Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Carty Finkbeiner's wish list for federal funding

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.

7 comments:

DeeDee Liedel said...

These wish lists (Toledo's and other governments') are nothing more than governments' failure to properly allocate resources to necessary infrastructure projects. Instead, they spend money on pet projects and programs that get them more favorable publicity with the media and their constituents.

All of a sudden, projects are being hailed as 'economic development' and 'putting hundreds of people to work' when in reality the government should have been allocating their LIMITED (a concept too many politicians don't understand) resources to them years ago, decades ago.

Maggie Thurber said...

Excellent point, DeeDee. Thanks for making it.

Lisa Renee said...

Other Ohio Cities who have made requests are Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Lakewood, Lima, Lorain,
North Olmstead, University Heights and Warren.

I haven't looked at all of their requests yet, I'm going from the participants list.

navyvet said...

Hi Maggie,

Maybe I WAS born yesterday...

I can only say I was "flaggerbasted" when I saw this list.

The mayor never ceases to amaze...

Just yesterday, City Council ripped off $1million+ from the Ottawa River CIP budget. So the mayor wants $3million more....makes sense to me.....

Does Marcy know about this? Where is Marcy?

Public Housing in L/C has been falling apart for decades....

Mega Garage? My vote would be for an Ultra Mega... Taxpayors pay for health and retirement benefits and now they want us to pay for parking.....

Southwyck Blvd. improvements? Yep, build a new road next to a corpse.....

Intermodal connection? Paaaleeeze...even the Toledo homeless know that Carty doesn't know what the word means....

Maggie....thanx for the "sunshine."

Maggie Thurber said...

Lisa Renee - the link to Crowdsourcing Accountability lets you pull up a list of all requests from Ohio...it will sort by city...

Lisa Renee said...

I saw that after I commented, I was using the direct site, which doesn't have some of the same features, like the voting but it's the one I found this morning when I wrote about what happened at City Council.

What is also interesting is the cities that didn't make a submission.

Maggie Thurber said...

Lisa - it's my understanding there was still time for cities to make their requests. Also, not all cities are dues-paying members of the Conference of Mayors.

I know there was discussion with the people behind the link to continue to add the requests as they are received.

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