Thursday, November 07, 2013

Mayoral transition stories hint at bad things to come

Mayor-elect D. Michael Collins 
In looking online at The Blade, I had three important observations I want to share.

The first one deals with the editorial, "Mayor Collins His challenge is to persuade jaded Toledoans that city government can be a vital, positive force in their lives"

As editorials go, it's not bad, though it is the usual Blade telling their endorsed candidate what to do, which is a really a warning should he not follow their instructions.

No, the problem is the premise in the headline that city government can - and should - be a "vital, positive force" in our lives.

Government is not supposed to be any such thing. Governments exist to protect our individual rights. We grant them the opportunity to serve us as we see fit, giving them the authority to provide essential services like road repair, sewers, police and fire which we'd have a hard time doing alone (though when it comes to police, even that is changing).

Government should be seen as a necessary evil - something that must constantly be watched and guarded against lest it becomes too powerful and infringes upon our individual rights and freedom. It should be the last option - not the first choice - when there is a need.

Sadly, both the local paper and too many citizens don't understand this concept, which is probably why the city is stuck on stupid.

The second one deals with the 3/4% payroll income tax which Mayor D. Michael Collins wants to make permanent.

Since the 1980s, Toledo voters have approved this 'temporary' tax every four years. We've granted city council the ability to divert money from the original stated purposes and now use it to fund police, fire, capital improvements ... and yearly deficits.

We like the fact that we have a say every four years for it keeps a level of accountability present in how the city uses the money. If they don't use it properly, we'll take it away from them.

But like so many other things, a temporary solution was relied upon for every-day functions and the city never really makes any attempt to live without it, threatening us with doom and gloom if we fail to continue to grant it to them.

Collins wants to reduce it slightly, but make it a permanent tax. He said "growth in the economy would offset the loss and that Toledo would benefit from the positive signal the reduction would send to the business community." This just demonstrates his ignorance of the business community - and the economy.

Most people won't notice a reduction from 2.25% to 2.2% and business owners know that. The tax isn't paid by the businesses, but by the employees they hire and pay. And he has not mentioned, as far as I can tell, the impact that H.B.5, a revamp of municipal income taxes pending in the House, might have on the city or his plan.

Think about it: we're talking a $15 reduction for a $30,000 salary or a $12.50 reduction on a $25,000 salary. That's not a lot of economic growth when prices are rising.

But Toledoans will probably fall for it. Yes, stuck-on-stupid comes to mind.

The last thing is this quote from the same article:

“I plan to reach out to Dashing Pacific Group through the Regional Growth Partnership and help them develop a plan for the Marina District,” Mr. Collins said.

Did he not see the TV ads? Put out by a Toledoans for Working Families with a Columbus contact - not the Collins campaign - they portrayed a Chinese flag and said “Mike Bell cares more about creating jobs in China than he does here in Toledo.” They also said he sold the Marina District to Chinese investor Dashing Pacific Group Ltd. “for chump change.”

The ad was a direct attack on Dashing Pacific, something that the Chinese culture does not take kindly to. And since Collins refused to repudiate the ads, it's likely he will be seen as complicit.

If this were you, how receptive would you be to any outreach?

Then there is the arrogance - something Collins is well-known for. He wants to help them develop a plan for the property. How does he know there isn't one already or that he is better qualified than them to do so?

These three items are just a mere indication of what is to come - and it doesn't bode well for Toledo.

1 comment:

Roland Hansen said...

Well, Toledo does have (via voter approval) the "strong Mayor" form of government.

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