’s first indoor smoking ban, predatory lending, regional water, lead paint – we were able to move forward only after building the consensus necessary to accomplish truly important things.

As such, we recommend that Ordinance 002-20 be referred to committee at today’s Toledo City Council meeting. This process will allow everyone to have input and to understand the legitimately held concerns of people with opposing views.