Why is it that we must continue to pay high taxes in order to preserve 'public services'?
When we, as individuals, are strapped for cash, we start cutting back. When was the last time you actually saw government 'cut back'? And I don't mean by delaying pay increases or reducing certain types of service. I mean seriously cutting?
Over the last 20 years, numerous companies have restructured, laid off employees, reorganized, etc... Do you recall our local government ever doing anything like that? I don't!
The City of Toledo's Development office has three development specialists, a senior development specialist, a real estate specialist, a manager of real estate, an administrator-finances/project compliance, and a commissioner. That's an eight-person department in addition to the Lucas County Improvement Corporation, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and the Regional Growth Partnership - all of whom do economic development.
And does the mayor really need all these 'assistants' and staff?
Mayor's Office Robert Reinbolt Chief of Staff
Mayor's Office David Moebius Assistant Chief of Staff/Safety Director
Mayor's Office Thomas Kroma Assistant Chief of Staff
Mayor's Office Brian Schwartz Executive Assistant to the Mayor
Mayor's Office Barbara Sperr Administrative Assistant to the Mayor
Mayor's Office Pam Knight Administrative Assistant to the COS
Mayor's Office Carmen Watkins Secretary
Mayor's Office Lesa James Secretary
Mayor's Office Claudia Mitchell Mayor's Assistant
Mayor's Office Ryan Reiter Mayor's Assistant
Mayor's Office Katerina Bekyarska Mayor's Assistant
Mayor's Office Nicole Adler Receptionist
Mayor's Office Sarah Velliquette
How many supervisors, superintendents, managers, commissioners and directors does one city really need? Does the city really need a public Youth Commission? Isn't this something that the numerous youth organizations in the city can be responsible for?
How about an Arts Commission - do we need to take limited tax revenues to pay for public art? What about the Mayor's Commission on Disabilities? Is it really the role of city government to:
* promote the value of diversity, dignity and the quality of life for people with disabilities.
* assure that people with disabilities receive services and other assistance and opportunities they need to achieve their maximum potential through increased independence, productivity, and integration into the community.
How much could the city save by eliminating all but the most basic of services?
Such elimination would certainly result in cries and moans from various groups who believe that such government departments are a necessity. But many of these tasks are done to cater to special interests - not to meet the basic government service requirements. And many of these departments might be nice, but with dwindling tax revenues, extremely tough local economic conditions and the corresponding limited funds available to residents, they do not constitute a priority for the city as a whole.
So why must we forever be expected to continue to fund government in spite of our own decreasing incomes? That's a question I'd love to have our Mayor and City Council members answer - especially when it comes to the vote on the 3/4% payroll income tax.
Think any of them would actually answer - or would tap dance music be required?