You may have read in today's paper about Toledo City Councilman Joe McNamara complaining about Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's submission of funding requests through the U.S. Council of Mayors to President-Elect Obama and Congress.
Despite requesting the information from the mayor, the article reports that McNamara found the list on line.
Crowdsourcing Accountability has a searchable database of all the requests and allows you to actually vote on which projects you think deserve the support of the federal government. Below is a listing of the projects submitted by Finkbeiner (click to enlarge).
Some of the largest amounts of money are for retrofitting buildings/vehicles for energy efficiency and for roads and bridges. Interestingly, despite voting to pull all but $100,000 from the Ottawa River Dredging in order to balance the 2008 budget, they are asking for $3 million for this purpose.
There is also a line item for $3 million for a Marina District Road - but I thought we were already building the road in the Marina District - and $2 million for Marina District Improvements. There's also $4 million for Southwyck Blvd. improvements, "entire road."
The largest single amounts are:
* $26.4 million for public housing Modernization
* $25 million for a "Mega Garage Facility with City/County/State"
* $18 million for Municipal building retrofit for energy efficiency
* $10 million for an Intermodal connection road
As a limited government proponent, I really don't find anything on the list that comes under the authorized powers of Congress. I suppose some could make the argument that the dredging of the Ottawa River and the railroad connector are within their purview because of the authority Congress has assumed with the Corps of Engineers and interstate commerce.
I also understand the 'logic' of getting as much of our tax dollars back into the community since Congress is going to spend the money anyway and if we don't get it, some other community will.
But if the federal government didn't take so much of our tax dollars in the first place, we'd have the money locally to cover these costs and we wouldn't be pitted against every other community for 'favors' dispensed by Washington's elite who then use the money obtained on our behalf as a reason to keep electing them.
NOTE: There are no other area cities listed on the website, so I do not know if they've made requests as well.