The Toledo chapter of the American Institute of Architects' fall candidates' meeting has long been a fixture of Lucas County politics as sort of the formal kickoff of the fall campaign.
So candidates usually make the effort to be there.
The institute held its meeting Monday night, and a notable no-show among them was Phil Copeland, Democratic candidate for the post of Lucas County Recorder.
Copeland and his Republican opponent, George Sarantou, are locked in the most heavily contested county race. Both of them are at-large members of Toledo City Council.
The recorder maintains records and indexes of liens, property boundaries, deed restrictions, and mortgages, items that likely are of more interest to architects than the average citizen.
Sarantou was there and he used the opportunity to attack Copeland's record of attending city council meetings.
"My opponent has one of the worst records in the history of city council," Sarantou said he told the architects. "I've never seen anyone miss so many meetings."
Copeland said he didn't know about the meeting, and doesn't remember getting any notification.
"I don't think I miss a lot of meetings. I miss some meetings, maybe more than he has," Copeland said.
He pointed out that when he misses a meeting he doesn't get paid for it. Under council rules, a councilman can get paid for missing a regular or committee meeting if he gets an excusal. Copeland doesn't request the excusal.
The architects' meeting, at the Toledo Club, attracted about 25 people other than candidates, according to some who were there. It was moderated by WTOL's Jerry Anderson.