Theodore's World: Toldeo Mayor to Marines: Leave downtown

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February 09, 2008

Toldeo Mayor to Marines: Leave downtown

Mayor to Marines: Leave downtown He says urban exercises scare people

A company of Marine Corps Reservists received a cold send-off from downtown Toledo yesterday by order of Mayor Carty Finkbeiner.

The 200 members of Company A, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., planned to spend their weekend engaged in urban patrol exercises on the streets of downtown as well as inside the mostly vacant Madison Building, 607 Madison Ave.

Toledo police knew days in advance about their plans for a three-day exercise. Yet somehow the memo never made it to Mayor Finkbeiner, who ordered the Marines out yesterday afternoon just minutes before their buses were to arrive.

"The mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people," said Brian Schwartz, the mayor's spokesman.
"He did not want them practicing and drilling in a highly visible area."

So after a brief stop at a friendly base in Perrysburg Township, the Marines by early evening were back on their way home to Grand Rapids.

"I wish they would have told us this four hours ago," Staff Sgt. Andre Davis said.

Sergeant Davis, who traveled ahead of the five-bus convoy, stepped from his vehicle into downtown about 3:20 p.m. and was told by a city employee that the mayor wanted him and his soldiers packed up and out by 6 p.m.

Members of the 1st Battalion, 24th Marines have trained periodically in downtown Toledo since at least 2004 and most recently in May, 2006.

Past exercises have involved mock gun fights, ambushes, and the firing of blank ammunition.

The Marines' buses set a course for their battalion's Weapons Company headquarters in Perrysburg Township as soon as they heard of the mayor's decision.

The Reservists' visit was no surprise to Toledo police, who Tuesday issued a news release to media outlets on behalf of the Marines that asked Toledoans not to be startled by the sight of camouflaged soldiers toting M16 rifles.

Police officers were awaiting the Marines' arrival yesterday afternoon and had set up a roadblock at Madison Avenue and Huron Street.

"There was apparently a break in communication somewhere between the mayor and the police department," Mr. Schwartz said.
"Where that break was, we don't know yet."

Maj. Jeffrey O'Neill, the company's commanding officer, said he was disappointed by how events played out yesterday, especially because Toledo had been a gracious host for Marine exercises in the past.

"You can go to military ranges for live fire [exercises], but there's no way to duplicate the urban jungle unless you actually train inside a city," Major O'Neill said.

Mr. Schwartz said the Marines declined Mayor Finkbeiner's alternative offer for them to practice their urban patrol tactics inside the former Jones Junior High School, 550 Walbridge Ave.

Major O'Neill said he was not aware of such an offer.

A pair of Marines spent the better part of yesterday setting up the Madison Building with generators, heaters, radios, and food to become the unit's overnight headquarters.

After receiving the mayor's request to leave, they began the task of moving the equipment back into an armored Humvee.

Lance Cpl. Brandon Bukrey-McCarty, 22, recalled taking part in the company's 2006 urban patrol exercise in downtown Toledo.

He said he learned skills during that exercise that proved useful during the unit's deployment to Fallujah, Iraq, in 2006-2007.

"It was extremely helpful," Corporal Bukrey-McCarty said.
The training "got me used to looking up on rooftops, looking around every alley, every open door."

Sergeant Davis and other company leaders estimated the total cost of the aborted training exercise, including travel, at roughly $10,000.

Before he left downtown for Perrysburg Township, Major O'Neill said he was not sure what type of training, if any, his unit could undertake without access to downtown Toledo.

"But we're Marines," Major O'Neill said. "We'll adapt and overcome."

Wild Thing's comment........

Next time the Mayor needs the military in Toledo, the military should just say “call code pink”.

This jerk Mayor also got into some hot water last summer for leaving his dog in his parked car for hours at a time, with heat indexes of 100+ degrees, with no water bowl or food inside the car.

This asshole Mayor's website

His email address

Posted by Wild Thing at February 9, 2008 12:45 PM


The Marines are frightening people? I'm sure his people feel much safer with gang-bangers patrolling Toledo's streets.

Posted by: BobF at February 9, 2008 01:28 PM

Feeling full of himself with Berkeley's lead and the potential of another comrad supporting him from the Whitehouse.

Posted by: Jack at February 9, 2008 01:59 PM

This guy is such a puff that he sloshes when he walks, and when he sits down you hear a splat!

Posted by: Rhod at February 9, 2008 02:43 PM

Holy crapola--oh well, when Toledo gets nuked, I guess they won't get any help from the Marines.

Posted by: Lynn at February 9, 2008 02:46 PM

At what point can the military remind these chicken shit mayors that they are not part of their chain of command? I think, since it is wartime anyway, that traveling units, reserve or otherwise, should travel with ammunition, and press on their training.

Posted by: Robocop at February 9, 2008 03:04 PM

Bite me, Mayor Finkbeiner.

Posted by: howlsatmoon at February 9, 2008 04:08 PM

Some mayors in Iraq or Afghanistan would welcome those Marines.

It would be nice if they could put Finkbeiner in boot camp and just keep recycling him until the war was over.

Posted by: TomR at February 9, 2008 05:39 PM

Just as in Berkley, this mayor will feel the wrath of the supporters of the Marines and he will take his foot out of his mouth and reverse his stupidity. Very few things are perfect. However, Mayor Finkbeiner is a perfect asshole.

Posted by: Les at February 9, 2008 08:21 PM

Bob, amazing and disgusting at the same time.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 10, 2008 12:55 AM

Jack, yes I guess Pelosi, Murtha and Reid are ok with all of this. sheesh

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 10, 2008 12:58 AM

Rhod, LOL good one.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 10, 2008 12:59 AM

Lynn, they better not ask for help. What a horrible man.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 10, 2008 01:00 AM

Robocop,yes, I would love for the Marines to have been able to say that up close and personal to this Mayor. I know they can't but gosh I would love it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 10, 2008 01:02 AM

Wollf, Amen!

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 10, 2008 01:03 AM


"keep recycling him"

I love it!!

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 10, 2008 01:04 AM

Les I think so too. The wrath of those of us that support the Marines, the troops will come down hard on him.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 10, 2008 01:04 AM