TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Will the city of Toledo regulate who can hang drywall in the city? Turns out the city is trying to regulate this industry, and lots of people voiced their displeasure with the idea Wednesday.
One of the phrases heard at Wednesday’s Toledo City Council committee hearing over drywall regulations was "a solution looking for a problem," with so many saying this is not an issue and not something that needs to be changed.
In the world of contracting, drywall is one of the most important elements. The city of Toledo may soon regulate who can do it, and those rules may actually drive some out of town.
"I am here as a woman, minority entrepreneur in the city of Toledo who's business will be a casualty of this legislation along with the 17 people I employ," said Ambrea Mikolajczyk of ARK Restoration.
Mikolajczyk says some of her projects will be halted if drywallers are forced to get a license.
"I will be forced to leave town and take my business elsewhere If I want to continue to develop and construct," said Mikolajczyk.
She says this is not a safety issue and she's found no documented collapses based on drywall. Other contractors who spoke to Toledo city council members Wednesday afternoon believe this legislation has ulterior motives.
"This legislation is simply a wish list from carpenters' unions in an attempt to pre-qualify their membership. The legislation does not represent developers, open shop contractors, property owners and most importantly the people of Toledo who count on this work to feed their families,” said Keith Michalski of KCS Contracting.
Supporters of the legislation says this is similar to other regulations for licensing for skilled trades in the city like plumbers. The Chamber of Commerce says this is bad for business, bad for jobs and bad for working families.
"This ordinances is essentially another tax on small businesses and developers. City leaders often promote this being among the best communities for development. Efforts like this will quickly drop Toledo off that list," said Wendy Gramza of the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce.
This was only a council committee, no vote was taken, although it should be noted, every council member attended Wednesday’s committee meeting, which is rare.
The full council could vote on this in the coming weeks.