TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - Picture this: free wi-fi throughout Toledo, more police officers, and a park in the harbor. That could all soon be a reality if Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz gets his agenda through.
Tonight was one of the first steps.
Inside the historic Ohio Theater, new Toledo mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz talked about bike-share programs, Lake Erie water quality, the Metroparks , and did somebody say potholes?
"I'm told we have a pothole problem. I don't know if anyone would agree with that," Kapszukiewicz joked.
The mayor said work on the Anthony Wayne Trail is moving up from (originally) next year, to now, this July. But fewer tax dollars from both the federal and state level are hurting the local guys...
"Those tax cuts are being paid for in the form of potholes, and rough roads, and not enough police officers, and things like that" Kapszukiewicz said.
We pressed the mayor on why potholes are re-opening and if there's a new fix?
"I think our strategy works just fine. It is the fact that we lack the resources to get ahead of the problem," Kapszukiewicz said. "And there's a lot of reasons for that. Some of them are self-inflicted."
"We need more communication, more transparency, and bigger and better ideas," Tina Scott said. "And what he has brought here is absolutely amazing."
Well known block watch leader Tina Scott is a big fan of what the new mayor is delivering. Downtown is booming, and employment is high.
"That's good but we can't blow this chance," Kapszukiewicz said.
Mayor Kapszukiewicz had some somber news in a very optimistic hour-long speech: namely Toledo's declining population.
"92 of the top 100 most populous cities in the country are growing... Toledo is one of the eight," Kapszukiewicz said.
One solution is attracting... and keeping young professionals. He says 542 new jobs have been added to the tax rolls since the start of 2018.
"I like that he's bringing in the younger generation," Scott said.
The mayor also plans on getting rid of what he calls redundancies between the county and city.
"We're never going to fully turn the corner until our city government gets its act together," Kapszukiewicz said.
The Toledo city complaint line just took its 10,000th call so far this year. And mayor Kapszukiewicz took the call for the city. No surprise, the topic was potholes.