Sunday, April 02, 2006

I'm Not Now, Nor Have I Ever Been...

..."Johnny Hildo" - the political ghostwriter at The Toledo City Paper. Nor am I aware of who actually is writing under the moniker. I understand the rumors have been rampant in some quarters.

Rapid Changes Ahead

An interesting story in Sunday's New York Times about politics and the Internet.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

2006 Budget

Alot to catch up on...voted against the budget today in short, because it's a budget that makes us less competitive as a community, increases assessments on property tax bills, and cuts law enforcement too deeply (the fund we use to purchase new police cars goes down from $744,000 to $344,000. My amendment would have added another $150,000, as well as reduced by $200,000 the $500,000 cut to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, who's budget is only about $3 million to begin with and provides instant background checks for law enforcement and judges, among other essential public safety services.)

I'd have also cut back on new, non-police & fire positions and added $400,000 dollars to a jobs & economic development incentive fund and added money to purchase a new fire truck. My amendment would also have ended the $150,000 operating subsidy to the Erie St. Market. The two private enterprises are doing well at ESM - the government managed retail has underperformed, to say the least.

The killer was the increase in assessments. Its complicated, but essentially I'd have frozen '06 at the 2005 level (about $24 million) - instead, it goes up to about $28 million in 2006. The '06 increases will show up on property tax bills in 2008. I also introduced a resolution asking the Administration to begin working with the Board of Elections on establishing an election for voters to approve or disapprove any increases in assessments on their property tax bills. With the Republican majority controlling Toledo City Council finally, you'd have thought they'd join some of us Democrats in saying enough is enough to increasing tax bills.