Mayor called on to apologize to Marines

Feb. 11, 2008 at 7:00 PM

TOLEDO, Ohio, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Residents and local officials have called on the mayor of Toledo, Ohio, to apologize for canceling a Marine training exercise on the city's streets.

The calls for an apology, which include demands from five city councilmen -- one of whom is a former Marine -- follow Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's decision to cancel planned training exercises on downtown streets for a company of U.S. Marine Corps Reservists during the weekend, The Toledo Blade reported Monday.

"I spoke with Maj. Jeff Brooks of the United States Marine Corps. I conveyed my sincere regret for the failure to communicate within the administration and any inconvenience that caused the U.S. Marine Corps," Finkbeiner said in a statement Sunday.

The mayor said his decision to cancel the exercises was a result of concerns about the safety of the up to 14,000 people who would likely have been in the downtown area during the planned weekday afternoon event.

"His attempt to deflect responsibility for the situation is pathetic," Councilmen Frank Szollosi said of the mayor's statement. "And this is completely not political."

Collins, who served in the Marines from 1963 to 1969, described the decision as an embarrassment to the city.

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