Yesterday we learned that the City of Toledo plans to lay off up to 350 employees, including 150 police officers. They expect that 75 of those officers will, however, work through the summer because they've gotten permission to divert a federal grant, originally to intended to pay for equipment, to cover the cost of those officers.
The city is facing a $27.7 million deficit and they have made some cuts and modifications which have reduced that to $20 million. Elected officials have repeatedly said that they've cut everywhere they possibly can.
However, at last week's council meeting, they tabled a motion to cut out the $457,000 athletic program. They also still plan to open a pool this summer.
This is INSANE!!!!
The role of government is to provide the protection for life and property - not to entertain us. To say that they have to lay off police officers when they are planning to fund sports programs this summer makes absolutely NO sense whatsoever.
And these types of decisions are part of the reason why so many people believe their government is out of control - and why they expressed their frustrations on Tax Day at the Tea Parties.
Tea Party attendees have wondered, "what next?" Well - here is your first test.
Are you going to let Toledo politicians fund athletic programs instead of police officers? Are you going to allow sports to be a priority over your safety?
You need to act. Call or email them today and insist that the basic, core functions of government be provided before the non-essentials.
Mayor Carty Finkbeiner: 419-245-1001
Toledo City Council: 419-245-1050
If you are not a resident of Toledo, but you either work in the city, travel through the city, have friends or relatives in the city, or just care about the city, you have every right to call and express your opinion. Any time that government forgoes its basic responsibilities, citizens need to speak out.
Here's the thing to remember: the reason Council didn't cut out the athletic programs is because 50 - yes, 50 - people showed up and begged them not to. If 20 times that number (the people who attended Toledo's Tea Party) pick up the phone and call, they will listen.
Better yet, if every TDTP attendee also gets three other people to call, they will certainly listen. If they get so many calls it overwhelms the phone system, they will have no choice but to listen.
You cannot just attend a protest, wave a few signs and expect that our elected officials will change their ways. You have to be vigilant in ensuring that they are constantly reminded what the priorities should be.
This is the first test. Will we pass?
We talked about this last night on Eye On Toledo, in case you missed it.