The City of Toledo is facing a $27.7 million deficit. The mayor is talking about laying off police officers, cutting salaries by 10% and voiding all labor contracts.
But we've somehow got enough money for an Easter Egg Hunt????
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 2, 2009
City of Toledo Sponsors Two Saturday Events
The City of Toledo's 2009 EGG XTRAVAGANZA will be held this Saturday, April 4 from 1 - 3 p.m. at the Liz Person Open Air Shelter at Ottawa Park (2200 Kenwood Blvd.). This free, family-oriented event will feature an Easter egg hunt, face painting, arts & crafts, and a special visit from the Easter Bunny. EGG XTRAVAGANZA is sponsored by the City of Toledo Department of Neighborhoods, Division of Recreation. For more information, call 419-936-2700.
Now I realize that the money saved by not doing the Egg Xtravaganza (notice we didn't use the religious term of 'Easter') is not going to solve the deficit problem, but this is indicative of the lack of proper priorities for city spending.
Each program like this that 'only' costs a small amount, adds up to huge expenses over the years and contributes to the financial condition Toledo now faces. Spending on these items in spite of the looming catastrophe that is the General Fund is part of the problem.
And don't even get me started on 'quality of life.' No one's overall quality of life is going to be negatively impacted if a small number of kids don't have a city-sponsored egg to find. In fact, quality of life for all Toledoans would be greatly enhanced if the city spending priorities were directed toward the necessities of government, rather than these feel-good distractions.
The 2009 approved budget for the Recreation Department is $999,395.32 (pages 127-129). Given a choice, I'd pick police officers over 'recreation' any day.
So when council and the mayor tell us they've got nowhere else to cut and then we see these kinds of expenditures, we know they are lying through their teeth.