Toledo’s mediation service relaunched

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 11:12 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - City leaders announced the relaunch of Toledo’s Human Relations Commission mediation service. It’s a free program to help Toledo residents solve civil disputes among community members.

“It’s a crucial part of living in a city that respects one another, values different opinions, and also seeks to bridge differences and disagreements neighbors have from time to time,” said Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz.

The mediation service puts a system in place to address issues among neighbors. There were about 225 people who reached out in 2019 to take advantage of the service. 30 of those calls resulted in a mediation where differences were able to be worked out.

According to Kapszukiewicz, the program may also limit the non-essential situations police officers are called to that could best be handled by a neutral third-party mediator. The hope is that in offering this avenue for civil disputes, police officers can focus their time and attention on more pressing matters.

“We’re talking about neighbors who maybe have a disagreement about everything from a barking dog to a tree whose branches and leaves are falling in the neighbor’s house, to kids who perhaps aren’t being as respectful to their neighbors as they could be, high grass, noise complaints, could be anything,” Kapszukiewciz said. “There can be a thousand and one things that sometimes can make living in a neighborhood challenging.”

The city leaders said that many of the issues are resolved on the first phone call once an individual reaches out to HRC, so many cases never reach the mediation proceedings. The mayor called it an example of the system working perfectly.

The program’s relaunch comes after COVID-19 interrupted the mediation service the HRC provides last year.

Those interested in using the service can fill out the form on the city’s website, submit a request through the Engage Toledo app, email, or call 419-245-1518.

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