Friday, January 14, 2011

Toledo's 2011 budget

What have you heard? What does it look like? Did we have a deficit in 2010? Are we looking at cuts for 2011? Where are any cuts going to come from? What meetings has Toledo City Council held on the subject?

Are you as clueless about this as the rest of us? Are we on track to passing a final operating budget by January 31, 2011?

The mayor released his proposed budget in November as required by law.

At that time, we learned we will have a deficit to address for 2011, partly because the 2010 budget was 'balanced' by deferring overtime payments and pay increases to 2011. So, despite the fact that we are not anticipating any significant increase in income in 2011, we're going to have to pay for items from 2010 on top of the items already in the budget for 2011.

There are many questions to be asked about our budget this year. I want to know what revenue items from 2010 failed to meet their projections. We know the city 'balanced' the budget with projected income from the sale of city property. Did we sell everything we planned to - and at the price we estimated? What about the projected income from sale of property in 2011? Are any of these properties the same ones that didn't sell in 2010?

Will the city stop the practice of pushing costs into the next year where they just keep accumulating without any plan for paying them?

Will council members stop spending on unnecessary things (like helping pay for the cost of the Symphony to go to Carnegie Hall) in order to have a budget that fits a realistic expectation of our income?

Will our income projections be realistic?

I'm waiting to hear when council will hold meetings on the matter. You'd think they've have them scheduled considering that we must pass our 'balanced' budget by March 31st.

If I hear anything, I'll let you know.

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