Toledo isn't the only city questioning the effort of competing in the All America City Awards.
Rowlett, TX, has an on-line Citizen Forum and one of the discussions is about the participation of the city in the All America City Awards - and whether or not the expense is worth it. Interesting, much of what is being said there is what is being said here - there are other things more important than applying and competing for an award, no matter how prestigious such an award claims to be.
An interesting question has arisen on that web page regarding just how many applications were received. You see, they don't release the number of communities who've applied, only the finalists (there are 39 this year). So the question they ask in Rowlett is whether or not all the finalists were the only applicants. But since the applicant list is never released, there is no way to ever know. They also question the dubious claim that such awards aid in economic development, wondering how you can measure such a claim.
Apparently, the idea of cities focusing on their core functions and not going after so-called 'highly prestigious' awards is one that is shared across the nation.