Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Failed logic on Issue 5 from Toledo politicians

I just received a press release from Mayor Mike Bell:

Bell To Urge Support for Issue 5
Ballot Initiative Will Help Reduce Garbage Fee

Mayor Michael P. Bell will hold a press conference this afternoon, Tuesday, April 27 at 3:30 p.m. outside of Council Chambers encouraging voters to support Issue 5 on the May ballot. He will also announce the 2010 capital program which includes 87 lane miles of street resurfacing.

What: Mayor Bell Urges Support for Issue 5

When: Tuesday, April 27, 2010
3:30 p.m.

Where: One Government Center
Outside Council Chambers


This is the second time a Toledo politician has said that voters should support a transfer of capital funds (CIP) into the daily operating (general) fund in order to reduce the garbage tax.

What the politicians fail to point out is that they just raised the garbage tax!

My trash tax went from $1 per month to $15 per month. That's a 1400% increase!

So they've raised our taxes and then tell us that if we allow them to take money away from our long-term needs (like roads and infrastructure), they'll reduce that tax. Now, they'll only reduce it to $8.50 per month for people like me who recycle. That's still a 750% increase, but I'm supposed to be so grateful that I'll make a decision to sacrifice my long-term needs for a short-term reduction.

Of course, there's no promise whatsoever that after they deplete the CIP account they won't turn again to the garbage tax to provide income to cover their daily operating costs.

In fact, much of the money they'll move into the general fund if Issue 5 passes will go directly to the unions for the 'concessions' they made. Under the terms of the concessions, if Issue 5 passes, the unions will get reimbursed for the items they gave up.

I cannot be more clear about our situation: it is unsustainable! We have costs that far outweigh the income and these 'temporary' solutions do not solve the problem - merely postpone it.

It is short-sighted and we need to tell them all NO! on Issue 5. Our elected officials need to make the same difficult decisions we're all making in our daily lives and start cutting out non-mandatory things. Then they need to go through the Toledo Municipal Code and start repealing ordinances that present a drain on the city finances. If they instituted a board or commission by ordinance and then funded it, they can repeal the ordinance and de-fund it.

I cannot afford $180 a year which is what we're currently paying. I also cannot afford $102 a year (if Issue 5 passes) AND the yearly costs of re-aligning two vehicles because our roads are so bad, not to mention paying so that employees of the city can get their portion of their pension contribution covered by me. That money should be going into my own personal 401(k) which doesn't have an 'employer' portion since I'm self-employed.

I suspect many of you can't afford this either.

Government has got to get its costs in line - and they won't do that if we keep giving them money to continue their current practices.

1 comment:

navyvet said...

I live in a nice neighborhood, but my street is something else...potholes....pop "up" continuosly....once in a while cold patch is dropped in the hole...very temporary...but that is the city's way of taking care of a problem.....a waste of time.

Now, they want to reduce the CIP to make things better....

When will we wake up?

Google Analytics Alternative