Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Spend, Spend, Spend

Well, what did you expect. If a politician or political body has money - they spend it.

Last night, Toledo City Council voted to spend $39,900 on flowers for the 'gateways.' Interestingly enough, Point Place, which is the major north-south gateway into the city from Michigan and my home neighborhood, doesn't have any special type of entranceway or beautification project. However, the Anthony Wayne Trail does and so do Cherry and Summit Streets downtown. So even if beautifying the city's entranceways is a good idea, the major entrances to the city seem to be neglected. If this money is truely to provide a pleasant view for people entering the city, perhaps the locations of planting should be revised.

Then there is the Labor-Management-Citizens Center which got another $42,886 for a total of $113,314. Now, the LMC is a really great organization and, when I was the Clerk of Court, I took advantage of their services. Both my unions and I were very pleased with the assistance they provided. But the idea that the city just budgets money for an organization has got to end. L-M-C provides a service, but it's a service that other entities can also provide. The city needs to issue an RFP and then enter into a contract with a firm or organization to provide such services. By just listing L-M-C as an item in the budget, the city avoids the need to bid out such services and get the best price for the citizens who are footing the bill.

Finally, there is Sister Cities. I appreciate the work that Sister Cities does. They help to foster good relationships and better understanding, especially in a growing global economy. But they are not a necessity when it comes to the duties and responsibilities of a city. I believe they deserve individual support from citizens and businesses, but not our tax dollars - especially if it means that we need to pay an additional tax (garbage tax) so they can have funding. They got $50,000, but council was told there was a small carryover from 2006 and that was the source of the funds.

Total for the night? $132,786!

It's evident that none of our administrators and elected officials are thinking ahead. They had a small carryover from 2006 of $334,000 and they're going to collect one more month of garbage tax than they originally estimated which is going to generate $364,500. So, obviously, they have money to spend - right? WRONG!

According to earlier estimates, city staff is projecting the 2008 budget deficit to be around $18 million. Wouldn't it make more sense to NOT spend money and set aside any "additional" funds to help cover the deficit for next year?

Ah - but that's not how you buy votes....

9 comments:

JMM said...

Maggie,

My question is this. Why does the city fund the LMCC when people who pay union dues don't? Seems like a screwy deal. I feel this is something the unions should do.

Maggie Thurber said...

jmm - VERY good question!!!! Since both management and labor benefit from the services (especially because many times it MUST be a joint request for involvement) it makes sense for unions to also support the center.

I can expect, though, that some contracts might have clauses about who pays for certain things. Usually, mediation and arbitration costs are split or paid by the losing side.

But it makes sense that such a valuable asset in the community receive funding from both sides.

-Sepp said...

Jim, the unions don't have the money after bankrolling EVERY democrat that comes down the pike. So, for their efforts, our democrats who control city reward them and pays for the LMCC via OUR pockets. The person who objects will certainly be painted as being against "working families"

Hooda Thunkit said...

"Ah - but that's not how you buy votes...."

And that's what is REALLY important...

BTW, now that The Charlatan has managed to open Pandora's Box via the tax that is pure garbage, any bets on how much the tax that is pure garbage will be next year?

And, if taxes are to be raised, why do we have no vote on this?

Yep, it's that pesky "Taxation without representation" thing yet again. . .

Right Wing Toledo said...

Hmmm... once upon a time in Boston, there was this "Tea Tax". If they can have a "Boston Tea Party" I see no reason we can't have a "Toledo Trash Party."

But, in order to be politically correct, we can't go as Indians - I mean, Native Americans. Instead, we should go as the true savages of this area - we can all wear masks of Carty and Council! Now, if only I can remember where I put my war paint...

historymike said...

Where would we dump the trash?

Roo said...

Where would we dump the trash??? Hmmmmmmm - I'm thinking ... there's a place in the Beverly area of Toledo...I think it's called Townley Circle? Drive? something like that.

Or better yet - there is a place downtown that WE all pay for ... you know the place ... tall building ... lots of windows ... fountain in front ...

historymike said...

(laughing at the picture of Carty waking up, stretching, looking out the window, and seeing a mountain of trash in his yard)

Hooda Thunkit said...

Hopefully it would be the kind of trash that takes your breath away ;-)

What I MEANT to say is, that you'd be wary of breathing around...;-)

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