After watching the University Heights Mayoral debate, could I see Frank Consolo one day saying, “I guess a small town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities?” Yup.
John Carroll, we have enough votes to sway this election, and I think it is our responsibility to future classes that the “Consolo administration” that he loved to reference never materializes.
Consolo began the debate with a long, superfluous tribute to University Heights’ current mayor. It’s not exactly a secret that Mayor Rothschild is no friend to JCU. Strike one.
This “business as usual” language sharply contrasted him coming dangerously close to calling himself a maverick in his closing remarks. As I recall, there was a vice presidential candidate who also attempted to embody that title recently. Strike two.
Answering a question about relations between the City and the University, Consolo said he thought we needed to “increase dialogue” between the two; I suppose that is true. Dialogue between the City and University cannot get any lower than the University sending the City it’s Master Plan over a year ago and still has not heard a response.
That is most troubling because not only is Consolo the chair of the University Affairs Committee of the University Heights City Council, he is the creator. Don’t worry though, these things take time, he really has our best interests at heart. Strike three—you’re out.
Probably the most painful part of the debate was watching Consolo take shot-after-shot at Susan Infeld, another candidate for mayor. He really should have picked up on the fact that not only was she handling his arguably rude delivery of criticism gracefully, she was turning the tables on who looked unqualified to be mayor.
I have long believed that the University needs to take a firmer stance against a city that, despite the fact that they’d barely survive without our taxes, has decided to treat the University like garbage. It seems to me the best way to do that is to start with helping to elect a mayor who is truly interested in working with JCU.
University Heights tells us when we can use our football field, where we can park and, at times, has held a notion that all JCU students do is party. They ignore the emphasis on service that JCU holds and the deep roots that Campus Ministry has in this campus.
I adhere to the idea that residents of University Heights moved into this city fully aware of the fact that there is a college in it. I’m not saying that the University should run the city, I’m aware other people live here too, but we should at least be on equal footing.
So on Nov. 3, the 700 of us that are registered to vote in this city need to go to the ballot boxes and begin the process of strengthening JCU’s stance in the city—in my opinion, the best way to do that is not a vote for Consolo.