Monday, October 08, 2007

Toledo Mayor begging for money

Today Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is scheduled to hold a press conference today to beg for money for the LivCom awards (Blade story here and previous blog post here.)

Now, it doesn't say how much he's trying to raise other than "thousands of dollars to send a presentation team to London from Nov. 22 to 26."

In a quick check, I found a round-trip ticket for $733. Figure three nights in a hotel at around $500 (including taxes, etc...) with each person covering their own meals, and it shouldn't cost too much.

Oh - yeah - the rules of LivCom say that only THREE (3) people can make the presentation...

4. Final Presentations: If, following the Interim Judging process, your community is selected as a Finalist in The LivCom Awards, there are some key points to bear in mind:

• A maximum of three representatives from your community will be able to make the Presentation, plus an interpreter if required.
• Presentations must be made in English.
• Presentations must not exceed 40 minutes and may include a digital video disk (dvd), also in English, of no longer than 12 minutes duration. Appropriate equipment will be provided.

... so there's no need for more than three to go...unless they want to AND will pay their own way - not expect the community, through donations, to foot the bill.

On one hand, I'm very glad that Carty is not expecting to pay for this with tax dollars. On the other hand, I'm wondering about what this award really means. In 2004, Honolulu won this award for cities their size. While their presentation was good, it didn't tell the whole story. This article does. I was particularly struck by the last paragraph and the similarity to Toledo. What do you think?

UPDATE: Some other bloggers who are covering this subject include Uncommon Squalor and Chad Quigley's WannaBeMayor. Then there is Hooda_Thunkit's post which, while not mentioning LivCom, details many of the infrastructure concerns versus the 'appearance' of the city.

Also, there are other U.S. cities who also made the finalist list, contrary to Carty's comments. They're just in other 'size' categories.

8 comments:

-Sepp said...

Carty had better raising bribe money if anything! There is no way (other than bribery) that Toledo could even be in the running as "the most liveable city" if the judges did 5 minutes of research or, read a local blog.

Jay Ott said...

One of the most troubling things about the solicitation for private donations is that it will be viewed as favortism. "I donated to the cause, so what can you do for me?"

Maggie Thurber said...

good point, Jay...

but that happens anyway in politics...

Frank said...

Here is a idea, Why don't they pay for the trip themselves! After checking Travelocity's website, there were a few deals under $1200 per person for both the flight and hotel (5 nights) stay. Granted, the food bill would jack up the price some, but at least they would learn how to budget (maybe)and realize how the rest of us live when we go on special trips. Of course, I have them flying out of Toledo to ease the hassle of flying out of Detroit and save on gas too! Too bad Tarta no longer has service to the airport. But they could use a cab!

Maggie Thurber said...

Ya know, Frank,...

I think you're absolutely right.

Who is the mayor taking with him as only three can present? Won't the people he's taking with him be able to afford their own trip, especially if he takes commissioner-level or higher up staff?

Why 'beg' for donations? Guess it's part of the general 'liberal' concept of having other people pay for things...

Hooda Thunkit said...

Maggie,

"Also, there are other U.S. cities who also made the finalist list, contrary to Carty's comments. They're just in other 'size' categories."

Just three words:

In Czarty's world...

And you'll know all that you need to know...

;-)

Tim Higgins said...

Maggie,

I always thought that attending such affairs was the right of an elected official. Of course I realize that this isn't a fact-finding tour, but ...

If you and Frank keep talking like this, you will tear down the "nanny state".

Aaron said...

Toledo has a lot more work to do before it deserves that award. I've been to about two dozen cities around England and Europe that do a much better job of redevelopment, green spaces, pedestrianized areas, and aesthetics.

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