There's been a lot of discussion in our area and on line about City of Toledo spending - specially in light of the new garbage tax (which is going into the general fund and not dedicated solely to garbage service) and the comment by many city council members, including the Republicans, that there wasn't any where else to cut the budget.
Originally, the city was going to start collecting the tax on May 1st, with an estimated revenue of $2,916,000 for the year. However, our mayor decided to start collecting the tax the date it was approved by council - April 2nd - which means that the city is going to get an estimated $364,500 MORE revenue than originally projected.
Of course, that means another $364,500 of spending that the city can make...
So, since the City is getting more of our money than anticipated and because they said there was no unnecessary spending in the budget, I thought I'd start tracking their spending. (See list on left column.)
I will be listing all expenditures that are, in my opinion, UNNECESSARY. The tracking of such spending is not a reflection on any group or organization that is the recipient of such funding - merely a reflection of how far our local government has come away from fulfilling its statutory duties and how costly such spending can be. And many people will say that such recipients deserve such funding ... my point is that council should be prioritizing the spending and not raising our taxes so that government can do 'nice' things to the detriment of doing 'statutory' things.
My source for these expenditures will be the Toledo City Journal which is the official city record of ordinances approved by City Council.
To start off:
* City Council spent $25,000 to the LCIC (Lucas County Improvement Corporation) despite the mayor's position that the city already has an economic development department and is providing staff support for the organization.
* $15,000 to the MetroParks to provide educational nature programs at the Ottawa Park Nature Education Center.
Or these which are on the agenda for today: (note - corrected as previous post wrongly indicated that the $43,000 had already been voted on)
* $43,000 for the design, hosting and maintenance of the city's website. (Now, the city needs a website and hosting for it, but already has a person on staff who's supposed to be working on design.)
* $39,900 for gateway beautification - meaning flowers at the entranceways to our city.
UPDATE: The $39,900 was approved by City Council and has been added to the running total in the left column.
If you are aware of any general fund spending that should be included, please let me know and I'll add it to the list.