Perhaps Toledo Mayor Mike Bell doesn't want the new, 10-year parks and recreation levy to pass after all. If he did, why would he jeopardize the plea for a new property tax by proving the city doesn't really need the money after all?
How did he prove it?
He just gave raises to 55 of his administrators - and they total $295,000 a year!
If the city has the money to give raises of nearly a third of a million dollars, surely they don't need any more tax money from us to pay for parks and recreation - right?
And this is after Toledo City Council refused to increase the pay ranges of many of these same employee, claiming there was no need to increase the range when the individuals holding the jobs were not at the top of the existing range. At that time, Bell told council he wasn't going to be giving wholesale pay increases.
Apparently, he changed his mind. The Blade reports:
The raises include all three deputy mayors — Steve Herwat and Shirley Green, whose salaries increase from $90,002 to $92,500, and Paul Syring, whose salary increases from $85,001 to $92,500.
Not surprisingly, he blames Council for not following his lead to "comprehensively update Executive Exempt pay ranges."
The worst part is Democrat Joe McNamara's response, as reported by the paper:
Council President Joe McNamara said the mayor should concentrate on raising the “economic positions” of Toledo’s residents. The increases will cost the city $62,000 through Dec. 31.
“I think the tone of the mayor’s letter is out of touch with the lives of most Toledoans who would be thrilled to be making $92,500,” he said. “He has the authority to do it. The fact that he did it shows one of the reasons why council was so concerned about giving the latitude to do 20 percent [pay-range increases], because he pretty much maxed out everybody.”
Really? If McNamara was so worried about "raising the 'economic positions' of Toledo's residents," why did he vote to put a brand new, 10-year property tax levy on the ballot?!?
That's not going to do anything but bring DOWN the economic position of Toledo's residents.
Hypocrisy thy name is Joe McNamara!
Then there is Republican George Sarantou, chairman of the council finance committee:
Councilman George Sarantou said the Bell administration has a plan to pay for the increases this year.
“They said this has already been budgeted by virtue of the fact that it was announced [Tuesday] that they are expecting a $900,000 surplus that they will carry over to 2013,” Mr. Sarantou.
Now the city has a budget surplus? I thought they had no money to pay for parks and recreation?!?
And how did we get this surplus? Did we NOT raid the CIP fund as they planned? Did they repay the advance they took on the CIP when the casino didn't open in time?
Have they thought that maybe reimbursing the $50 million or so they previously raided from the CIP might be a bigger priority to citizens than "valuing" administrators that have better pensions, vacation time, holidays and pay than they do?
This definitely earns a "stuck-on-stupid" designation!
This is insanity and just proves that no matter how much money you give to politicians, they will spend it and continue to ask for more.
Vote NO on Toledo Issue 5!