Council to fight for police yet again

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 11

Tomorrow should bring yet another salvo in the mayor vs. council battle, as council members try again to find a way to force Mayor Carty Finkbeiner to hire 30 police officers this year.

“The law is very clear that we can decide how many police officers work for the city of Toledo,” council President Peter Ujvagi said. “The mayor’s arguments are not substantive.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Finkbeiner has revealed another argument for fewer officers: the extra officers would almost certainly be white and could make the force less racially diverse.

What was once a simple skirmish has become more like a war of attrition. In the city’s budget, Mr. Finkbeiner proposed hiring 15 new officers to replace the 30 to 35 officers expected to retire in 1999.

The mayor said that as the police force continues to replace officers with civilians in desk jobs, more officers will be available for street duty. He considers the extra hires an unnecessary expense.

But during its budget hearings, the council voted unanimously to increase the police class size to 30 officers.

Mr. Finkbeiner called the council’s decision financially irresponsible and used his line-item veto on that section of the budget. Council members unanimously overrode his veto. The mayor has said he will ignore the veto and go ahead with a 15-member class.

The council has countered by citing a section of the city’s charter members claim gives them final authority over the size of the police force.

At tomorrow’s meeting, the council is expected to pass unani mously an ordinance ordering the mayor to have a 30-member class.

In a Friday memo to council members, the mayor took a new tack: “We do not have a class of recruits who meets Chief [Michael] Navarre’s or my standard of diversity beyond 15 at this time,” he wrote.

Of the 70 police officer candidates who have passed a background check, two are African-American. Four are Hispanic, and one is Asian-American. The mayor argues that if the city has a class of 30, it will be more overwhelmingly white than a smaller class.

For more than 22 years, the city was under a federal court order to increase the diversity of its police force. The order was lifted in 1996. “We worked long and hard to get out of a court order, and it is not my desire, nor yours I would think, to once again revisit that situation,” the mayor wrote.

Currently, the city’s uniformed officer group is 19 per cent black, 7 per cent Hispanic, and 1 per cent other non-white. That’s close to the city’s population at large, which is 19 per cent black, 4 per cent Hispanic, and 1 per cent other non-white.

But in making his case, Mr. Finkbeiner has contradicted an earlier opinion he made in 1996, when the court order was lifted by U.S. District Judge David Katz.

At the time, the mayor said the end of the court jurisdiction would mean the city wouldn’t have to pay as much attention to the racial composition of any one police class. He noted it could make up for having relatively few minorities in one class by boosting representation in the next class.

Despite the mayor’s concern, even if the city hired an all-white, 30-member police class, African-Americans would still make up 18.2 per cent of the force.

Council members don’t expect Mr. Finkbeiner to change his mind and figure they’ll have to override his veto at its April 27 meeting. It’s not clear what would happen next if the mayor doesn’t concede.

Council members have said they will consider taking legal action against the mayor. Mr. Ujvagi declined to discuss any options.

At tomorrow’s meeting, the council also will consider:

* Several pieces of legislation to approve tax abatements for the Docks in International Park.

The Docks development will bring four more restaurants to a city-owned building in International Park. The restaurants – Hoster’s Brew Pub, Zia’s Italian, Shorty’s Chophouse, and The Real Seafood Co., along with an upscale banquet facility called Courtyard at the Navy – are to begin opening by mid-summer. They will join the Navy Bistro, which opened in 1997 and has become one of Tole do’s most popular restaurants.

The ordinances before council would grant the new facilities tax abatements totaling about $148,000 over 10 years. Officials estimate the new income tax revenue over the 10 years by the restaurants will total more than $760,000.

Development Director Barry Broome said he projects the new restaurants will draw 1.2 million people to the Docks annually – a total that would dwarf even very successful developments like the Center of Science and Industry.

* A series of ordinances to provide the final major financing to the Jeep project. The money will come from a variety of sources, including the city’s economic development agreement with Toledo Edison and the sale of some of the city’s land in Monclova Township. The council is expected to refer the Jeep ordinances to a committee for a public hearing.

* Approving a zoning change to allow a Walgreens drugstore to open at Dorr Street and Reynolds Road. Mr. Finkbeiner opposes the change because the Walgreens would be the fourth drugstore at the intersection. Councilman Rob Ludeman has objected as well.

Kapszukiewicz urges adult bookstore limit

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 16

Councilman Wade Kapszukiewicz is fighting a new battle: against illicit sex at adult bookstores.

The councilman, facing election for the District 6 council seat in less than four weeks, is proposing an ordinance that would require adult bookstores to open up their private video booths, and let others see what goes on inside them.

The idea: Opening up the booths will stop them from being “a haven for sexual activity.”

“It’s not the end-all and be-all of regulation, and it’s not going to make the adult bookstores go away,” he said. “But it’s a positive first step in the right direction.”

The council’s law and criminal justice committee will hold a hearing on the ordinance at 4 p.m. Monday.

Mr. Kapszukiewicz was appointed to the vacant District 6 seat Jan. 5. On May 4, he’ll face Republican Nick Wichowski in an election for the remainder of the seat’s term, which extends to 2001.

The district, encompassing Point Place and sections of North and West Toledo, is considered older and more socially conservative than other districts, and thus perhaps more receptive to an anti-adult entertainment message.

But Mr. Kapszukiewicz insists his proposed ordinance is not a political move, but instead a response to concerns from his district’s residents. “I wouldn’t be a good councilman if I didn’t listen to the wishes of my constituents,” he said.

On Feb. 15, Mr. Kapszukiewicz held a neighborhood meeting to address citizens’ concerns about the growth of adult entertainment in District 6. The district has 13 adult establishments, ranging from adult bookstores to strip clubs, the councilman said.

The ordinance would require that the video booths, in which patrons watch pornographic materials, not have any doors or curtains to hide their occupants from the rest of the store.

The other major provision of the ordinance would set standards for other viewing booths, in which patrons expect sexual favors.

In 1997, Toledo police arrested four men who allegedly were in that circumstance at Adult Pleasures, an adult bookstore at 4404 North Detroit Ave.

Mr. Kapszukiewicz said the ordinance is modeled on a law in Dayton that has withstood the scrutiny of state courts.

Mr. Wichowski said the ordinance would be “great” if it accomplished its goals of reducing sexual activity. But he said he didn’t believe it would.

“If you’ve got enough courage to walk into a place like that, then I think you’re going to do whatever you want to,” he said. “We’ve got to focus on finding a way to shut these places down.”

He said he had no specific plans on how to do that.

Workers at several adult bookstores in Toledo declined comment on the ordinance.

Mr. Kapszukiewicz said he has not spoken with any bookstore owners or managers but said they would be welcome to testify at Monday’s hearing.

‘Heated’ critique of Toledo leads to exchange of letters; Lawyer seeks forgiveness

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 1

He’s sorry.

Brendan Sullivan, Jr. – the Washington lawyer whose pointed barbs ripped into Toledo’s sensitive underbelly – says he really didn’t mean it.

“My words about Toledo were not meant to offend any of the wonderful people of your community,” he said.

For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, those words were: “Toledo, Ohio, is the worst place in the world.”

Mr. Sullivan, whose name rarely appears in print without the term “superlawyer” attached, apologized in a letter to Mayor Carty Finkbeiner. The mayor had sent a letter to Mr. Sullivan asking for the opportunity to show him the best of Toledo in a two-hour tour. Mr. Sullivan has accepted.

The hubbub began in a federal court in Washington on March 25. When Judge Stanley Sporkin tried to set a May date for a trial Mr. Sullivan was going to be involved in, he objected, saying he had to be in Toledo then to represent another client.

“I don’t want to go to Toledo,” he told the judge. “Toledo, Ohio, is the worst place in the world … Toledo, Ohio, is the only place where the McDonald’s closes at 5 o’clock.”

Mr. Finkbeiner declined comment on the flap at the time. But the letter he wrote Mr. Sullivan on March 29 acknowledged his inner pain.

“While your unfortunate comments seem to have been said much more out of frustration at the judge’s action than to put down Toledo, they did hurt,” he wrote.

Mr. Sullivan said he made the comments to inject humor into a “very heated” exchange with the judge.

Mr. Sullivan successfully defended Darryl Costin, former Libbey-Owens-Ford vice president, in a 1997 federal fraud trial.

“I have tried cases throughout the country and the jurors I met in Toledo were remarkable people whose diligence and sense of responsibility were beyond anything I had experienced,” he gushed.

Mr. Sullivan will return on April 19 to defend Mr. Costin again, this time on tax fraud charges.

Arena/amphitheater plans use California blueprints

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 13

Rossford Mayor Mark Zuchowski has been envisioning an arena in his city for more than seven years. Now, his vision is on paper.

The mayor and other city officials presented architectural plans for the $48 million arena/amphitheater complex officials hope to build near the intersection of I-75 and the Ohio Turnpike, at the so-called “Crossroads of America.”

“I’m so happy that the plans are fixed,” the mayor said. “Now we’re ready to go ahead with getting the financing and breaking ground.”

The 9,200-seat arena is modeled closely on the Centennial Garden Arena in Bakersfield, Calif., which city leaders visited last month.

Officials promise amenities never before seen in northwest Ohio. They continually compared their arena to much bigger facilities in Detroit and Columbus.

“The Palace [at Auburn Hills, Mich.] has 20,000 seats. The Schottenstein [Center in Columbus] has 20,000 seats. This plan has all the amenities that those two do,” said project manager Mike Fritz.

Among the amenities promised:

* Twenty-four corporate suites and eight party suites. The corporate suites will be 18 rows above the ice and available for long-term lease. The party suites will be about 70 feet above ice level and rented on a nightly basis.

* Special club seats, which would be purchased through the issuance of personal seat licenses. Club seats will be wider than most, and will give patrons access to a clubhouse with catering facilities and a bar. “These seats will blow away anything at Schottenstein,” Mr. Fritz said.

* “Potty parity.” The arena will have twice as many toilets for women as for men to avoid the lines standard outside the women’s restrooms at many facilities.

* Lots of places to spend money. The arena will feature 53 “points of sale” for food and beverages, a figure significantly higher than the industry average, Mr. Fritz said.

Last month, the Detroit Red Wings signed a pact to bring its top minor league affiliate to the Rossford arena. Olympia Entertainment of Detroit will manage the facility. The Red Wings and Olympia are owned by the Ilitch family, of the Little Caesars Pizza fortune.

The arena will feature two levels of seats; the top sections will be at a steeper bank to allow for better views. All seats will be upholstered.

The arena will feature a Red Wings merchandise store. Its kitchen facilities will be attached to the main arena structure, so that it can serve both the arena and the attached amphitheater.

The Bakersfield facility was designed by Rossetti Associates of Birmingham, Mich., which will be working on the Rossford project. SSOE Studios will be the lead architectural firm.

The Lathrop Co. will be the contracting manager on the project. Lathrop’s vice president of business development, Dick Lee, is the president of the Rossford Economic Growth Corp., which developed the arena concept and assembled the land at the Cross roads of America.

Bonds to finance the complex’s construction will be sold within the next five weeks, city officials said, with groundbreaking scheduled for May 1.

They plan to have the am phi theater ready in time for the summer concert season of 2000.

The arena is scheduled to open in November, 2000.

Toledo city officials are pondering the construction of a downtown ice arena. The Toledo Sports Arena in East Toledo is home to the Toledo Storm hockey team.

City, Maumee move closer to economic deal; Toledo’s Monclova Twp. land would be annexed to suburb

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 13

It’s been 12 years, but the city of Toledo soon may be able to put the disastrous Monclova Township land purchase behind it.

Tomorrow, city attorneys will file petitions with the Lucas County commissioners asking the city of Maumee to annex 255 acres of Toledo-owned land in Monclova Township. If approved, the annexation would trigger an economic development agreement that could send millions of dollars into Toledo’s coffers.

“We’ve gotten an excellent return on the deal we were given to work with,” Toledo Development Director Barry Broome said. “We can now say that the taxpayers of Toledo are finally getting a fair return on their investment.”

About 212 acres to be annexed are being sold for $6.2 million to a local partnership in a deal announced last year.

City leaders are exultant that Toledo might finally begin to see an economic return on the city’s late-1980s entry into the land speculation business.

In 1987, Mayor Donna Owens and City Manager Phil Hawkey secretly assembled 1,187 acres in Monclova Township as a potential solution to the city’s space problems.

Large industries seeking greenfield sites for factories were looking to the suburban townships; Toledo’s plan was to annex a swath of that suburban land near I-475 and U.S. 24. In particular, city leaders hoped that Chrysler Corp. would agree to build a Jeep plant there.

In all, the city spent more than $14 million buying land.

But Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Charles Abood ruled that Toledo couldn’t annex the land because it didn’t touch the city’s borders. The plan went bust.

Soon after, Toledo officials began discussions with the city of Maumee. Toledo would allow Maumee to annex the land, in exchange for forming a joint economic development zone. Under the terms of the deal, Toledo would receive a portion of the payroll taxes Maumee collected from businesses on the Toledo land.

But the 1991 deal said the revenue-sharing would only kick in after 75 per cent of the Toledo land had been annexed. In 1994, Maumee annexed more than 600 acres, including the Fallen Timbers battlefield and the planned site of a mall. The 255 acres to be annexed would push the percentage over 75 per cent – “just barely,” according to Maumee Mayor Steve Pauken.

Completing the land annexation hasn’t been a priority over the last decade because there haven’t been any revenues to collect. Mr. Pauken said no income-revenue producing businesses are on any Toledo-owned land in Maumee or on the land to be annexed.

For the first five years of the development zone, Toledo will receive one third of all city payroll tax collected in the zone. Maumee currently assesses a 1.5 per cent payroll tax, putting Toledo’s portion at 0.5 per cent.

The percentage Toledo collects will slowly increase over the following years of the development zone agreement.

Mr. Broome said that, while estimates of revenues need to be rethought, the development zone could funnel millions of dollars annually into Toledo’s treasury once the land is fully developed. “That’s a long way off,” he said. “This could potentially be the most significant [Joint Economic Development Zone] in Ohio, because the land is so valuable.”

In September, a local partnership named Eclat agreed to buy 212 acres to be annexed for light industrial use and an office park. Mr. Broome said he expected that sale to be completed next month.

Mr. Pauken and Mr. Broome said the deal will go a long way to heal the often bitter feelings between the two cities. Mr. Pauken said the original land deal hurt relations for years. “I remember where I was when Kennedy was shot, and I remember where I was when I was told about the Monclova land grab in the same way,” he said. “It was a really significant event.”

Once the annexation petitions are filed tomorrow, the county commissioners will schedule hearings and decide whether to approve the annexation. Then Maumee city council and Mr. Pauken must approve the deal. The process will take several months, officials said.

One potential hurdle remains. Under state law, a township can appeal any annexation of its land. Monclova Township appealed the 1994 annexation all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court, which chose not to hear the case. Gary Kuns, president of the township trustees, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Mayor’s top aide Kovacik to resign; Departure prompts shuffle at city hall

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 11

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is losing his top-ranking administrator.

Yesterday, the mayor announced the resignation of Tom Kovacik, the city’s chief operating officer and safety director.

He will be replaced by Dan Hiskey, currently the city’s assistant chief operating officer.

“Tom Kovacik did a very good job, and we wish him well,” the mayor said.

In addition, Mr. Finkbeiner announced four appointments to his management team, including new heads of the law, finance, and public services departments.

Mr. Kovacik is on vacation this week and could not be reached for comment. Mr. Finkbeiner said Mr. Kovacik is leaving to return to the consulting business he left behind to work for the city in 1996.

Mr. Kovacik worked for the city for 19 1/2 years, including seven years as utilities director, before leaving city government in 1989.

He spent the next six years in the private sector, as president of Envirosafe Services of Ohio, Inc., and of Great Lakes N-Viro.

In March, 1996, Mr. Finkbeiner tapped Mr. Kovacik to return to city government as chief operating officer. Among his responsibilities: the city’s day-to-day operations and the administration’s relations with the city council. As safety director, Mr. Kovacik oversees police and fire operations.

Mr. Kovacik’s resignation will take effect at 12:01 a.m. May 1. His positions then will be handed over to Mr. Hiskey, a longtime veteran of city government. Mr. Hiskey’s salary will move from $89,500 a year to $91,000, which is identical to Mr. Kovacik’s salary.

Mr. Hiskey started out as a student intern in the city budget office, and eventually worked his way up to the post of city treasurer. He resigned in 1985 amid the ESM Government Securities scandal, in which Toledo lost $19.2 million it had invested in a Florida brokerage firm that collapsed.

In 1987, he became the city administrator of Northwood, a position he held until Mr. Finkbeiner hired him as human resources commissioner in 1994. In 1996, he moved to his assistant chief operating officer post. “There isn’t any body who gives more of himself to his responsibilities than Dan,” the mayor said.

Mr. Kovacik’s move spurred a series of changes as the mayor boosted people to fill the empty spots. Mike Justen, the city’s public service director, will take Mr. Hiskey’s job as assistant chief operating officer. It’s a job he’s had before. Mr. Justen was assistant chief operating officer from 1994 to 1996, before being replaced by Mr. Hiskey. Since then, he has been commissioner of fleet and facility operations, transportation commissioner, and public service director, his current job.

With Mr. Justen moving up, Jeep project head Bob Reinbolt will take on the added job of public service director. Mr. Reinbolt will keep his job as commissioner of customer services in the utilities department. He has worked for the city for 19 years.

“Everytime I’ve asked Bob to step up and do a job, he’s done it very well,” Mr. Finkbeiner said.

Mr. Justen’s annual salary will go from $84,000 to $89,500. Mr. Reinbolt’s salary will go from $80,000 to $88,500 annually.

Mr. Finkbeiner announced two other appointments unrelated to Mr. Kovacik’s departure.

Barbara Herring, the city’s general counsel since 1996, will become acting law director upon the exit of current director Ed Yosses.

Mr. Yosses is moving to Colorado next month to join his wife, who moved there last year.

Mr. Finkbeiner said Ms. Herring, a city employee since 1992, will hold the post while the city searches for a permanent replacement. He said she will be one of the candidates he considers for the permanent post.

With the change, her salary will go from $70,000 to $85,000 a year. Mr. Yosses earned $85,000.

The mayor named John Bibish, the city’s commissioner of accounts, as the city’s new finance director. He will replace Don Saunders, the former Toledo Edison executive who resigned last month after lashing out at city council members, calling them uncooperative and unwilling to support worthy parts of the mayor’s fiscal agenda.

Mr. Bibish has been a city employee for almost 19 years, and has been the commissioner of accounts since 1987. “I feel like this is something I’ve been preparing for for a long time,” he said.

His salary will be $85,000 a year, up from $69,000. Mr. Saunders was paid $88,500 a year.

The mayor must still find a replacement for Jim Fox, the transportation commissioner who resigned last week. Mr. Finkbeiner said that announcement should be made within 10 days.

Stadium ideas sized up; City, county leaders lean to teamwork in meeting

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 11

On the day most major league baseball teams threw out the first pitch, local leaders made their own pitch: how to build a ballpark for the Toledo Mud Hens.

At yesterday’s weekly luncheon meeting of the Toledo Rotary Club, four panelists – Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, Lucas County commission president Sandy Isenberg, Mud Hens board president Ed Bergsmark, and consultant Tom Chema – batted around their stadium ideas, for the most part reiterating previously aired points of view.

But they made some efforts at reconciliation. Mr. Finkbeiner, Ms. Isenberg, and Mr. Bergsmark have argued over a variety of points in the past, disputes that some say have delayed the stadium project by months or years.

Yesterday, all four said they were working together to get a stadium built, probably in the downtown area.

“When you have significant egos and personalities, you’re always going to have disagreements,” Ms. Isenberg said. “But I think we’re on the same page.”

Mr. Bergsmark even remarked after a comment from the mayor: “I never thought I’d say I agree with you.”

All parties are looking toward Mr. Chema to create a consensus on the divisive location and financing issues that have plagued the project.

Mr. Chema, the Cleveland-based lawyer responsible for that city’s Jacobs Field and Gund Arena, has been hired by the county to jumpstart the project.

He said he is looking at stadiums in Akron and Indianapolis as potential models for the stadium he wants to build in Toledo.

Although he has not decided on a site for the Mud Hens park, he said he leans toward downtown locations.

“We’ve got, the last time I counted, 42 new businesses within two blocks of second base” of Jacobs Field, Mr. Chema said.

Mr. Bergsmark, who had previously recommended a site on the riverfront in East Toledo, backed away from that yesterday, instead saying he simply wanted a good location with cheap parking and easy access.

Mr. Finkbeiner has previously objected to Mr. Bergsmark’s East Toledo location because of the high cost of demolishing a power plant currently on the site. But he said another East Toledo spot, on the site of the Toledo Sports Arena, could work.

The closest thing to a disagreement came when Mr. Finkbeiner reiterated his support for repealing Section 79 of the city charter. That section requires voters to approve any city spending on a stadium.

“The city of Toledo’s hands should not be tied,” he said. He said that whether voters would get a say on a stadium project would depend on what Mr. Chema advised him.

If local leaders decide to spend millions on a stadium without asking voters, Mr. Finkbeiner said, “they can vote aye or nay the next time those political figures are up for election.”

Mr. Finkbeiner is in his second term as mayor, and cannot seek re-election.

But Ms. Isenberg said she definitely would give citizens the opportunity to approve or deny the project if new dollars have to be raised.

“The commissioners are very committed that if new public dollars are necessary, then we should ask the voters to participate,” she said.

In May, voters strongly rejected a temporary sales tax that would have raised money to build a stadium.

Ms. Isenberg said, however, that there were “mitigating factors” that led to the defeat.

She said local leaders hadn’t had enough time to put together a proper campaign in support of the issue. However, she added, “I’m not making excuses.”

Council, Finkbeiner criticize inaction of plan commission

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 19

Two months ago, Toledo city council fought a divisive internal battle to pass a 60-day moratorium on commercial demolitions. The goal: the city would use that time to prepare a set of citywide standards that could save historic buildings and preserve Toledo’s urban character.

But those 60 days are up today, and new standards are still at least several months away.

“I am very, very, very frustrated,” said Peter Ujvagi, the council president. “We went through a very difficult process to get this done, and it appears it was not made a priority.”

“They wanted to send a message, and we sent a message,” said Councilman Louis Escobar, who voted against the moratorium. “But nothing got done.”

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner proposed the moratorium in December following a confrontational battle over a Rite Aid store to be built at Broadway and South Avenue. To make way for the store, several old buildings must be torn down.

The idea was that the moratorium would allow the Toledo plan commission time to approve a set of standards to help planners determine if such projects are good for the city.

Council members initially were opposed to the moratorium, but eventually several, including Mr. Ujvagi, came to support the mayor’s position with a few modifications. On Feb. 2, council grudgingly approved the demolition 7-5 – as close a vote as the members have faced in recent months.

Council members aren’t the only ones upset. In a prepared statement, Mr. Finkbeiner said he was “more than deeply disappointed. … The plan commission just plain dropped the ball.”

The purpose of demolition standards is to require those seeking to demolish commercial buildings to get an official review first.

If a property owner wants to tear down a building, all he or she has to do now is apply for a demolition permit. No planning personnel would ever examine the application for its potential impact on a neighborhood.

The two exceptions are if the building is in a historic district or downtown. In those cases, the demolition plans must be approved by the commission or its director.

The plan commission’s staff, which is led by interim director Steve Herwat, prepared a five-page set of standards, modeled closely on the ones that have been used for downtown since 1986.

But at its March 11 meeting, the proposals faced opposition from several parties, including local developers, who said the standards should face a much longer discussion process.

“I was a little bit worried that there hadn’t been the kind of review it needed,” said Joe Moran, executive director of Downtown ToledoVision, Inc. and one of the people who spoke at the meeting. “The reaction was just a `Gee, things have come along a little too quickly without people knowing what’s going on.”‘

Plan commission members said it would not have been appropriate to rubber stamp the staff’s proposal without getting the input of those who might be affected by it.

“It became obvious at the hearing that there was a considerable amount of concern expressed from various reps of the business community,” said Richard Meyers, the recently retired plan commission chairman. “I think the staff was surprised at the amount of concern people expressed.”

But some council members said developers with concerns about the standards could have made them known without delaying the process.

“We all have telephones, and e-mail, and check our mail,” Mr. Escobar said. “They could have laid out their problems before. The developers are just against this, and they’re going to keep stalling as long as they can.”

Until the scheduled June 10 vote, Mr. Herwat said his staff will be holding meetings with developers and other parties.

Mr. Escobar said the 60-day moratorium was not needed to create a set of standards, but said he wished they had been created in time to meet the deadline. Now, he said “the realist in me thinks it won’t even be done in June.”

But Mr. Finkbeiner is more optimistic: “You can bet that this time they’ll get it right!”