To say that I'm disappointed with my fellow Republicans on City Council is an understatement. Angry, irate, annoyed, irritated, livid, incensed, outraged...these are better words to use.
Our Republican Party used to stand for less government and lower taxes. I realize that, on a national level, many of those elected with our Party's designation have ignored these core principles for a long time. Even on a state level, there are many who've forgotten that standing by these core principles and reflecting them in votes was what those who'd cast ballots expected.
Because of my frustration with these national leaders, I've told the National Republican Party and the National Senatorial Campaign Committee that I was not going to make donations to them until they stopped focusing on incumbency and got back to focusing on the principles that define us and our Party. I would tell the callers that I was going to give my money to local candidates where I'd have more say in how they voted and more opportunities to ensure true conservative principles in government.
And then our four elected Republicans on Toledo City Council decide to vote for a 'trash fee' ... which isn't really a trash fee. It's a tax for the general fund budget, which has grown considerably over that last several years, despite a decrease in population.
Even Joe Birmingham, who'd publicly taken the principled stand and said he wouldn't vote for it, changed his mind and did so.
They've said that there wasn't anywhere else they could cut without impacting police - but I see that they didn't eliminate temps and interns. Their excuse for this was something about three-year contracts for such services. My position? Every contract has an out - and if our city law department was so stupid as to not build an 'out' into the contract, Council still could have reduced the mayor's budget by these line item amounts and told him that he could find the money for these two services elsewhere in his office budget. And Council didn't reduce the marketing or advertising budgets that I could see - so there was still 'fat' to eliminate prior to imposing a new tax.
Perhaps our Republicans are Council aren't knowledgeable enough about budgets to be able to analyze them and find the fat...Perhaps they trusted either the president of council or the finance chairman (both Republicans) when it came to the decision...Perhaps they're more interested in maintaining their positions (as president and on committees), thus continuing their alliance with the mayor and B-Team Dems to the detriment of our Party's core principles...Perhaps they weren't really Republicans to begin with...I don't know.
Regardless of the excuses they may offer for this decision, they missed a wonderful opportunity to stand for less government and lower taxes. We will suffer the consequences of this decision by having higher taxes. My only consolation is the fact that they, too, will suffer the consequences of this decision at election time.