Thursday, April 26, 2007


On Monday, I was invited to guest on WSPD 1370 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. with Michael Miller as guest host. Key points were the budget, trash tax, flowers and reasons why I'm running for District 2 Council Seat. The most memorable comment came from Lisa who offered that it was "easy" to sit back and say I wouldn't vote for the trash tax. Let me offer that it would really be "easy" to say nothing; there is no risk in keeping silent. Over the past week as a result of some comments on the air, I've been counseled about a few of the comments and given additional insight as to how careful I must be not to say anything that, once elected, can come back to haunt me. If I were a "seasoned" politician, I would realize the wisdom of remaining neutral and not "pander" to others and say what they want to hear. Is that what voters want, candidates to remain neutral?

My greatest concern is have enough wisdom to act in the best interest of the community and the comments made in "blogdom" offers alternative views and insight to almost every issue. So, fellow bloggers... go for it! Here is your challenge.. voice your opinion today and over the coming weeks on the issues:
Trash Tax
Dorr and Reynolds vacant shopping plaza
Economic develop
Small business
Business friendly
Pay package for city employees
Schools / charter / vouchers / residency
Ambulance take over by the Fire Department


Neighborhood Concerns said...

Trash Tax - I would comment that it is not a tax but the cost of doing business that was not foreseen by the administrations nor the city councils over the years.

The administrations have and continue to fail to bring in new tax base and the resulting revenue to support the cost of operating the city.

The tactic used before was to say that it was a temporary tax instead of telling the citizens that the costs of the city have risen while the tax base has fallen.

Our Mayor now filed suit over the census figures and still until recently doubted the figures along with the city council president who even stated that the city would have large gaps in it that he did not see.

Well, someone must have opened his eyes as he now see that gaps.

The question for me; is what are the candidates going to do to reverse the practices of the past to ensue that we do not go further down the road of losses and not gains.

Neighborhood Concerns said...

With regards to the sharing of information related to the budget, Finance Chairman Sarantou claims that to over haul the system it will cost 12$ Million dollars, what would you do to see that the overhaul takes place at a time of budget deficits.

And on the topic of deficits what would you do to boost economic development for the city and the district you want to represent.

How would you encourage businesses to locate here and bring jobs with them.

How would you stem the tide of people leaving Toledo to look for work and a home elsewhere?

Karen SHANAHAN said...

Response to your 1st post
I disagree on the trash tax. It is a tax and we pay 3/4% to cover it, police and fire. The revenue increases every year. We oversold the contracts, it needs to be determined what is a viable per cent of the tax to pay towards salaries and benefits and use it as the basis for negotiations. City contracts become campaign negotiation tools, the lives of residents and workers are more important than politics and the contracts should be based on reality rather than politics.

Response to your 2nd post
$12 million.. first, there should be competitive bidding for the project, I'm always amazed at the numbers that are thrown out. The budget is on a server, it's the software which is used to access the data that is limited to a few computers.

Budget deficit: The arena will have a huge impact on the community. It will spur additonal growth which will increase revenue and help the economy. Praise the positive!

Bolster Blockwatch in District 2. It is the community connector but is faltering in this area. I know of 2 which have stopped meeting and 1 that only has 5 per meeting. The importance of Block Watch needs to be stressed.

Economic development: Take advantage of the mulitple layers of organizations dealing with ED presently (BBB, CDC's, etc.). For this District (2), work on Business development, rather than Economic Development. Reunite the small businesses in the Reynolds Road corridor and form ab "action task force" to push development issues. They were meeting previously but nothing ever happened... we'll make it happen. Ask all businesses in the corridor to sign a declaration requesting the Southwyck owners to move on the plans. It's time to take action! At Dorr and Reynolds plaza, pull in a grocery store for the neighbors who are without a nearby store.

Encourage growth: Prepare a presentation of the wonderful attributes of District 2. Meet with the present business and Block Watch groups to target preferred business, meet with appropriate business owners and sell, sell, sell!

They won't stay until we fix TPS and offer quality schooling for the children. We can address every other issue but that one issue. Right now, the alternative of Charter Schools and vouchers at least provide an alternative until TPS can respond to the problems.

Neighborhood Concerns said...

"I disagree on the trash tax. It is a tax and we pay 3/4% to cover it, police and fire. The revenue increases every year."

The revenue increases every year?

Then why do we have a budget deficit?

The 3/4% is not enough to cover the cost of the services.

So what does the city do? Increase taxes or access a fee to cover the cost of services.

We can debate till the cows come home, the point remains that there is not enough revenue to cover the services that are provided.

So we either pay more for the same services or we economize.

You seem to suggest that the contracts of the city workers are to blame for the need to raise funds to cover city services.

Does the declining number of tax payers have any thing to do with it?

Does the declining business tax base have any thing to do with the decline in revenue?

"We oversold the contracts, it needs to be determined what is a viable per cent of the tax to pay towards salaries and benefits and use it as the basis for negotiations."

The city council goes along with what Mayor puts forward.

So, you will not rubber stamp the contract agreements with the possibility of a fact finding session and then if you still disagree you will encourage the Mayor to negotiate a contract that calls for cuts or increased contribution s from the union bodies?

And being one person on a council of 12 you will bring ideas forth and you will work with these ideas to fruition with people who may not share your ideas.

How do you propose to work with people on the council and the administrations to see things your way?