Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stimulating The Economy, Reducing The Deficit... The Private Sector Solution

What we know:
· 20 years ago, corporate executives earned 40 times the wage of the average wage earner.
· Today, corporate executives earn 400 times the wages of the average wage earner.
· 20 years ago, corporations offered full medical benefit packages to their employees with no co-pay or employee cost.
· Today, if a corporation offers medical benefits, the average wage earner pays as much as $400 per month plus co-pays for doctor visits and prescriptions.
· 20 years ago, corporations offered pension plans as a benefit to the employee.
· Today, corporations are eliminating pension plans.
· Today, corporations are granting 20% and higher pay increases to their executives while the average wage earner pay remains stagnant.
· The Federal deficit is $14 trillion and growing.
· Federal revenue has declined since the 2008 recession which is creating a call to cut social programs, i.e. Social Security, Medicare, etc. at a time when Corporations move away from offering pensions and health benefits.
· The American worker is being squeezed both in terms of pay levels and benefits.
With this in mind, it is believed revenue to the Federal government must be increased to cut the deficit and sustain a healthy budget. Tax rate increases are the option being discussed as the Federal government has more of a revenue problem then a spending problem. Corporations can take part in the solution to this problem by giving an immediate pay increase of 20% to every wage earner they employee instead of to the Corporate executive. By doing so it would resolve the following:
· With more income to spend, employees would be stimulated with a demand for goods beyond anything seen in the past 20 years. This demand would stimulate manufacturing, new housing starts, home purchases, retail sales, etc. as wage earners enjoy greater expendable income.
· This would elevate wages for the lower income workers who would enter tax brackets requiring them to pay income tax.
· The average wage earner would pay more income taxes based on the increased wages.
· With the increased tax revenue attained from the higher employee wages, there would be enough revenue to pay for our social programs, cut the deficit and balance the Federal budget.
A Call to Action:
Companies can make an investment in their future by immediately giving a 20% pay increase to their employees. This will immediately stimulate the economy, it will put billions of dollars into the market, it will increase demand for goods and services that will increase demand for output and a need for new employees. This pay increase program will have a direct positive effect on the P&L of corporations, improve the health of the nation, improve the morale of the employee and reduce the need for tax rate increases.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

George Sarantou for County Commissioner

As a business owner and financial consultant in Toledo for many years, George understands the needs of the businessman and the need for sense in managing the funds of the county. He has demonstrated great ability to work across political lines and has remained effective on City Council. He is deliberate in is decisions and approaches problems with finesse and thorough analysis before reaching a conclusion. It would be a loss to Toledo City Council should George be elected County Commissioner, but we need to end the nonsense we experience in the Commissioner’s office with a person who has demonstrated his ability as a statesman who more concerned with the welfare of the community than his achievements as a politician.

Tom Waniewski for State Senate

Our State Government has spent years addressing social issues but what we need now is a dynamic statesman who has the experience in business to push our State Government in the direction of business building. Tom has been that voice on City Council during his tenure and has done so with a creative, consensus-building attitude with quiet resolve and imaginative compromise. This is exactly the type of leadership we need representing us at the State level. Tom goes beyond being a “politician”, rather he is as close to a “statesman” as we have had the privilege of electing in recent years. Though his leadership and sensible approach on City Council will be greatly missed, it is exactly what we need representing us in Columbus.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

LUCAS COUNTY AUDITOR - THE BLADE HAS THROWN US UNDER THE BUS

The Blade has thrown the residents of Toledo under the bus with their endorsement of Kaczala for Lucas County Auditor. During the reign of the Kaczalas in the Lucas County Auditors office, in 1998 a Blade Editorial commented, “So extensive is the nepotism, so pervasive in Larry Kaczala’s domain is the hiring of friends, relatives of friends, and in-laws, that every week is old-home week… The stink emanating from the auditor’s office is of government jobs being doled out as favors and paybacks to family and Republican insiders. … No wonder minority employment is so low there.”

When Kaczala was defeated in 2006, the transition was stymied by his demand that his wife, the current Republican Candidate, and his brother-in-law be guaranteed continued positions in the office. When Lopez stated, “she will not make deals to ensure staff are guaranteed positions”, the Kaczala response was "She can have the keys March 13”, (Blade article 1/9/07). Rather than assist in the transition, the Kaczalas unionized the 20 mid-management employees to protect employee jobs; hired additional relatives to temporary positions; and granted pay increases. This took place after the election between December 2006 and March 2007.

Quoted from the Blade endorsement 10/4/10, “Ms. Kaczala has a deep knowledge of the auditor’s office; she worked there for more than two decades”. But when it was time for the transition of the office beginning March 13, 2007, Ms.Kaczala refused to report to work to use her expertise to the benefit of the residents of Toledo to assist in a smooth transition. And, finally, after a couple weeks of absence, left a voice mail message that she quit.

These actions were vindictive, unprofessional and harmful to the residents of Toledo. A person who considers herself an integral member of the office has a responsibility to assist in any way to transition the staff and help maintain consistency rather than unceremoniously desert her position. It speaks poorly of her character and work ethic.

Toledo deserves better. In the two years since Lopez took office, fiscal and administrative responsibility and management have improved and we have witnessed the transition of the Lucas County Auditor’s office from a hostile environment to a advocate for citizen’s rights.

For supporting reference material go to: Lucas County Auditor Info

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Trashing Toledo over Trash Collection

The previous Mayor and the current Mayor are trashing Toledo over trash collection, we have been under siege for 5 years and it is reaching of level of ridiculous. Here are the travails of Toledo trash as it has evolved:

Former Mayor:
· Eliminated recycle programs, as they were expensive and useless.
· Fined if trash put to the line before 7:00 p.m. (he thought it unattractive)
· Pick ups moved from alleys to streets (alleys were too cluttered but he would not clean them)
· Collection routes consolidated, employees cut
· "Leap forward" program initiated to eliminate Saturday pick ups after holidays
· Automated trash collection equipment purchased to replace old, antiquated trucks and further reduce crews. Now one-man crews rather than 3 man crews
· 2007 added trash "fee" in budget
· Council approved the "fee".
· Extolled the fee as a way to increase recycling from residents.
· Extolled the fee as a way to maintain our "Cadillac service"
· 2008, Council moved the "fee" from the budget to an ordinance.
Current Mayor
· Raised the refuse "fee" to bump up the general fund coffers
· Council approved the increase.
· Said he would discard "Leap forward" program, too confusing, but has not, we continue to live with color coded calendars.
· Residents must call for bulk pick up (24 hours in advance changed to 72 hours notice,)
· Proposed change to bulk pick up per quarter only, $50 fee for additional
· No longer pick up bulk trash from evictions sites.
· Proposed $300 fine for overfilling refuse bins
· Allow residents to purchase another bin for $75; however may incur an additional fee for pick up.
· Proposed a fine if a resident says they recycle but they do not

Since passage of the trash "fee", the amount of the fee has been a moving target adjusted to reconcile a bloated general budget, which is out of control. These are the expenditures for trash in years 2004 through 2008:
· $10,324,386/ 2004 Expenditure
· $10,840,653/ 2005 Expenditure
· $11,348,331/ 2006 Expenditure
· $11,716,547/ 2007 Expenditure
· $11,348,181/ 2008 Budget

Where is the justification for the fees charged for trash in addition to the income taxes paid into the general fund? Resolve the budget, not with more taxes, fees and fines; but through hard decisions, which must be made. The current direction of this Administration as with the previous Administration is trashing Toledo over trash collection.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Class Action - Take Action

Contact Common Pleas Court and let them know you believe 100,000 residences being billed for the trash tax should be included in the lawsuit... just let them know..
Common Pleas Phone # is: 419-213-4484
CASE: G -4801 -CI -200802348-000
For questions contact:
Scott Ciolek, Attorney, 419-491-7270

Citizen Advisory - Trash Tax and Class Action

There are two issues regarding the refuse fee and this Citizen’s Advisory is an alert to all residents of Toledo who pay the fee. It is to address the request for class action, which was denied once, but will be heard again by the Common Pleas Court. Would you want to be included if the “fee” is determined to be illegal?

Let me start with some numbers:

* $28,000,000 – revenue received or projected from the Trash Tax in 3.5 years
* 100,000 –approximate number of residences being bill quarterly for the Trash tax.
* 122 – number of residents identified who protested the fee to the Dept. of Public Utilities.
* 50 – number of protest letters the City can find.
* 1 – number of persons included at this point by Common Pleas Court in the class action.

Let’s say a robber robbed a bank and got away to ½ a million dollars. As he flees the scene, a local citizen stops the thief who is then arrested and the money is recovered. Now the citizen had a checking account with the bank with $500 in it, and the courts tell him, you get your money back because you caught the thief, but the other 5000 investors whose money was stolen… they don’t get their money back because they didn’t catch the thief, in fact, the thief gets to keep the rest of the money.

Preposterous, ridiculous, you say!

Well, it’s happening with the request for class action in this lawsuit.
The original decision by the court was that only those who file a formal protest could be included.

In essence we did that on behalf of everyone when we filed the lawsuit 2 years ago. It was to serve as the official protest against the tax and read as follows (CASE: G -4801 -CI -200802348-000):

1. This class action seeks … compensatory damages, …. a preliminary and permanent injunction, …. for unjust enrichment due to Defendant’s wrongful taxation of Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s class by administratively approving an additional tax to collect refuse without the approval of Toledo City Council and without the approval of voters by referendum as this is a tax on property owners.

8. On information and belief, Plaintiffs’ class includes over 100,000 housing units, but this class is limited only to those who pay this tax.

9. This action is properly maintained as a class action because in all pertinent aspects the Plaintiff and all other similarly situated individuals have predominately identical claims.

10. This tax is not completely identical for all members of the Plaintiffs’ class because some individuals own multiple unit apartment buildings, and some individuals receive a discount for recycling.

11. Each member of the Plaintiffs’ class is required to pay this tax or face the following penalties by the city: (1) terminate water service; (2) forward the account to an outside collection agency; (3) transfer the delinquency to any other property owned by the account holder; (4) bring an action at law for collection; (5) or place a lien on the property.

What constitutes class action? As defined by © 1999 Timothy E. Eble: Standards For Class Certification Under the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure: A Concise Summary http://www.classactionlitigation.net/library/ohio.html

Ohio Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) contains five explicit requirements that must each be satisfied when seeking class certification.
First, the plaintiff must establish that an identifiable class actually exists
Second, the named representatives must be members of that class
* Thereafter, the plaintiff must demonstrate:
a) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable;
b) there are questions of law or fact common to the class;
c) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class;
d) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class;
e) Common questions predominate over questions effecting only individual members; and, that a class action is superior to other available methods of resolving the claims.

The City has already demonstrated they are unable to record and maintain protests submitted by concerned residents. When I asked for copies of protests received in an open records request, they sent 54 protests letters; of those 9 matched emails received stating a protest was filed; however, there were no letters for an additional 68 protesters who notified us they had filed.

One must conclude it is obvious that class action is necessary to ensure everyone is included according to point

a): the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable

If the City cannot account for 68 protest letters we know exist, how many more were submitted that just disappeared? How would the city manage 100,000 protests?

We residents of Toledo must stand up and make our will known, class action is essential to ensure the city does not profit from this illegal tax. They must be held accountable.

As the thief who robs a bank, we would never allow him to keep his booty, so likewise we must demand the same decision for a government who blatantly disregarded the Ohio Revised Code when it legislated this tax.

I suggest further that every resident of Ohio should watch the case and brace himself if the courts do not rule in favor of residents of Toledo, for as Toledo goes, so likewise will other desperate governments of Ohio as this is easy revenue with no limits.

Take action now, quickly and with conviction as the Courts are soon to rule on class action. I suggest you call the Common Pleas Court and ask that every resident be included in the class action.

Common Pleas Phone # is: 419-213-4484
CASE: G -4801 -CI -200802348-000
For questions contact:
Scott Ciolek, Attorney, 419-491-7270

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Refuse Fee and Prompt Response

At this juncture, I want to know how many residents of Toledo filed the protest against the refuse fee enacted by the City of Toledo, so I made a couple phone calls to City Hall and asked for the correct contact for such a request. Several calls later, people in meetings, or the responder did not know, I email the request to the following public servants. I realize it will take a few days to assemble the information, but I would like an acknowledgement that this request was received. However, no one has responded.

I also made a few phone calls to find out what happened to the protest letters as they were received and I was told by a reliable source that they were sent in bundles of 10 or 20 at a time and as of last year, they were more than 200 received. I continue to wait for a response.

Karen Shanahan
to
steve.herwat@toledo.oh.gov,
david.welch@toledo.oh.gov,
thomas.crothers@toledo.oh.gov,
jeffrey.pax@toledo.oh.gov,
amy.wood@toledo.oh.gov,
clarence.coleman@toledo.oh.gov,
jane.boone@toledo.oh.gov,
carmen.watkins@toledo.oh.gov,
doris.dvorack@toledo.oh.gov

date
Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 12:17 PM
subjectRequest for Public Records

April 20, 2010
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

This is a request for public records related to the Refuse Fee, Toledo, OH. I am requesting a complete list with the names, addresses, telephone numbers and date of protest which have been filed by residents of Toledo since the enactment of the fee by the City of Toledo of Ohio on or about April 28, 2007 to the present date. Specifically:
"the protests opposing: the City of Toledo, enacted Sections 208-210, of Appendix B, Rules and Regulations Issued by the Director of Public Service, Regulations Governing
Refuse Collection, under the authority of T.M.C. § 963.23 and Section 104 of the Toledo City Charter, to go into effect May 28, 2007. Section 208, entitled “Fees,” states the following: For the collection of refuse from any dwelling, building or other property permitted her within these regulations.."
If a list is not readily available, please scan and email copies of all protests to the Refuse fee to: Shanahanselect@gmail.com. Please utilize the quickest method possible.
It is requested all protests be provided under the “open records” regulations in a timely, fast manner.
Thank you
Karen Shanahan

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
from
Karen Shanahan
to
steve.herwat@toledo.oh.gov,
david.welch@toledo.oh.gov,
thomas.crothers@toledo.oh.gov,
jeffrey.pax@toledo.oh.gov,
amy.wood@toledo.oh.gov,
clarence.coleman@toledo.oh.gov,
jane.boone@toledo.oh.gov,
carmen.watkins@toledo.oh.gov,
doris.dvorack@toledo.oh.gov

date
Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 12:17 PM
subject Re: Request for Public Records

I have not received confirmation of this request. Would someone please advise the following:
Who will handle the request
Time frame for completing the request
Format that will be used for providing the information; i.e.
List of protests on spreadsheet with details requested in the initial email
Copies of all requests via pdf file emailed

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

from
Karen Shanahan
to
steve.herwat@toledo.oh.gov,
david.welch@toledo.oh.gov,
thomas.crothers@toledo.oh.gov,
jeffrey.pax@toledo.oh.gov,
amy.wood@toledo.oh.gov,
clarence.coleman@toledo.oh.gov,
jane.boone@toledo.oh.gov,
carmen.watkins@toledo.oh.gov,
doris.dvorack@toledo.oh.gov

date
Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 3:06 PM
subject
Re: Request for Public Records

Dear Public Servants,
I am again requesting a response to this request. I realize our City Goverment employees are busy and the time to complete the request may take several days, I am only asking (now for the 2nd time) for the following information on the records request so I can plan accordingly. Please respond:

Who will handle the request
Time frame for completing the request
Format that will be used for providing the information; i.e.
List of protests on spreadsheet with details requested in the initial email
Copies of all requests via pdf file emailed

Monday, February 22, 2010

Reciprocity vs. Regionalism

There is a great deal of conversation about Regionalism in government, is it
not time for Residential Regionalism?

To eliminate the reciprocity agreement would be very harmful to Toledo. It would be a determining factor to those who may want to live in Toledo even though they work outside our city. In all the comments about the residents who work outside Toledo , nothing is said about the thousands who work in Toledo but live outside the city. Their payroll taxes are paid to the place of employment not the place of residency. Toledo gets it all.

Have we reached a point in this region that the place of employment will dictate the place of residency? Where is Residential Regionalism?

Additionally, there was the option of adding 1/4 per cent temporary increase to the income tax for voter approval, or take the option to end reciprocity. Once again the choice is

Taxation through the stroke of the pen,,, instead of
Taxation through the stroke of the vote.