Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012 - hope it's a better year for all of us!

Links discussed while filling in on WSPD

Here is the link to the podcast of my interview with C.L. Bryant about his upcoming movie Runaway Slave.

Tom Blumer who writes at BizzyBlog, PJ Media and Newsbusters, expounds on the top media bias stories of 2011, as we discussed, as well as other examples of media malfeasance.

Here are the 2012 predictions from WSPD listeners:

* Steve in Slyvania - predicts no shortage of Toledo city council stupidity (but how to judge?)

* Bob - predicts it will be illegal to talk on cell phones in vehicles in Ohio - even with hands-free technology

* Tim Higgins - Blade will cease 7-day print publication - probably go to a 3-4 day/week publication...Saturday is a dead publication day and Wednesday is coupon - drop so predicts Saturday and maybe Tuesday or Thursday will no longer have daily papers

* Mike in Oregon - SB5 opponents will call to task all Republicans who voted for the bill and the Democrats will take the Ohio as a result.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Filling in on WSPD - today's guests and topics

I'm filling in again for Brian Wilson on 1370 WSPD from 3-6 p.m. and I wanted to share with you some information about the guests we'll have on the show.

At 4:30, Tom Blumer, an Ohio blogger who writes at BizzyBlog and Newsbusters, will join us to discuss the top media bias stories of 2011.

At 5 p.m. we'll talk to C.L. Bryant about his conversion to conservatism and his soon-to-be-released documentary movie Runaway Slave.

Rev. Bryant, from Louisiana, has a Master's in Theology and is a licensed and ordained Baptist minister and pastor. He was the president of an NAACP chapter in Garland, Texas, and was a self-professed “Democratic Radical” who "now believes the values that he once vehemently upheld has led the Black community into a state of bondage to the US government."

Clearly unafraid to talk religion and politics, C.L. is not only a Tea Party Patriot but he is a charter member of the Red River Tea Party and Shreveport/Bossier Tea Party, co-founder of the Desoto Parish Grassroots, founder of the national movement One Nation Back to God ( and Fellow with FreedomWorks in Washington, D.C. Added to this illustrious list of achievements is independent filmmaker of the documentary Runaway Slave. Runaway Slave is a movie about the race to free the Black community from the slavery of tyranny and progressive policies.

We'll also take your calls and your predictions for what 2012 will hold for us.

Other topics to consider include the upcoming increase in minimum wage requirements in Ohio and other states, and the accepted practice of public sector union members performing union work while on the clock and being paid by the taxpayers.

Hope you'll join us at 1370 WSPD or via I Heart Radio beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Quote of the Day - surrender to government

"Communism and fascism or nazism, although poles apart in their intellectual content, are similar in this, that both have emotional appeal to the type of personality that takes pleasure in being submerged in a mass movement and submitting to superior authority." ~ James A. C. Brown

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Links discussed while filling in on WSPD

In case you wanted to read the actual articles, here are links to the items we discussed yesterday when I filled in on WSPD:

FAA and the arrogance/hubris of a federal government that thinks it can do whatever it wants and interfere in everything:

FAA clears Santa's sleigh

We're apparently too stupid to understand how calories and fat grams work, so researchers are wondering if we'll 'make better choices' if the nutrition labels say how much exercise it would take to burn off the calories of an item.


Emails of New York City officials that reveal how their 'Pouring on the Pounds' advertising campaign against soda drinks was designed to scare people into not drinking soda, regardless of the fact that there was no scientific basis for their claims. This also demonstrates how a government that is charged with regulating false advertising won't be able to police itself.


On snorting Smarties candies:

Educators worried by rise of students who snort crushed candy

CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes thinks it a bad thing when elected officials actually KEEP the promises they made during their campaign for office:

CBS's Cordes Blames Tea Party for No 'Remarkable Pieces of Legislation'

And for caller Jack, who stated that solar was as competitive an energy source as coal and claimed, incorrectly, that I was pushing coal power over solar (I'm an 'all of the above' supporter when it comes to tapping our own natural resources for fuel and energy needs), here is an article that documents the cost per kilowatt hour of the various sources of energy.

Comparing energy Costs of Nuclear, Coal, Gas, Wind and Solar

It is interesting to note that, for solar, they couldn't include all the costs because some are still unknown and even without those additional costs solar is in the $.20-.25/kWh range while coal is in the $.02-.04/kWh range.

That, Jack, is NOT competitive!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quote of the Day - slippery slope

This quote is timely in terms of the items we'll be discussing this afternoon when I fill in on 1370 WSPD.

"Do the people of this land…desire to preserve those [liberties] protected by the First Amendment… If so, let them withstand all beginnings of encroachment. For the saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanquished liberty is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch for a saving hand while yet there was time." ~ George Sutherland, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Monday, December 26, 2011

Filling in on WSPD

I'll be filling in on 1370 WSPD this week - Tuesday and Thursday - covering the Afternoon Drive from 3-6 p.m.

On Wednesday, the University of Toledo Rockets will play in the Military Bowl against Air Force. The pre-game starts at 2:30 p.m. and the kickoff is at 4:30 p.m.

I hope you'll join me - and if you're not in the area, you can listen live here, or on your smart phone at I Heart Radio.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

I'm taking the weekend off to celebrate Christmas with my family and friends.

Our holiday tradition starts with a Christmas Eve Open House at our home. We've done this for years - invited family and friends who are in town to stop by for 2 minutes or 2 hours, to say hello, have some food and drink and enjoy each other's company.

We watch the constant running of A Christmas Story and have the computer on to follow along as NORAD tracks Santa's journey around the earth. We pull out our board games for the kids and open (and drink!) some of Sam's homemade champagne.

Some years, we've had over 75 people stop by. Other years, there have been only about 10 of us ... it all depends on who is in town and what else is going on. But regardless of the numbers, it is our Christmas Eve tradition made better by the presence of family and friends.

Sam and I do Christmas morning just the two of us and then my family joins us for Christmas Brunch. This year, I'm trying a new recipe of duck accompanied by a cauliflower gratin (yes, I'm one of those who try new recipes at holidays without practicing first). For Christmas Day Dinner, we'll head up to the Thurber complex for appetizers, drinks, dinner and dessert with all of Sam's family - usually around 30 of us - followed by intriguing conversations and, if custom holds, cards.

I love these celebrations, despite the work they entail, and look forward to them every year.

I hope your holiday traditions are something that you, too, cherish and that your Christmas weekend will be filled with the love of family and friends - and that Santa is good to you!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Quote of the Day - union president vs Obama and oil pipeline

From this article by John Ransom:

Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America has recently blasted Obama for double dealing against American jobs on behalf of the enviro-whackos like he did on the Keystone Oil Pipeline. O’Sullivan represents pipefitters and others who would be employed on the Keystone project.

“Environmentalists formed a circle around the White House and within days the Obama Administration chose to inflict a potentially fatal delay to a project that is not just a pipeline,” said O’Sullivan when Obama punted on the pipeline project to side with whackos over workers, “but is a lifeline for thousands of desperate working men and women. The Administration chose to support environmentalists over jobs – job-killers win, American workers lose. Environmental groups from the Natural Resources Defense Council to the Sierra Club may be dancing in the streets, having delayed and possibly stopped yet another project that would put men and women back to work. While they celebrate, pipeline workers will continue to lose their homes and livelihoods.”

Merry Christmas, Mr. Obama. You should be proud.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Vaclav Havel vs. Kim Jong Il

The world lost two leaders this past week and while most of us know about the death of Kim Jong Il of North Korea, I doubt many of us have heard that Vaclav Havel also passed away.

Who, you ask?

That's the point. Certainly, political unstability in North Korea has security implications for the United States which makes it highly newsworthy, but the life and positive impact of Vaclav Havel shouldn't be obscured by the death of a dictator.

Havel, the hero of has become known as Czechoslovakia's 'Velvet Revolution,' died Sunday. He was 75 years old. He was often described as one of the 20th Century's greatest freedom fighters after liberating his nation from communism and serving as its president from 1989 to 2003.

Investors Business Daily had this to say in their editorial:

Leadership: Europe's outpouring of grief over the death of Vaclav Havel, hero of Czechoslovakia's great Velvet Revolution, says much about its longing for more like him. His honesty and courage liberated Europe.

Some 75,000 Czechs bearing roses and candles lined up in Wenceslas Square beginning Sunday, as they once did in 1989, to pay tribute to one of the greatest freedom fighters of the 20th century


Havel, a playwright whose health had been weakened by years spent in communist dungeons, was an unlikely and yet perfect leader for leading Eastern Europe's liberation from communism. He unshackled Europe with the only weapon in his arsenal — words, which he animated and empowered by expressing them truthfully.

In the former Czechoslovakia, the nightmare of communism imposed after World War II was employed with a Nazi-like oppressive intensity, leaving a bleak society whose citizens got by on lies, collaboration, mediocrity and ratlike survival ethics.

"We live in a contaminated moral environment. We fell morally ill because we became used to saying something different from what we thought. We learned not to believe in anything, to ignore each other, to care only about ourselves. Concepts such as love, friendship, compassion, humility, or forgiveness lost their depth and dimensions. ... Only a few of us were able to cry out loud that the powers that be should not be all-powerful," Havel told his nation after being elected the first president of the restored democracy in December 1989.


Condemned from birth as a "bourgeois element," Havel was always an outsider who could never become a "new communist man" or a cog in the machine of "progress." Denied admission to university, denied jobs, denied permission to leave the country, spied on by secret police and refused liberty in prison beginning in 1979, he managed to free his country by standing up for freedom against all odds.

It was an incredible dream then — because right up until the end, no one believed communism would ever fall. Havel's Velvet Revolution changed that, as first a few thousand, and then a few hundred thousand flooded the streets calling for the regime's end — and the move spread like wildfire through Europe and eventually hit the gates of Moscow.

Havel's peaceful revolution, unlike almost any other, left all oppressive regimes — to this very day — uncertain about their self-declared permanence.


And yet, Havel himself said that standing up for freedom was the only choice.

"Humanity will pay the price for communism until such a time as we learn to stand up to it with all political responsibility and decisiveness," he said...

So while the world watches the tyrannical monarchy that North Korea appears to be (with a third generation ready to take over ruling that country), let us take time to remember a true leader who did more for the world than any dictator ever could.

Quote of the Day - gospel of Karl Marx

Today's quote is especially scary to me because, while describing the 'gospel of Karl Marx, I couldn't help but notice how similar it is to the message coming from our President, Barack Obama, who people say isn't a Marxist.

"The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. Never under any circumstances admit that your own failure may be owing to your own weakness, or that the failure of anyone else may be due to his own defects - his laziness, incompetence, improvidence, or stupidity." ~ Henry Hazlitt

Quote of the Day - government as a necessity

"It has been said that all Government is an evil. It would be more proper to say that the necessity of any Government is a misfortune. This necessity however exists; and the problem to be solved is, not what form of Government is perfect, but which of the forms is least imperfect." ~ James Madison

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Who do you believe at the Board of Elections?

In over 20 years of filing various petitions and forms at the Board of Elections, I've never - ever! - had them miscount the number of signatures submitted or lose a page. And, as a Republican, the person accepting my documents was usually a Democrat!

Why is this important for you to know? Because the latest fiasco with our Lucas County Republican Party Chairman is one in which he claims Board of Election staffers did exactly that.

A person who wants to run for office must sign a declaration of candidacy on the filing petition. This is the form that is circulated amongst voters, and those who wish you to be on the ballot will sign that form. Because of the number of signatures required to run for various offices, it is most often that you need multiple petitions. You can copy the original petition, meaning that it is a copy of your signature, but at least one of the forms filed at the BOE must contain an original signature.

This is state law and failure to do this will result in what is known as a 'fatal flaw' - something that is beyond the subjectivity of the BOE board members to decide.

According to the coverage of yesterday's BOE board meeting, this is exactly what happened with Constantine Stamos who wanted to run against incumbent Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken.

But that's not the end of the disaster that has become the reign of Jon Stainbrook. Failing to properly file his candidate's petitions (why Stamos didn't file them himself is beyond me - I always filed my own), the blame-game began.

According to the local daily,

Meghan Gallagher, chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party's Central Committee, told the board Monday she turned in nine petition sheets, known as part-petitions, which included one with Mr. Stamos' original signature.

She said the petition was picked up by a staffer, Andrea Taliga, with a group of other petitions and then removed from sight, suggesting to her the page with the original signature was lost in the process.

Board of elections staffer Lori Jacek said Ms. Gallagher turned in eight sheets and that she returned a receipt with that number to Ms. Gallagher's associate, Kelly Bensman. The receipt also shows an estimate of 80 signatures, which is the number of signatures on the eight part-petitions that Ms. Taliga and Ms. Jacek say were filed.

The board was not able to get to the bottom of the she said-she said dispute and split 2-2 on a motion not to certify Mr. Stamos. Voting against certification were Democrats Ron Rothenbuhler and James Ruvolo. Voting for certification were Republicans Jon Stainbrook and Tony DeGidio.

Mr. Stainbrook attributed the missing Stamos signature sheet to staff error, and said the candidate should not be penalized for a board employee's mistake. He said Ms. Gallagher has a history of handling candidate petitions flawlessly. Mr. DeGidio said Ms. Gallagher's version should be accepted because Ms. Bensman and Mr. Stamos corroborated her account.

"It's very suspect that it just happens to be in the race for county commissioner," Mr. Stainbrook said.

Mr. Stainbrook further noted the debate over Mr. Stamos' petitions followed a board vote to certify a Democratic candidate for Lucas County Democratic Party Central Committee whose petition was not time-stamped because the staff inadvertently set it aside and did not open it until the day after the deadline. Mr. Stainbrook cited the instance as an example of how the board's mishandling of a petition should not be blamed on the candidate.

But Mr. Ruvolo and Mr. Rothenbuhler did not concede that the staff had erred, and noted Ms. Gallagher had not made a photocopy of the Stamos petitions before she turned them in. "I can't imagine anybody not taking copies of their petitions. I really find that hard to believe," Mr. Rothenbuhler said. "That's so standard a thing to do."

First of all, what is Megan Gallagher doing turning in petitions when she is employed by the BOE???? That is a clear violation and only her time sheet will show if she had taken a day off to do so.

But let's look at some of the details: Gallagher says she turned in an original. Kelly Bensman (also a Stainbrook crony) and the candidate say Gallagher turned in an original. But the candidate wasn't even there, so how would he know?!?

And if Bensman knew there were nine forms and she only got a receipt for eight, why didn't she question it at the time?!? That would have been the logical - and competent - thing to do.

Perhaps the description of a she-said/she-said dispute is correct. But if so, it boils down to whom you believe: Bensman and Gallagher or two long-time BOE staffers who have a reputation of handling such forms accurately and correctly for years?

For me, I'll believe the BOE staffers. As I said originally, in over 20 years of filing documents at the BOE, I've never had them lose one or miscount what I've submitted. But then, I also made copies of everything I submitted and made sure my receipts matched my filings - a fundamental check and balance that seems to be beyond the current leadership of the Lucas County Republican Party.


Stainbrook gives an example in the quoted article of a form not being file-stamped by the staff because the envelope in which it was received was set aside and not processed timely. This is a much different situation and not at all applicable to failing to file an original signature. Clearly, in the example Stainbrook gave, the petition had been received timely, despite the failure of the staff to time-stamp the enclosed document. That is not a 'fatal flaw,' as election law/court rulings have termed such incidences, and the board has discretion on making a decision.

Lastly, and this is an extremely important point to remember: the Republican members of the board of the BOE are not there to 'fight' for Republicans. That is the role of the party representative when presenting details to the board members for their decisions. The four board members, in their role of being board members, are there to uphold Ohio election law and ensure that all things are done accurately, fairly and according to law.

For the Republicans to vote in favor of a Republican despite his failure to submit an original signature, means that they are voting against the legal requirement that they enforced and supported for all other candidates. Rather than make excuses for why Stamos should be on the ballot, Stainbrook should be taking Gallagher and Bensman to task for not filing the original - or, if he believed they did as they said, for not ensuring that the receipt was accurate. If, as Stainbrook says, he 'expected' such 'suspect actions,' then he has no one to blame but Gallagher and Bensman (who didn't object when the receipt showed eight petitions - or 80 signatures) - and himself.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Quote of the Day - victimhood

"It is precisely this clinging to victimhood as a means of demonstrating one’s virtue and advancing one’s well-being that has led us into a society in which welfare and quotas are “civil rights,” government handouts are “entitlements,” and payment to girls having babies out of wedlock are “compassionate,” while hard-working, ambitious people are “greedy,” punishment of crime is “oppression,” and an independent thinker who stands for courage and self-reliance is dismissed as an “Uncle Tom.”" ~ J. Tucker Alford

Welfare turns opponents into dependents

From National Center for Policy Analysis:

Political analysts have noted that because the number of those in the ruling elite amounts to only a small fraction of the number in the ruled masses, every regime lives or dies in accordance with public opinion. No matter how powerful or pervasive a regime is, it can still be overrun by the sheer superior numbers of the people it governs. However, this traditional political framework has been undermined by the development of the modern welfare state, says Robert Higgs, a senior fellow with the Independent Institute.

While the original framework would dissect the country into two populations, the gladly ruling and the reluctantly ruled, the welfare state has created a third group: dependents. Though they are most certainly ruled, they are often fierce defenders of the regime and its advocated status quo, thereby breaking ranks with the rest of the ruled who only tolerate it. They do this because the welfare state allows the current regime to be the primary provider for an ever-growing body of dependents, and this dependency engenders loyalty.

• An index of dependency developed by the Heritage Foundation found that the metric increased from 19 in fiscal year 1962 to 272 in fiscal year 2009.

• The Heritage researchers found that in 1962, 21.7 million persons depended on the government-run programs included in their index, yet this same figure for 2009 had grown to 64.3 million.

• Adding dependents not included in the Heritage study might easily increase the number to more than 100 million people, or to more than a third of the entire population.

The handouts of the welfare state exploit this large swathe of the population and earn their repeated and unwavering votes by perpetuating the status quo. As greater portions of the population come to rely on the government for their livelihood, the more clout it will inherently have as its number of detractors dwindles.

An additional symptom of this growing trend, which can be seen in the current political sphere, is that the creation of a status quo-supporting population inherently causes increased resistance to change. This conservativeness manifests itself in a lack of radical policy and in the loss of personnel turnover in Washington.

Source: Robert Higgs, "The Welfare State Neutralizes Opponents by Making Them Dependent on Government," Independent Institute, December 8, 2011.

Study: Nearly 1 in 3 will be arrested by age 23

The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.” ~ Lao Tse

“Nearly one in three people will be arrested by the time they are 23, a study to be published today in Pediatrics found.” (USA Today)

From the article:

The new data show a sharp increase from a previous study that stunned the American public when it was published 44 years ago by criminologist Ron Christensen. That study found 22% of youth would be arrested by age 23. The latest study finds 30.2% of young people will be arrested by age 23.

Criminologist Alfred Blumstein says the increase in arrests for young people in the latest study is unsurprising given several decades of tough crime policies.


Quote of the Day - wise government

A quote of the day while I'm making my Christmas list and checking it twice:

"[A] wise and frugal government ... shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government." ~ Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address

Friday, December 16, 2011

On the radio today

Just a preview of items we'll be discussing as I fill in for Brian Wilson today from 3-6 p.m. on 1370 WSPD:

* a Rabbi's rant against Tim Tebow - and the bigotry of his comments

* the NAACP's decision to ask the United Nations to 'investigate' voter ID laws in the United States. The handsome and talented Kevin Jackson will be my guest to weigh in on the issue at 4:30.

* fishing line Friday - so whatever else you might want to talk about, including the goings-on at the Lucas County Board of Elections. The BOE is the subject of the WSPD Speedy Poll this week, and we'll have those results for you when we talk with Fred Lefebvre at 5:30.

Hope you'll join us!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bill of Rights Day

Yes, today is Bill of Rights Day, in case you didn't know.

The most important thing to remember about the Bill of Rights is that it is NOT a listing of our rights - but a listing of the inherent rights we have that government may NOT infringe upon. They are specific limits on government power.

So take a few moments today to read the Bill of Rights, know them and share them with your family and friends, otherwise, we may find our government no longer limited by the restrictions intended.

Here is a link to the Bill of Rights Institute with information on the Bill of Rights.

Toledo city Council Meeting December 13, 2011

Notes from Sherry:

Toledo City Council Meeting

December 13, 2011

In attendance: Councilwomen Webb, Hicks-Hudson, Brown, Councilmen Steel, McNamara, Martinez, Sarantou, Ludeman, Collins, Copeland, Craig, Waniewski. Mayor Bell, Deputy Mayors Herwat, Cruthers.

Item 561 – Resolution – Recognize Council President Wilma D. Brown – adopted – all voting yes. (She was celebrated for 45 minutes. SZ)

Item 537 – Acquire 69-acre Northtowne Square Mall, demolish vacant portions, market for redevelopment – Collins – move to Economic Development Committee for January. Webb – properly debated, needs to go to a vote. Ludeman – agrees with Webb – move forward. Roll Call (no, to Committee – yes, vote on) No – Collins, Martinez, McNamara, Sarantou. Yes – Craig, Ludeman, Brown, Hicks-Hudson, Steel, Copeland, Webb, motion carried. Martinez – need to vote on the amendment (proposed by him). (Didn't happen. SZ) Vote for passage – passed - No – Collins, McNamara, Sarantou. Yes – Craig, Ludeman, Brown, Hicks-Hudson, Steel, Copeland, Webb, Martinez, Waniewski.

Item 543 – Providing for the 2012 Assessed Services Program – Street Services, $21,146,410 ('11=$20,598,435) – passed – all voting yes.

Item 544 - Providing for the 2012 Assessed Services Program – Citywide St Lighting, $3,908,076 ('11=3,689,127) – passed – all voting yes.

Item 545 - Providing for the 2012 Assessed Services Program – Downtown St lighting, $256,199 ('11=$248,142) – passed – all voting yes.

Item 546 - Providing for the 2012 Assessed Services Program – Street Trees, $4,942,125 ('11=$5,003,516) – passed – all voting yes.

Item 547 - Providing for the 2012 Assessed Services Program – Surface Treatment, $856,940 ('11=$909,673) – passed - all voting yes.

Item 562 – Amend TMC Sec. 129.08 & 309.02, on-street parking enforcement from DPTA to Port Authority – passed – all voting yes.

Item 563 - 4th amend to agreement with Corrections Commission of NW Ohio, judges from members to advisory – passed – all voting yes.

Item 564 – Dedicating certain property at Oak & Fassett, near new fire station, as public right-of-way – passed – all voting yes.

Item 565 – Purchased foreclosed property at 3736 Inverness Ave. for NSP model home, $50,000 NSP Fund – passed – all voting yes.

Item 566 – Accept Ohio EPA or OWDA loan for Tunnel Optimization, Phase I, $1,380,358 – passed – all voting yes. Martinez – motion to reconsider my vote on 537.

Item 537 – (as above) roll call on amendment – passed – (Sorry, did not get the exact vote, SZ) Vote reconsideration – passed - No – Collins, Martinez, McNamara, Sarantou, Waniewski. Yes - Craig, Ludeman, Brown, Hicks-Hudson, Steel, Copeland, Webb.

Item 568 – Resolution – Street lighting – Alley bounded by Lewis Ave. and Peak Ave. - adopted – all voting yes.

Item 569 – Amend TMC Sec. 187.03(c) to allow contracts executed by electronic format and signature - 1st Reading.

Item 570 – Resolution – Request advances from Lucas County Auditor and Treasurer - 1st Reading.

Item 571 – Temporary appropriation for January, February & March 2012, $147,787,932 All Funds – passed – all voting yes.

Item 572 – Renewable Energy Site License for Dura and Tyler Landfill sites, $262.50/acre, 2 opts, 30 yrs, to 3% - passed – all voting yes.

Item 573 – Adjust air grants for Environmental Services, increase Ohio EPA $19,417 & decrease US EPA $34,865 – passed – all voting yes.

Item 574 – Resolution – Restate pension pick-up for AFSCME Local 7, 2012 from 10% to 7%; 2013 from 7% to 3% - adopted – all voting yes.

Item 575 – Vacate alley at Oak St. and Fassett St. for new fire station (Approved April 6 – 0) – passed – all voting yes.

Item 576 – Zone change at Airport Hwy & Byrne Rd. (Approved 5 – 0) – passed – all voting yes.

Item 577 – SUP for scrap & salvage operation at 40 (120) E. Laskey Rd. (Approved 6 – 0) – passed – all voting yes.

Item 578 – Zone change at 40 (120) E. Laskey Rd. (Approved 6 – 0) – passed – all voting yes.

Item 579 – SUP for type A Day Care at 1611 N. Erie St. (Plan Commission Disapproved) (Approved 6 – 0) – Brown – SUP falls under what she has written. Hicks-Hudson – this day care helps with jobs – well managed. Passed – all voting yes.

Item 580 – Zone change at 112, 120, & 122 S. St. Clair St. (Approved 5 – 0) – passed – all voting yes.

Item 581 – SUP for athletic stadium at 5901 Airport Hwy. for St. John's Jesuit H.S. & Academy (Approved 5 – 0) – passed – all voting yes.

Item 582 – Zone change at 503 Oakdale Ave. (Plan Commission Disapproved) (Approved 5 – 0) – passed – No – Martinez, McNamara – rest yes.

Item 642-10 – Expenditure to Downtown Toledo Development Corp. for economic development services, $150,000 CDBG EDL – Martinez – hearing on new situation, last year – allowable expenditure. McNamara – not without contraversary. Herwat – this will expire – keep the ordinance alive. Martinez – I'm OK with it either way. McNamara – no. Ludeman – extension. New designation – 583-11. Motion to relieve – passed – all voting yes. Motion to amend ($150,000 to $100, 000) passed – all voting yes. McNamara – refer back to Committee.

Last Call:

Collins – Good luck to President Brown; Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.

Copeland - Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.

Ludeman - Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.

Martinez - Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.

McNamara – Thanks Staff & Council for holding off publishing 2011 rules and regulations; Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.

Sarantou – flooding issue – Utilities, owe them a time line to address this safely; Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.

Steel - Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.

Waniewski – Goddard/Illerge – sewer cave in. What is procedure for down fire plug? Right now there is a cone there. In my District – Budget online; Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.

Webb – Thanks to everybody that voted yes for the Northtowne Mall. Meeting with businesses in the Alexis Corridor – Block Watch – they will be glad about this. Tree lighting at Library Village was very good. Caroling on the 15th, 6:30 – 8:30, Friendship Hall.

Herwat - Good luck to President Brown; Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.

Brown – Thank you for representing District 1.

Quotes of the Day - OPM (other people's money)

"What is common to many is least taken care of, for all men have greater regard for what is their own than what they possess in common with others." ~ Aristotle

"Nothing is easier than spending public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. Temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody." ~ Calvin Coolidge

"It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy private people, and to restrain their expence, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expence, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will." ~ Adam Smith

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

House passes revised congressional map; establishes March 6 for primary

Press Release - the referenced map is viewable here.

House Passes Revised Congressional Map with Strong Bipartisan Support

House Bill 369 reunites Ohio’s primaries to single day in March

COLUMBUS—Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) announced today that a revised congressional map has passed the Ohio House with strong bipartisan support. The new map, found in House Bill 369, was introduced by State Representative Matt Huffman (R-Lima) in early November after working closely with members of the House Minority Caucus.

“This map represents the second fair and legal map passed by the Ohio House of Representatives in recent weeks,” Speaker Batchelder said. “I am pleased that the House Republican Caucus has led the charge in not only passing a competitive congressional map, but also in ensuring that Ohioans have only one state and federal primary in 2012.”

Among other things, the bill reunites Ohio’s primaries to one day on March 6, 2012 and will save the state $15 million by doing so. It also creates a bi-partisan legislative task force to review congressional redistricting and issue a report to the General Assembly next year. The filing deadline for presidential and congressional candidates will be reopened to a December 30, 2011 deadline if passed.

“This bill contains a number of positive provisions, including reuniting Ohio's primaries and saving the taxpayers $15 million,” Rep. Huffman said. “The House Republican Caucus never stopped negotiations with the members of the House Minority Caucus and incorporated a number of their suggestions in this bill. We appreciate their support of House Bill 369.”

House Bill 369 passed with a vote of 77-17 and contains an emergency clause which, if passed by the Ohio Senate, will take effect upon the governor’s signature.


Latest version of Ohio Congressional redistricting map

Amended Substitute H.B. 369 contains a new version of the Ohio Congressional district map. Below is the map as contained in the bill. You can see that our 9th Congressional District is still along the shoreline of Lake Erie, from Toledo to Cleveland.

You can click on the image for a larger view:

Will EPA ban on rat and mouse poison be another DDT fiasco?

Based upon bogus information and political considerations, the United States banned DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) in 1972. Its use began in 1943 and it was one of the most widely-used pesticides, as it was especially successful at controlling malaria and typhus during World War II. Paul Hermann Müller was even awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery "of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several arthropods."

But in 1962, Rachel Carson published a book called Silent Spring that *suggested* DDT and other pesticides were dangerous to the environment and wildlife - and caused cancer in humans. It was this book and the subsequent emergence of the environmentalism movement, fueled by the formation of the Environmental Defense Fund whose goal to have to DDT outlawed, that resulted in the ban.

But the issue of whether or not a ban was truly necessary has been fraught with controversy, from the original decision and whether or not the science supported it, to the claim that millions have died of malaria as a result of the lack of sufficient deterrent to the insects that carry it.

As this author relates:

As to the circumstances surrounding the banning of DDT, the November 1980 issue of Fusion magazine (page 52) stated: "When U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief William Ruckelshaus was about to announce his decision to ban DDT in June 1972, he confided to a friend, "There is no scientific basis for banning this chemical --- this is a political decision."" The 'friend' was never identified however. In a commentary the magazine concluded (page 56): "The EPA and environmentalists must be held accountable for their crime: There was not a single human death from DDT usage; there have been untold thousands of deaths and millions of disease-stricken persons as a result of the DDT banning."

Fusion's most comprehensive article about DDT (a dozen or so pages) was in their June 1979 issue. The article stated that independent tests refuted nearly every single government claim as to the harmful effects to wildlife from exposure to DDT and addressed each claim. As evidence DDT wasn't harmful to wildlife, the article stated wildlife living downstream from DDT manufacturing plants actually thrived, their numbers increased. There wasn't any disagreement about any lethalness to humans however because the government never claimed there were any deaths, and there wasn't, not a single one. In summation the article concluded the 'political' reason for banning DDT was because it was 'saving too many third-world lives'... an utterly shocking observation.

And now, today, we have a plan to ban 20 rate and mouse control products because they use loose bait.

Note, this latest decision is not because the product, itself, is banned - but because of how it could be used.

You see, the EPA (and the nanny-state government) believes that many of these types of pest control products are used in homes where children or pets could come into contact with them.

The Heartland Institute details how critics of the ban (especially those representing businesses whose products may be on the chopping block) are quick to emphasize the minimal health benefits and the many potential costs of the ban. They point out the following:

• The EPA's proposed ban could force people to rely on products from an alternate class of rodenticides which, unlike the products targeted by EPA, have no antidote.

• EPA's decision could also force consumers to avoid treating their homes for rodents unless they can afford to hire a pest control professional to use the ingredients denied to individuals.

• People living in poverty are most afflicted by rodent problems, and they will be the ones most adversely affected by the proposed ban because they will be unable to afford the professional exterminators made necessary by the ban on these do-it-yourself consumer products.

As the Heartland article explains, the EPA's decision to ban these household products is based largely on a single statistic:

"...between 1993 and 2008 the American Association of Poison Control Centers received 12,000 to 15,000 reports of rat and mouse poison exposures each year regarding children under 6 years old. Improper use, however, is not a good enough reason to ban such useful product from the market..." (emphasis added)

The worst part about this is the fact that other products and activities, when used or done incorrectly, cause even more harm - but they're not being banned.

Todd M. Wynn, director of the Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force for the American Legislative Exchange Council, is quoted in the article:

“Each year, hundreds of thousands of children are treated for bicycle-related injuries; nearly half of these children are diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries. Does that mean we should ban bicycles? We allow parents to make these choices every day, but EPA steps in and seeks to make these decisions instead of American families,” Wynn said.

“There are certain levels of acceptable risk in society, and parents play an important role by weighing the potential risks and benefits of using a product. This is not saying there is no government role in consumer protection, but one must be sure there is a proper assessment of the science and risk involved and not base regulations and bans on emotionally driven statistics of exposure to children,” he explained.

Unfortunately, our government believes it is responsible for keeping everyone from harm, even if doing so harms others in the process or erodes our liberties and freedom to make choices on our own.

It's a nanny-state government that assumes it knows better than us and then makes our decisions for us. You see, we cannot be trusted to make the 'right' decisions on our own and, rather than hold parents accountable if their child should happen to get into such poison, they'll just impose a ban.

After all, if it saves just one life...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Apparently, wearing a skirt means you're a threat

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." ~ U.S. Constitution

When traveling on a plane, I specifically dress so as not to set off the metal detector. On my way back from a conference in Phoenix, I went through the detector and didn't set it off, as planned.

However, because I was wearing a skirt (and that was the ONLY reason, the TSA guard told me) he called for a pat down. A female agent came over and patted down my legs.

I presented no threat, no potential danger, did not set off the alarm and specifically wore nothing that would even remotely single me out for a pat-down. But apparently, wearing a skirt is some sort of indicator of potential terrorist activity and a pat-down was performed.

We have given up so much and it really hasn't made us any safer, though it has diminished our liberties and put us on a path to tyranny. As for the above quote, I don't care what they courts may say, the TSA violates this basic tenent every day!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Save the Dates: filling in on WSPD

I'll be filling in for WSPD's Brian Wilson from 3-6 p.m. on the following dates. I hope you'll tune in locally to AM 1370 or listen on-line or via I Heart Radio.

* Friday, December 16
* Tuesday, December 27
* Wednesday, December 28
* Thursday, December 29

City of Toledo Christmas Tree disposal

Press Release:

City to accept fresh cut Christmas trees after holidays

Trees will be recycled into mulch for use in city parks

The city of Toledo will again accept Christmas trees at select city park sites beginning December 26, 2011 and continuing through January 27, 2012.

A collection site will be offered in each of the six city council districts. Fresh cut Christmas trees may be dropped off in the parking lots of the listed sites in designated areas. Citizens are asked to remove all ornaments, decorations and plastic bags from the tree. Trees will be chipped into mulch for use in the city’s parks.

The sites will include:

* Jermain Park on Upton Ave. in council district one.

* Schneider Park on Schneider Rd. near S. Detroit Ave. in council district two.

* Ravine 2 Park on Mott St. in council district three.

* Detwiler Park at Manhattan Blvd. and Summit St. in council district four.

* Bowman Park in the Laskey Rd. parking lot in council district five.

* Greenwood Park in the Gage and Darrel lots in council district six.

Drop-off areas will be designated with signage directing citizens to the appropriate location.

Citizens with questions regarding Christmas tree disposal may contact the Division of Forestry at 419-245-3357.


The top 10 economic myths of 2011

Every year the Business & Media Institute takes a look at the year's news and determines the top 10 worst economic myths.

Here is their 2011 list:

10. Congress took a "machete" to the budget in August.
9. In order to win, the GOP wants to sabotage the economy.
8. Who cares about a Soros' sponsored effort to remake global economy?
7. With 7 billion on the planet, it's time to panic.
6. Apocalypse Al is a "genius," and climate change is a real threat.
5. The jobs are right around the corner.
4. Occupy Wall Street is the new Tea Party.
3. Green jobs are the future.
2. $52 million from Soros doesn't mean we're biased.
1. "We are the 99 percent."

They give a complete explanation for each one, but some of the best lines are below:

From #10 "Congress took a "machete" to the budget in August." Media Myth: Spending cuts actually cut spending.:

"...95 percent of stories ignored the fact that the federal debt would still rise by $12 trillion (from $14.29 trillion to $28.8 trillion).

"...remember that real spending cuts by the government are nearly as fantastical as finding a leprechaun and his pot of gold at the end of a rainbow."

From #5 "The jobs are right around the corner." Media Myth: Obama is creating jobs and more are on the way:

"President Obama's record on jobs is that his promises have fallen flat. His economic policies were supposed to create 4 million jobs by the end of 2010. The results have been dismal with a net loss of 1,623,00 jobs lost since Feb. 2009. But the news media have continued to look for "silver linings" and "bright spots," only to be disappointed by "unexpected" jobs data."

From #4 "Occupy Wall Street is the New Tea Party." Media Myth: "Occupy Wall Street: A Tea Party for the Left?"
In reality, the two couldn't be more different. The Tea Party protesters were peaceful, promoted small government and worked to elect candidates with their values, all while the media did its best to portray them as "terrorists" and "racists." On the other hand, OWS lacked a unified message - but the protesters' big government, anti-free market and at times anti-American and anti-Semitic sentiments have been on display. The volume and tone of news coverage was also dramatically different.

Violence (including rape and sexual assault), crime and disrespect of authority has also been evident at many of the OWS rallies. The twitter feed @OccupyArrests claimed 5,248 arrests as of the morning of Dec. 7. According to The New York Times, OWS troublemakers are merely a fringe minority of the protesters. Yet, the Tea Party was '"responsible for the behavior of people" at its rallies. The broadcast networks chose to ignore violence at the "peaceful" rallies such as Occupy L.A.

From #2 "Millions from Soros doesn't mean we're biased." Media Myth: George Soros is just another left-wing philanthropist:

Since 2003, Soros has donated more than $52 million to all kinds of media outlets - liberal news organizations, investigative reporting and even smaller blogs. He has also been involved in funding the infrastructure of supposedly "neutral" news, from education to even the industry ombudsman association. Many other operations Soros supports also have a media component to what they do.

All that money has created a liberal "echo chamber," that in the words of one group he backs, "in which a message pushes the larger public or the mainstream media to acknowledge, respond, and give airtime to progressive ideas because it is repeated many times."

Of course Soros has denied his influence, blaming Fox News: "Another trick is to accuse your opponent of the behavior of which you are guilty, like Fox News accusing me of being the puppet master of a media empire." But as BMI exposed in multiple reports, Soros' dollars reach far and wide into the media industry.

That echo chamber is often used to further Soros' view, including his view that the "capitalist threat" is a bigger problem than communism these days.
(emphasis added by me)

And from #1 1. "We are the 99." Media Myth: Occupy Wall Street claims to be the "99 percent," pushes class warfare rhetoric that captures attention and favorable coverage from media.

But the extreme anti-capitalists, anarchists, communists and socialists protesting in NYC and other cities across the country did not speak for 99 percent of people. In fact according to the Seattle P-I, as of Nov. 13, only 33 percent of people supported OWS based on a poll from the left-leaning Public Policy Polling firm. This despite overwhelmingly positive media coverage.

The media's promotion of OWS did not come as a surprise because it was the natural outcome of the mainstream media's reporting on wealth and inequality and the liberal economists they interview. The phrase "We are the 99 percent" shouted by protesters in Zuccotti Park and Occupy Wall Street encampments may be new, but the class warfare foundation for it has "roots in a decade's worth of reporting," The New York Times admitted in a front page homage to OWS on Dec. 1.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Quote of the Day - freedom to fail

"If you don't have the right to do something wrong [to yourself], you don't have any rights at all." ~ Gene Burns

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Quote of the Day - redistribution of wealth

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel." ~ Ayn Rand

Dave Kissinger to seek House District 46

From his campaign website:

It is truly an honor to have begun our campaign to serve the residents of the 46th District at the Ohio Statehouse. Our county is facing many challenges and I have consistently stepped up to serve as a strong advocate for the needs of our community.

Additionally, I want to compliment him on his interactive website. It has the ability to leave comments and connects to all the social media links for his campaign. As websites go, it's a great start for a candidate.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Quote of the Day - temporary taxes

In light of the growing interest by some on Toledo City Council to make the 3/4% payroll income tax permanent (and the penchant of our local daily to support just about every tax they've ever seen), I thought this quote especially pertinent:

"Taxes should be continued by annual or biennial reeactments, because a constant hold, by the nation, of the strings of the public purse is a salutary restraint from which an honest government ought not wish, nor a corrupt one to be permitted, to be free." ~ Thomas Jefferson

Quotes of the Day - for your own good

Two quotes while I participate in a conference today....

"No man has ever ruled other men for their own good." ~ George Herron

"... as all history informs us, there has been in every State & Kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing & governed: the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the Princes, or enslaving of the people. Generally indeed the ruling power carries its point, the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the peoples money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever ..." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Big Brother arrives in Toledo; smile -you're on camera!

Yesterday, I received a press release from the City of Toledo informing me of a press conference with new Toledo Police Chief Derrick Diggs. I wasn't exactly sure what was being announced, so I didn't post it. Here is what it said:

Toledo Police Chief Derrick Diggs will announce a new data driven policing model at a press conference at 3 p.m. today, December 7, 2011 on the 3rd floor the Safety Building.

The initiative involves a process for systematically collecting and analyzing data to strategically direct manpower to suppress crime in identified problem areas. The initiative also involves the utilization of the CompStat model to track progress and ensure accountability. Additionally, it will include a Real Time Crime Center that will utilize cameras as a deterrent and investigative tool for the apprehension of suspects involved in criminal behavior.

The bottom line is that Toledo wants to install a bunch of cameras around town (75) to monitor and record - well, pretty much everything. They're even considering getting some that can recognize the sound of a gunshot and then focus upon the location of the sound.

Of course, Chief Diggs says this is all about keeping us safe and moving the department from just responding to crime and then investigating it to attempting to deter or even suppress crime. While the locations of the cameras haven't been determined, they are planned for high-crime areas.

You and I know that the cameras won't really suppress crime - the criminals will just commit the crimes elsewhere.

Chief Diggs said he's modeling his plan on the cameras being used in Memphis. With relatives in Memphis, I can tell you that the cameras haven't really allowed the police to 'deter' or 'suppress' crime.

The funding for the initial purchase and set up would come from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund, the monies the department has confiscated from crimes. But there is no mention of the on-going maintenance costs and whether or not there is funding for those.

Apparently, the Real Time Crime Center would be staffed with officers to watch everything that's going on and 'respond' accordingly. But with the decrease in the number of officers we have on the streets over the last several years, some may question this plan.

It's not often I find myself in agreement with the ACLU, but they've weighed in on the plan calling it "Big Brother 24/7."

The usual claims in support of 24/7 surveillance - like the ones made in favor of red-light cameras - will be used: it will keep us safe; if we're not doing anything wrong, we won't have anything to worry about; it's for our own good; if it saves just one life.

Think about it, by the time camera hears a gunshot and zooms in on the source of the sound, you're already shot, perhaps dead. So much for "keeping you safe."

Besides, I don't care about those claims - government always makes such claims when infringing upon our liberties.

I just go back to the quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin:

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Vote on slogan for Ohio's new license plate

Periodically, the state of Ohio changes its licence plate and drivers license design and this time around, they are seeking votes from the public as to what the new slogan should be.

There are some local items on the list, including Glacial Grooves, Lake Erie, Put-In-Bay, Perry's Victory, Roller Coaster Capital of the World and Toledo Museum of Art. Older slogans, like The Buckeye State, and The Heart of It All, are also included. Of course, the state motto, With God All Things Are Possible, is a choice as well.

The complete list of contenders:

17th State
1st Electric Light Bulb
1st Professional Baseball Team
1st Traffic Light
40,948 Square Miles
Annie Oakley
Appalachian Plateau
Beautiful Ohio
The Buckeye State
Cleveland Orchestra
Cy Young
Dunbar House
Est. 1803
First Ladies Library
Glacier Grooves
The Heart of It All
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Hocking Hills
Home of Astronauts
The Horseshoe
Iroquois for Beautiful River
Jesse Owens
Johnny Appleseed
Lake Erie
Manufacturing Leader
Marietta-1st Settlement
Mother of Presidents
Newark Mounds
Ohio Burgee
The Ohio Caverns
The Ohio River
Perry's Victory
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Red Carnation
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Roller Coaster Capital of the World
Rubber Capital of the World
Serpent Mound
So Much to Discover
Spiegel Grove
State of Perfect Balance
Taft Museum
Toledo Museum of Art
University Circle
West Side Market
White Trillium
With God All Things Are Possible
Woody Hayes
Wright Brothers
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

To vote for your favorite, go to

Sobecki won't seek county recorder seat, but may still be in violation of state law

I've previously written about Toledo School Board member and current county employee Lisa Sobecki's ineligibility to run for partisan office. I also questioned why Lucas County Commissioners (who are fully aware of the prohibition) and The Blade failed to raise this issue when she announced her intent.

After seeing on my blog analytics that someone from The Blade had read my posts, I thought the issue might be highlighted. And, according to today's paper, Sobecki has decided not to run for recorder:

A fourth possible Democratic candidate, Lisa Sobecki, opted not to run because she would have had to quit her job with the county Department of Job & Family Services to do so. Ms. Sobecki said Wednesday she had begun collecting signatures on her petitions but quit when she learned it was prohibited by the Ohio administrative code, which governs state employees, to even collect signatures. She said she did not know whether the violation would cost her her job.

"I tried to be honest and law-abiding and to follow the intent of the law," she said.

First, she didn't try to "follow the intent of the law" if she didn't even know about the prohibition. But I do believe she tried to be honest, even if she was ignorant.

Sobecki has done the right thing. She should have known the law - but she did stop the illegal act of collecting signatures as soon as she learned of the prohibition.

While she may be disappointed that she cannot run for county recorder, she should be angry at being poorly served by her Democratic Party and her fellow elected officials in the commissioner's office.

Both Pete Gerkin and Tina Skeldon-Wozniak have signed letters to county employees reminding them of the prohibition against partisan activity. Both of them should have immediately contacted Sobecki upon learning she was interested in running and let her know that, as a classified civil service employee, she couldn't continue her employment if she pulled the petitions.

And with all the supposed expertise in the leadership of the local Democratic Party, you would think someone there would have told Sobecki her job was in jeopardy should she participate in any partisan activity.

Apparently, Democrats are used to getting away with such things and it's only this blog and an interview on WSPD that prompted further attention to the issue.

But Sobecki may still have a problem. After being hired in 2010 by the county to work at their Department of Job and Family Services, she ran for - and was elected - to the partisan position of precinct chair. I wrote about this violation in February. If she hasn't resigned that position, she is still in violation of state law and should face the consequences of being in violation for the last 18 months.

Tom Blumer, who also covered the issue, weighs in on the decision.

Side Note:

This highlights why bloggers are so vital in this media age. I truly believe that if I hadn't raised this issue, Sobecki would have run for the office, as no one wanted to be the one to either investigate the law or speak out about the violation.

We need more people willing to look into such issues and bring them to the attention of the public, and then hold our elected officials accountable.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Candidacies announced

Dave Kissinger called in to WSPD this morning to announce that he is a candidate. Unfortunately, I missed the office he is seeking and, in visiting his website, Citizens 4 Kissinger, I couldn't find it. (Note to new candidates: put the office you're seeking front and center on your website or at least list it in your bio!)

UPDATE: As of 9 p.m., Kissinger's Facebook page had been updated to show he is running for State Representative in District 46. However, the link to his website that is provided on the FB page comes up with a generic GoDaddy page.

I also heard that Toledo City Councilman George Sarantou is considering whether or not to seek the position of Lucas County Recorder. The incumbent, Jeanine Perry, is retiring.

Both Wood County Commissioner Tim Brown and current Rep. Barbara Sears have officially announced their candidacies for the Ohio House of Representatives; Brown for District 3 and Sears for District 47. Their press releases are below.

From Tim Brown:
This morning I announced my candidacy for State Representative and I want to share the exciting news with you.

Next year the citizens of Wood County will elect a new voice to represent us in Ohio’s Statehouse. In such a challenging economy, I believe it is critical that we find common ground for moving Ohio’s economy forward. Job creation and fiscal responsibility are hallmarks of my work as your County Commissioner and I look forward to taking that message and record of success to Wood County’s voters and ultimately to Ohio’s Statehouse.

I believe the experience you have allowed me in serving as your Commissioner will enable me to make a difference in Columbus and I hope you will agree. Over the years I have been blessed with a solid working relationship with our courthouse elected officials, as well as our local council members, mayors, township officials, and citizens who have been willing to make suggestions and be part of our efforts to keep our county a great place to live, work, obtain an education and raise a family.

Working as a team in Wood County we have been successful in fostering job growth for our citizens. During this difficult economy, the Wood County Hospital unveiled a 42 million dollar expansion which led to the hiring of additional healthcare professionals – further diversifying our economy. CSX opened its largest intermodal rail facility in America, a 175 million dollar investment in Wood County’s economy hiring over 200 workers. First Solar completed a 135 million dollar plant expansion and hired over 100 new employees. It has been my privilege to work with each of these businesses to create new jobs for our citizens. Priority one in Columbus will be to turn around Ohio’s economy, attract new jobs and keep the lid on expensive new government, and you deserve nothing less than an EXPERIENCED voice in Columbus leading the way.

Should you have any comments or suggestions for me throughout the year, I would very much welcome the opportunity to hear from you and to have your support. Following is my home telephone number and additional ways in which you can contact me.

With sincere best wishes for the approaching Holiday Season,

Tim W. Brown – web site
TimBrownWoodCo – Twitter

From Barbara Sears:

MONCLOVA, Ohio—State Representative Barbara Sears (R-Monclova Twp.) today officially announced her candidacy for state representative of the 47th House District, which will include western Lucas County and portions of Fulton County.

“I would be honored and humbled to have the opportunity to return to Columbus during the 130th General Assembly and continue my work in the People’s House,” Sears said.

A small business owner and former member of Sylvania City Council, Sears has dedicated her efforts in Columbus to making Ohio’s government more conducive to job creation and economic growth. For example, she sponsored House Bill 10 to offer a refundable tax credit for the remediation of contaminated sites and the return of such sites to productive use. She also supported the creation of the Common Sense Initiative, a small business rule review procedure intended to examine all regulations to ensure that they do not strangle business’ success.

Additionally, following the passage of Obamacare in Washington, she sponsored the Healthcare Freedom Act in the House to preserve the freedom of Ohioans to choose their health care and health care coverage. Similar language in the amendment became State Issue 3 this past November, which was a constitutional amendment supported overwhelmingly by Ohioans that prohibits certain health care mandates in Ohio.

“We certainly have accomplished a lot during this first year of the General Assembly, but there is still much more to be done,” Sears said. “Serving as state representative has been both a challenge and a blessing, and I look forward to tackling our state’s tough issues and getting us back on the right track.”


Is The Blade complicit or ignorant

I've previously written about the illegality of Lisa Sobecki, a civil service employee, seeking partisan office.

My friend and fellow blogger, Tom Blumer, in mentioning the situation, asks a very pertinent question:

Based on his coverage at this story, Tom Troy at the Toledo Blade, which says that it wants “to be the premier source of news and information about northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan,” is either too ignorant to know or doesn’t care about Sobecki’s clearly illegal candidacy. Which is it, Tom?

You would think that the paper's 'politics writer' would know the law and at least mention it in covering the candidates in the Democrat primary for 2012 - but apparently not.

So - is the paper complicit in purposefully not bringing to the attention of the public the fact that civil service employees in the state are prohibited from partisan political activity, including running for office under a party affiliation? Or is he ignorant, as Blumer questions.

Inquiring minds....

Oh - and if you think the Commissioners should enforce Ohio law and treat all county employees equally, you can call them to see if they plan to uphold their oaths of office and follow the law - or let their political loyalties rule the day. Their phone number is 419-213-4500.

Federal effort to commandeer the nation's salt shakers is based on bad science

From the National Center for Policy Analysis:

Last year, the government's Institute of Medicine urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to "gradually step down the maximum amount of salt that can be added to foods, beverages, and meals." The FDA is listening. In September, it published a notice concerning issues "associated with the development of targets for sodium reduction in foods to promote reduction of excess sodium intake," says Steve Chapman, a columnist and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune.

It is currently focusing on voluntary steps to "promote gradual, achievable and sustainable reduction of sodium intake over time." But if it doesn't get its way, it may go beyond gentle encouragement. "Nothing is off the table," a spokesperson declared last year.

* Salt has always been prized as a culinary marvel -- perking up flavors, masking bitter elements and preventing spoilage.
* But many experts and public health organizations see salt as a killer, which in excess amounts causes high blood pressure and heart disease.

But experts' certitude keeps getting clouded by confounding evidence.

* The Journal of the American Medical Association has reported that people who consume less salt are actually more likely to die of heart disease.
* Recently, a study in the American Journal of Hypertension found that reducing dietary sodium can cause a harmful response from the body.

Nor is it clear that third parties can get people to reduce their ingestion of sodium. We have been hearing for decades about the alleged hazards of a high-salt diet, and anyone looking for alternatives can easily find them. But today, Americans consume the same amount of salt as they did 50 years ago.

But even if we assume too much salt is a bad thing, federal regulators have no grounds to dictate how much our food may contain. Any consumers who want less sodium, after all, are free to spurn restaurant meals and grocery items laden with heavy doses. Indeed, classifying excess sodium consumption as a "public health" danger mutilates a useful concept, says Chapman.

Source: Steve Chapman, "Federal Effort to Commandeer the Nation's Salt Shakers Is Based on Bad Science," Reason Magazine, December 1, 2011.

Pear Harbor Remembrance Day

In honor of this historic date - a day that will live in infamy - I wanted to share with you the words of President Ronald Reagan from his 1987 National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Proclamation. The bolded emphasis is mine, as I believe the policy expressed is still the best one for us:

On December 7, Americans everywhere commemorate the 46th anniversary of the morning in 1941 when our Armed Forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, were subjected to a surprise aerial strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy. That attack killed 2,403 Americans and wounded 1,178 others -- and caused our Nation to enter World War II.

America was unprepared for war, but we quickly resolved to do what must be done in defense of our country. Knowing that in war there can be no substitute for victory, the American people summoned a great national effort in military strength and industrial activity. The sacrifices of our military personnel at Pearl Harbor became the prelude to those our brave fighting forces were to endure around the globe for the next three and one-half years. When the terrible conflict ceased and the peace was won, America's freedom remained intact and we had taken on a crucial role as the leader of the world's democracies and bulwark of international peace.

On December 7, America remembers much and resolves much. We remember Pearl Harbor's dead and wounded and its courageous survivors who fought that day and many other days as well. We remember too one of history's clearest lessons, that weakness and unpreparedness do not build peace but invite aggression. We remember that our freedom, purchased at so dear a price, can be taken from us. And we resolve that that shall never be. We resolve that our strength, our vigilance, and our devotion will forever keep America the land of the free and the home of the brave. We resolve that we will keep faith with those we have loved and lost. And we resolve that, always, we will remember Pearl Harbor.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 105, has designated December 7, 1987, as ``National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day'' and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 1987, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and I call upon the people of the United States to observe this solemn occasion with appropriate ceremonies and activities and to pledge eternal vigilance and strong resolve to defend our Nation and its allies from all future aggression.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.

Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

House passes TARTA-related campaign finance bill

Ohio House Bill 326, which imposes a criminal penalty on public officials who knowingly use public funds for political purposes, was passed today by a vote of 90-2. It now goes to the Ohio Senate.

Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and our own Rep. Mike Ashford (D-Toledo) are the two who voted against the measure.

The bill, sponsored by Reps. Jeff McClain (R-Upper Sandusky) and Brian Hill (R-Zanesville), makes a violation of the campaign law a first-degree misdemeanor, similar to other campaign finance law violations. As it currently stands, the Ohio Revised Code makes it illegal to use tax dollars for political purposes but does not include a criminal penalty for doing so.

The bill was offered after an audit of the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) revealed illegally spent public funds.

The Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) illegally lent Citizens for TARTA $66,885 in public money to pay for levy campaign costs, according to the audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.

“Taxpayers expect their dollars to pay for public services, not to influence a political campaign,” Auditor Yost said. “The taxpayers’ money must be repaid by Citizens for TARTA.”

Citizens for TARTA is a political action committee that formed to help gather resources to fund TARTA levy campaigns. In 2007, Citizens for TARTA borrowed $13,885, without interest, from TARTA. Another $53,000 was borrowed in January 2008.

According to the Ohio Revised Code, Section 9.03, “no governing body of a political subdivision shall use public funds to support or oppose the passage of a levy or bond issue.”

The violation of the Ohio Revised Code prompted the issuing of findings for recovery in the total amount of $66,885 against Citizens for TARTA, in favor of TARTA. Under Ohio law, in the event the payment from Citizens for TARTA is not received, TARTA’s Director, James Gee, is held jointly and severally liable for the findings for recovery.

Toledo City Council Special Meeting December 5, 2011

Notes from Sherry of the special Toledo City Council Meeting to consider placing the 3/4% payroll income tax renewal on the March primary ballot. Note there was discussion, primarily from District 2 Councilman D. Michael Collins and at-large Councilman Joe McNamara, about making this temporary (since 1982!) tax permanent. Also, there is reference to the two proposals that were before council. For details on the two proposals, you can see my previous post.

In attendance: Councilwomen Brown, Webb, Hicks-Hudson, Councilmen Collins, Copeland, Steel, Ludeman, McNamara, Martinez, Waniewski, Craig, Sarantou. Mayor Bell, Deputy Mayor Herwat, and Cruthers.

Administration Committee – consisting of four men, one of whom is Deputy Mayor Herwat.

Mayor Bell – Move forward on this – get it on the ballot – 3 or 4 ways to do this – March ballot first.

Committee – We need this 3/4% tax – will be about 51.1 Million dollars – how it looks right now, your packets have projects and budget cuts in them. The huge red lines in personnel, if the 3/4% does not go through – loss of 200 Policemen and 150 Firemen.
- Waniewski – What are our obligations in the CIP? The public understands providing for Police and Fire – 1/6 of this to be allocated to road paving.
- Administration – We have put some money aside for roads.
- Waniewski – CIP for roads?
- Herwat – 25.5 Mil for CIP projects – 17 Mil from CIP to GF. This Council will make the move.
- Waniewski – See what the thought is.
- Sarantou – What about minimum standard levels?
- Herwat – take cuts from elsewhere. Collins – City cannot operate on 1-1/2% (permanent payroll tax currently on the books).
- Administration – Would be disabling.
- Collins – could not do with out this – what does it cost? (To campaign for the 3/4% tax.)
- Herwat – Campaign – $50–100K – this would come from donated money.
- Collins – no tax payer money at all. We have had this temporary tax since 1982 – lets get the “T” out. Big Cities in this State have between 2–2.75% tax (gives the actual numbers for each City) – ask the Voter for 2-1/4% - lets not use tax mail – ask the Voters about changing this from temporary to permanent - do this by polling - we should ask the Voters.
- McNamara – agrees with Collins – no time to get this done (going to the Voters – polling) – now is not the time.
- Administration – 3/4% temporary.
- Ludeman – This is the 5th time we've gone through this, with different Administrations – no signs before – final date to get this through is Wednesday – keep temporary.
- Clerk reads Option A
- Waniewski – Amend “B” to 1/6 towards street paving before we vote on “A”.
- Clerk – This would be a NO vote on “A”, amend “B”.
- McNamara – Amend “A” - all the 2017's changed to 2016 – flexibility with 3/4% in the past.
- Steel – in 2013 $11 Mil gap from the State – $8 Mil in 2014 – main people served – avoid lay offs – if the numbers hold true.
- Webb – Meet Option “A” for the streets?
- Herwat – allows Council that authority ($17 Mil).
- Sarantou – supports Option “A” - do more street paving, have some flexibility – get with the public – Are we good stewards?
– There was something in the paper about tax collecting – pittance.
- McNamara – added words to make the amendment more clear.
- Craig – caution, waved – $8.5 Mil CIP – when things get better, more paving in the future – allocate additional dollars.
- Ludeman – 1/6 instead of 1/3. (option B would be 1/6 to CIP, option A is 1/3 to CIP)
- Clerk – vote on Option “A” first.

A – Amend TMC Ch. 1905 for ¾% Income Tax, 2013-2016, 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 with financial need – passed – all voting yes. (Ord. 559-11)

C – Resolution – Submitting to the electors on Primary ballot March 6, 2012 the ¾% Income Tax, Option A – passed – all voting yes. (Ord. 560-11)

Top Ohio conservative blogs

From The Daily Bellweather:

The selection process was designed not to be transparent. It consisted of The Daily Bellwether calling and e-mailing a select group of 35 politicos, journalists, academics and others who pay close attention to public affairs and policy in Ohio. The prime directive: A blog had to consistently generate musings and material from the right side of the spectrum; it had to be red. The selectors recommended candidates and a consensus was developed. The proceedings were kept entirely secret. Opinions came in from all regions of the state and from as far away as California and Washington D.C. A cross-section of ideology and political philosophy was represented on the selection panel, whose identities will not be revealed.

Yours truly was listed as #2, just behind Bizzy Blog written by Tom Blumer. Being second to Tom is no shame whatsoever as he consistently rates in my top five of Ohio bloggers.

So to the unknown panelists - thanks!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Toledo's 3/4% payroll income tax to be on March ballot

Toledo City Council today decided to place the renewal of the 3/4% payroll income tax on the ballot for the March 2012 primary election. It was a unanimous vote.

As I predicted, they decided to keep the current allocation of the revenue from the tax the same as it today, including the ability of council to divert the allocation to the Capital Improvement Plan funds (CIP) to the general fund as needed.

The allocation on the ballot for another renewal will be:

* 1/3 to police and fire;
* 1/3 to the general fund; and
* 1/3 to the Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) fund with the ability to transfer any of this amount, with approval of council, to the general fund based upon financial need.

I'll have Sherry's notes from today's meeting posted tomorrow morning.

Sobecki can't run for county recorder and keep her county job

Lisa Sobecki is currently an employee at the Lucas County Department of Job and Family Services. Her title is Casework Aide and it is in the bargaining unit. It is also in the classified civil service.

Her employment is not an issue, unless she decides to run for partisan political office - which she apparently has decided to do.

As I've previously written, Ohio law prohibits employees in the classified civil service from participation in partisan political activity. Ohio Revised Code 124.57 states, emphasis added:

(A) No officer or employee in the classified service of the state, the several counties, cities, and city school districts of the state, or the civil service townships of the state shall directly or indirectly, orally or by letter, solicit or receive, or be in any manner concerned in soliciting or receiving, any assessment, subscription, or contribution for any political party or for any candidate for public office; nor shall any person solicit directly or indirectly, orally or by letter, or be in any manner concerned in soliciting, any such assessment, contribution, or payment from any officer or employee in the classified service of the state , the several counties, cities, or city school districts of the state, or the civil service townships of the state; nor shall any officer or employee in the classified service of the state, the several counties, cities, and city school districts of the state, or the civil service townships of the state be an officer in any political organization or take part in politics other than to vote as the officer or employee pleases and to express freely political opinions.

This means that, as a county employee, she cannot seek office in a partisan election and keep her job.

But just in case there is any doubt, the Ohio Administrative Code provides further clarification. According to OAC 123:1-46-02 Political activity of employees in the classified service (emphasis added):

(C) The following activities are prohibited to employees in the classified service:

(1) Candidacy for public office in a partisan election;

(2) Candidacy for public office in a nonpartisan general election if the nomination to candidacy was obtained in a partisan primary or through the circulation of nominating petitions identified with a political party;

(3) Filing of petitions meeting statutory requirements for partisan candidacy to elective office;

(4) Circulation of official nominating petitions for any candidate participating in a partisan election;

(5) Service in an elected or appointed office in any partisan political organization;

(6) Acceptance of a party-sponsored appointment to any office normally filled by partisan election;

(7) Campaigning by writing for publications, by distributing political material, or by writing or making speeches on behalf of a candidate for partisan elective office, when such activities are directed toward party success;

(8) Solicitation, either directly or indirectly, of any assessment, contribution or subscription, either monetary or in-kind, for any political party or political candidate;

(9) Solicitation of the sale, or actual sale, of political party tickets;

(10) Partisan activities at the election polls, such as solicitation of votes for other than nonpartisan candidates and nonpartisan issues;

(11) Service as, witness or challenger, for any party or partisan committee;

(12) Participation in political caucuses of a partisan nature; and

(13) Participation in a political action committee which supports partisan activity.

According to a report in the local paper, Sobecki has taken out petitions to run in the partisan March 2012 primary for County Recorder, so she is already in violation of state law.

The OAC also details the penalty for violation of this section:

(D) An employee in the classified service who engages in any of the activities listed in paragraphs (C)(1) to (C)(13) of this rule is subject to removal from his or her position in the classified service. The appointing authority may initiate such removal action in accordance with the procedures in section 124.34 of the Revised Code.

Additionally, a 2009 opinion from the Hardin County Prosecutor states:

A classified employee who participates in partisan political activity may further as well be prosecuted under O.R.C. 124.62. A conviction under 124.62 renders the position of the employee vacant by virtue of such conviction.

The law is clear and so is the task before the County Commissioners. They should immediately bring charges against Sobecki for violation of ORC 124.57 and she should be terminated if she chooses to continue to seek partisan political office.

Report: Ohio pensions 'hanging by a thread'

Press Release from Buckeye Institute - note that there is a new Retirement Comparison tool featured on their website which allows you to compare your potential retirement to those of public employees. As the release says, you "will be shocked."

Buckeye Institute Releases "Hanging by a Thread" Report on Ohio Pensions and a New "Pensions 101" Website

COLUMBUS - Today, the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions released another groundbreaking report focusing on Ohio's five government defined benefit pension systems. The report, titled "Hanging By a Thread: Big Payouts and Promises Leave Ohio Pension Plans on the Brink of Collapse--or a Massive Bailout" highlights the dire shape of each of the pensions and offers several options for reform that would prevent Ohio taxpayers from being forced to foot the bill for expensive bailouts of an unsustainable system.

The study finds that the combined unfunded liabilities from all of Ohio's pension systems have reached over $66 billion in 2010. That's $5,725.82 owed by every Ohioan and 118 percent of Ohio's biennial budget. Overall, Ohio's pension funds are only 67 percent funded, leaving only 67 cents of assets to pay for every one dollar of liabilities.

Several funds have seen double digit increases in the size of their retiree pension pools over the past decade. Further, monthly pension benefits for career employees also have increased over the past decade anywhere from 12 to over 40 percent.

"The numbers do not lie, there is no way that the current structure of Ohio's pensions is sustainable," said report author Adam Schwiebert. "Should the pensions not earn their assumed 8 percent rate of return, which seems increasingly likely given current global events, taxpayers will inevitably be asked to pick up the difference."

The report concludes by arguing that minimal reform will at best earn a temporary reprieve and that real reform would entail shifting from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans similar to the 401(k)s that are almost exclusively what is available in the private sector.

Along with the report, the Buckeye Institute is launching a dedicated website page, "Pensions 101," aimed at providing Ohioans with a compilation of information concerning Ohio's government pensions and their potential cost to taxpayers.

Included on this page is another innovative Buckeye Institute tool--the Retirement Comparison tool. This simple, but powerful, tool allows users to see the amount of cash they already need today and the amount of cash they will need at age 60 to fund the yearly retirement they'd like to have. To put these figures in perspective, data on the average yearly pension paid by the five government pensions to career retirees, as well as the total payout government retirees could receive over their retirement, is also provided.

"When taxpayers realize exactly what kind of benefits they are on the hook guaranteeing for government workers, they will be shocked," stated Buckeye Institute President, Matt Mayer. "Government workers should have solid retirements; they should not be retiring before the vast majority of private sector workers while getting benefits that far eclipse what the average private sector worker can expect."


Toledo Council to consider two proposals for 3/4% payroll income tax renewal

Toledo City Council will hold a special meeting today to consider Mayor Mike Bell's request to place the renewal of the 3/4% payroll income tax on the March ballot.

Council must act on this in order to make the Board of Election deadline for the March ballot.

According to information from the city, it appears that there are two proposals they will discuss:

Proposal A would impose the temporary (since 1982!) tax from 2013 through 2016, with the proceeds being split as is currently done:

* 1/3 to police and fire;
* 1/3 to the general fund; and
* 1/3 to the Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) fund with the ability to transfer any of this amount, with approval of council, to the general fund based upon financial need.

Proposal B would also be for the years 2013 through 2016, but would have a different allocation - the one the Mayor requested last week:

* 1/2 to police and fire;
* 1/3 to the general fund; and
* 1/6 to the CIP.

I don't believe I need to go on another rant about how the city and its politicians have treated this temporary tax as a permanent source of funding and have continued to rely upon it for meeting every day needs. Nor do I need to again rail against them for sacrificing our long-terms needs (like roads and infrastructure) by diverting CIP funds into the general fund to cover spending beyond our means. Anyone who reads this blog clearly knows my position on those two aspects, so just consider them repeated.

In looking at the two proposals, B could be better for the taxpayers while A is better for the politicians.

With Proposal B, the CIP is still reduced through the diversion of funds to every day expenses, albeit directly for police and fire. However, the costs of police and fire are unsustainable contractually and just giving the city more money to meet the contractual obligations doesn't move us toward addressing the fact that they will always require more. The failure of Ohio Issue 2, which would have modified Ohio's collective bargaining law, means some of the fixes that could have been employed by the city are no longer available.

Now, I realize that the unions are not solely - or perhaps even mostly - to blame for the contractual issues we face; the politicians who voted for the contracts are the ones who earn the most disdain for that situation. But, as Dan Wagner, president of the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association once told me, his union would rather have layoffs for some than incorporate concessions for all, choosing to maintain higher levels of benefits, pay, and pensions and sacrifice the newer employees and the overall safety of the community. Wagner wasn't proud of this fact, but he was honest enough to admit it.

That attitude isn't unusual or even rare. The community would suffer with layoffs, but the union members who remain would still have unsustainable terms in their contracts, leading to a vicious downward spiral as costs continue to increase and layoffs continue to result.

As voters look at costs in the four years of the renewal term, Proposal B limiting the amount of money the city can transfer out of the CIP will at least guarantee some sort of funding for roads, infrastructure and other capital items, even if it is only 1/6 of what is collected.

Proposal A, on the other hand, looks better for the politicians. Under these terms, the same as we have now, there is no limit to how much the city can take out of CIP. This gives council the ability to divert some - or all - of the funds collected to whatever they want, including police and fire.

Proposal A gives the city the same ability as Proposal B, plus some. And since the diverted money can be targeted to whatever council may desire, police and fire can be the recipients.

If I had to predict, I'd say that council with go with Proposal A for two reasons: it gives them unlimited ability to divert funds as needed and it's the same as what is already allowed, resulting in the ability to 'sell' the renewal as no change, just a continuation of what already exists.

But Mayor Bell may have a better handle on the feelings of the voters and on the growing concern that long-term needs of the city will suffer considerably if diversion of CIP funds continues.

Perhaps he also believes the renewal is at risk. Bell has already said that he wants it on the March primary ballot specifically so he has both the summer and the November general elections as backups for passage should it fail in March. In effect, he wants at least three tries at getting voter approval, just in case voters would rather keep those funds for themselves.

He may be correct in his assessment that the renewal is at risk. Voters have had enough of politicians threatening them with doom and gloom of no police and no fire protection unless they get more money. In this year's November election, voters rejected roughly half of the 180 school issues on the ballot across the state - including simple renewals.

The economy has a lot to do with the voter discontent, though that is not entirely to blame. When the city spends time, effort and money creating a 19-member board to address recreational opportunities while facing a multi-million-dollar deficit, voters aren't too reassured that their limited tax dollars are being spent wisely.

In the end, though, this is still Toledo ... and it appears we have a voting populace who never met a tax it didn't like.
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