In our final installment of "Give Us an Idea," two men who are well-known public officials, in Toledo.
Jack Ford and Larry Sykes have served in elected positions for more than a decade.
Ford was mayor, at one point; Sykes has experience on the school board and they are both concerned about blight in our neighborhoods.
Walk nearly any neighborhood in Toledo and you find once proud homes are now a collapsed mess.
"We really need to look at how we can do a better job at creating jobs and stabilizing neighborhoods."
Larry Sykes is a 64 year old Democrat who spent 14-years on Toledo's school board.
He has worked as a bank vice president and on the school board improving city neighborhoods.
We met him on a street near Saint Vincent's Mercy Medical Center near downtown Toledo. New houses are going up but blighted houses falling down.
Sykes says people want to live in this neighborhood, but blight is scaring them away. He told 13abc's Bill Hormann, "When you get a job, you want to buy a house now, you got to deal with bad conditions in these neighborhoods and blight and crime, so this is a serious problem."
Sykes wants to work with investors and re-modelers to clean up these streets and he Gives Us the Idea he *will make* a difference on council and get Toledo's neighborhoods back in shape.
"I'm very committed," he says. "I'm very passionate about the work I do. I'm very knowledgeable. I will get the job done."
Over on Waverly Street, more distressed homes and junk at the curb.
"When I was mayor, I drive around see something like that, I'd have a crew over there same day, pick it up."
By now you know Jack Ford. He's a 66-year old Democrat who served a term as Toledo's mayor.
He's running for council now and blighted neighborhoods have his attention.
He says every issue, from education to crime to jobs to domestic violence, is tied to blighted neighborhoods.
In Toledo, he sees vacant homes going to waste.
"You have homes that are vacant, home after home," Ford says, "and then you have homelessness elsewhere in the city. We can't work that out somehow or another?"
Ford sees hopeful signs like the rehabbers fixing up this house.
But he Gives Us the Idea he will use his vast political experience to draw attention to distressed neighborhoods.
"I think if I make a point, they're going to pay attention."
You can vote for Jack Ford and Larry Sykes.
You will elect six at-large candidates, next week.
For the last two-months, we've profiled all 12-candidates, each interested in an issue they think is important to the city.
Each has *Given Us an Idea* on why they should be elected.