Thursday, October 22, 2009

UPDATED! Carty is right - again

UPDATE: Toledo Finance Director John Sherburne has issued a letter to city council regarding the debt proposal. The letter is below Carty's at the bottom of this post.

Original post:

I know, I know - it doesn't happen often, but when it does, we need to acknowledge it.

Yesterday, Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner sent a letter to City Council objecting to the transfer of Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) funds into the general fund to pay for interest on the loan taken out to purchase garbage trucks and cans. (The letter is below.)

I explained yesterday how council had no plan for meeting the obligation they were making and paying for the debt they approved for this purchase, but I did not address the fact of the ballot measure - which is how we got the available funds in the first place.

Hoping to get voter approval to take money out of CIP to pay for police and fire, the council 'set-aside' roughly $3.9 million and did not allocate it any capital improvements. They put the question to the voters as Toledo Issue 1 and called it the 'Safety First' plan.

But the voters said no - and it wasn't even close (54% to 46%).

Carty's letter rightly points out that voters don't want money diverted from the CIP to cover general fund expenditures - and that's what Councilman Joe McNamara's plan for the garbage truck payment would do.

As Carty states, the voters didn't want the city to move those funds around - even for such critical services as police and fire. So why would council even remotely consider moving the money for garbage trucks?

"We are elected by the citizens and work for the citizens. In case of a city-wide vote initiative, Council and the Mayor should respect the voters decision.
...
I am uncomfortable, at the very least, in going against the will of the voters who spoke to us on September 15."

And he's right. The citizens have instructed their employees on council that CIP funds are not to be transferred - and council needs to follow those instructions.

However, knowing this council, I'm afraid they'll think they know better and will vote to use those CIP funds. This would allow them to avoid making the difficult decisions of cutting government spending. And when given an easy versus a hard choice, they'll take the easy way out.

Just remember, five of these people are up for election. If you expect to have better decisions on city council, you MUST vote for people who don't embrace these perspectives.

Here is the mayor's letter - you can click on it for a larger image:



Letter from John Sherburne to Toledo City Council raising concerns about the city's debt limit, the identified plan for payment of the loan for the garbage trucks and cans and a 'reality check' for the claim that McNamara's plan will somehow help the 2009 deficit - you can click on it for a larger image:

4 comments:

2Bn11FA said...

how is it that when others have "stupid" ideas to spend money they dont have that Carty can see the error of their ways, but when he has a "stupid" idea to increase taxes (against taxpayer wishes) he fails to see that he is an employee and should honor the voters wishes?

Maggie Thurber said...

ah, 2Bn...that's the eternal question, isn't it?

Waxing philosophical, we always see faults in others that we fail to recognize in ourselves...

But with Carty, who knows? He believes in 'revenue enhancements' failing to understand that an 'enhancement' for government is a 'detraction' for the taxpayer...

Tim Higgins said...

Maggie,

I am torn between believing that the law of averages has simply caught up with Carty, that we are again looking at the "odds of a blind squirrel finding a nut" theory, that Carty has simply reached a low enough number in his personal end of days that he no longer sees a point in further misinformation, or that what we are looking at is the first real sign of the Armageddon.

Anyone who can help in clearing up this dilemma for me would be greatly appreciated.

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...

Maggie,

I think that Tim has it a bit backwards.

In this case it's more the case of a blind nut finding a squirrel, or something like that :-)

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