I'm not happy with some of the things being said about cuts or the additional taxation being suggesting, but I am very pleased to see the outreach Mayor Bell is doing - with both the community and the media.
As I finished the show last night, I encouraged everyone to call (419-245-1001) or write the Mayor and let him know what YOUR priorities are for the budget. Please don't call and tell him what NOT to cut - every group out there will tell him not to cut their pet project or funding line item. But he wants your input and, as citizens, we are obligated to provide it.
Now there's an easy way for you to provide direction to city officials: The Future of Toledo. (H/T Chris Myers at SwampBubbles)
From the website:
In order to stay in control of our city and avoid bankruptcy, we will balance our budget. To do this, we are bringing together citizens, leaders, experts, and stakeholder groups. Our task is to review the current deficit, innovate "out-of-the-box" solutions, and prepare a budget proposal by March 1st. Review the information below, provide your input, and join us in getting our city healthy so that we can move from problems to possibilities.
1. READ Mayor Bell's letter.
2. VOTE on 50+ Budget Balancing Ideas worth over $25m.
3. CONTRIBUTE your Budget Balancing Ideas. Tell us what you think.
4. LEARN more about the budget process.
5. INVITE download the flyer and share with everyone.
(links are provided with each of the numbered items)
Most importantly, they have budget balancing ideas you can vote on and information about the budget process. They also have a Facebook page and Twitter account you can join.
I hope you'll all take advantage of this wonderful opportunity!
We talked to Michael Maurer of the Ohio Citizens Accounting Standards Board about their April 15th Project to put checkbook and wages of all major taxing jurisdictions, including schools, on line.
Since TPS wants more money from us, it's our responsibility to educate ourselves about their finances.