Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cheers and Jeers to Toledo City Council

Toledo City Council met last night - here are the cheers and jeers:

Cheers to Councilmen Tom Waniewski, Lindsay Webb, Philip Copeland, and D. Michael Collins who all voted against implementing fire department fees. With these four voting 'no,' the measure failed. Betty Shultz was sick and Michael Ashford left before the vote was taken, leaving not enough members to get the measure passed. Apparently, Ashford needed to appear before the Toledo Board of Education on behalf of his employer, the YMCA.

Jeers to the council members who thought billing us for services already paid for by our tax dollars: Wilma Brown, Mike Craig, Joe McNamara, George Sarantou, Mark Sobczak, and Frank Szollosi. Had the measure passed as written, it would have required the fire department to charge us for everything from the truck to the rubber gloves used in responding to a call for service.

Double Jeers to Councilman George Sarantou. According to today's paper, in response to the idea of increasing the amount of the garbage tax (otherwise known as the refuse fee), that "he would not even consider collecting more from taxpayers until the city and the unions reach consensus." Yet he was one of the 'yes' votes in favor of raising 'taxes' via the fire department.

Jeers to council as a body. They had previously approved budgeting $500,000 in additional fire fees but without details of how such a fee would be implemented. This prior approval of the revenue was the basis for many of the 'yes' votes in favor of the specific ordinance. Hopefully council has learned a valuable lesson to not approve revenue line items without the details of how any such revenue will be acquired.

2 comments:

Jay Ott said...

What is astounding is Sobszak does not want a public hearing about this "scheme" to bilk insurance companies for fire services that taxpayers already pay for. The question is why?

Isn't this the same methodology that Congress used for the stimulus i.e. ignoring, the "chattering class" and their failure to read the bill/ordinance?

What is Sobszak et. al. afraid of? Are these six council members afraid that people will show up in full force?

And doesn't their fear of public hearings prove that public hearings are an effective means to "hold their feet to the fire?"

Hooda Thunkit said...

Truly a mixed (up) bunch, and sending very mixed signals.

I am looking forward to looking at this Fall's Council ballot and seeing MANY new names contending for seats on City Council.

Betty is limited out, and the other 5 up for reelection seem to not be alone for a change.

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