Friday, August 22, 2008

Refuse Collection Performance

If you have a problems with the refuse collection at your home, it does make a difference if you call the Refuse Department and complain. So if you are frustrated or unhappy with the performance, call and let the City know, request a Supervisor to come out and inspect. The employees receive a bonus for each 2 week period they work of .80 per hour. If there are complaints, it impacts the bonus:

2121.117 Weekly Unlimited Refuse Pay

“The rate of incentive pay during the life of the contract will be established at eighty cents (.80) per hour.

The incentive pay will be made to employees by means of a separate check being issued quarterly to the employee for the number of hours for which the employee is entitled to receive the pay.

(b) Each crew will be evaluated as to the performance of its duties for each two (2) week pay period. A system will be established to keep record of bona fide complaints which have been investigated by the Foreman and are determined to have been justified. The complaints for which a crew's pay will be reduced are as negotiated between the City and the Union and are entitled, bona fide complaints for which incentive pay will be reduced. When bona fide complaints against a crew have been determined to be justified, the incentive pay of the crew will be reduced in accordance with Table 1.

Bona Fide Complaints - Percent Reduction of Incentive Pay In 2-Week Period - For That 2-Week Period
0 - 4 0%
5 - 6 20%
7 - 8 40%
9 - 10 60%
11&over 80%"

Police - Sexual Misconduct & a Slap on the Wrist OUTRAGEOUS

I'm waiting for the outrage of City Council and the Administration, a demand the Police Department clean house. A demotion for this type of conduct, why is the officer(?) not fired. Is this the type of person we want walking the streets of Toledo enforcing(?) the law? And if it had not been taped, nothing would have happened. Is this the only police officer(?) who is offending the residents of Toledo or just the only one who was caught. This is a call for our political leaders to step forward and demand more than just a demotion of this person.

Article published Thursday, August 21, 2008
Police sergeant guilty of making threats to clerk

A Toledo police sergeant was found guilty yesterday on departmental charges after being accused by the internal affairs unit of threatening, on more than one occasion, to arrest a convenience store clerk unless she had sex with him.

Sgt. Daniel Brandon, 40, who was appointed to the department in 1993, pleaded no contest to the charges and was found guilty of conduct unbecoming of an officer, abuse of authority in dealing with the public, and conduct subversive to the good order and discipline of the department, Deputy Chief Don Kenney said.

The deputy chief recommended that Sergeant Brandon be demoted to patrolman for one year and suspended without pay for 10 days.

The recommendation must be approved by Bob Reinbolt, the city's safety director, who said he expects to make a decision within a few days.

Sergeant Brandon, on at least two occasions, made sexual comments to the clerk, suggested the use of an illegal substance, and used vulgar language. The comments were made in the presence of other customers and were recorded on the store's surveillance video, Lt. Ed Bombrys, of the internal affairs unit, said.

Lieutenant Bombrys declined to release the name of the store or victim to protect the victim.

The first incident occurred about 4 a.m. March 20 when Sergeant Brandon approached the counter to talk to the 23-year-old clerk.

After a short conversation, Lieutenant Bombrys said Sergeant Brandon threatened to arrest the woman unless she had sex with him.

"I will take your punk [expletive] to jail and while you're sitting in the county [jail], you'll be thinking, [expletive] it was only five minutes," Sergeant Brandon can be heard saying on the tape.

The clerk's response: "I would just go to jail."

Sergeant Brandon said he was joking with the woman, whose name he didn't know. He later admitted the comments were inappropriate.

"In my mind, [there] just wasn't any seriousness to it," he told internal affairs investigators. "I'm actually embarrassed about it now because it was stupid."

But Lieutenant Bombrys said based on Sergeant Brandon's body language in the video, it didn't appear as though he was joking.

"He lowers his voice and leans over the counter. He's emphasizing something to her," he said.

In a meeting with Lieutenant Bombrys, the clerk said that during that March incident Sergeant Brandon told her that he had her license plate number and threatened to pull her over at night.

According to Lieutenant Bombrys' interview with her, she told the sergeant she occasionally drinks and drives and that Sergeant Brandon responded by giving her two options - "Have sex with me or go to jail."

On April 6, Sergeant Brandon returned to the store about 3:40 a.m. He again made sexual comments to the woman and told her that she was going to have sex with him "either willingly or by force," according to transcripts of the surveillance video.

After a few more minutes of conversation, Sergeant Brandon then told the clerk she needed to "smoke more dope." The woman responded by asking the sergeant to watch the register while she rolled a marijuana joint.

Sergeant Brandon said: "All right, as long as you roll one for me."

Although the clerk can be heard laughing in the surveillance tape during both incidents, Lieutenant Bombrys said she told him she was intimidated by Sergeant Brandon's comments and feared he might follow through with his threats.

She said she didn't want to get on Sergeant Brandon's bad side.

Sergeant Brandon, who is married, was promoted to sergeant in 2000. He was suspended for five days last year after he was found guilty of insubordination and use of informants.

He is paid an annual salary of about $62,000.

Contact Laren Weber at:
or 419-724-6050.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

REFUSE FEE Lawsuit.. thoughts

I read a few blogs about how silly this lawsuit was and a waste of time, I should spend my time doing something significant. I so completely disagree and want to say this to all the naysayers:

Interesting dialogue about the “Refuse Fee” and I wonder if the impact of the power of this illegal form of revenue enhancement has impacted the taxpayers of Toledo. According to the Toledo Municipal Code and the Ohio Revised Code, the voters must approve any additional tax in the form of a levy. Why is this? When we recently voted again to approve the ¾% “temporary tax”, had it not passed, our desperate politicians had the ability to change the “Refuse Fee” to $50 per month instead of $5.50 or $7.00 or $10.00 and the revenue would have equaled the millions achieved from the ¾% “temporary tax” (91000 households x $50 per month x 12 months $54,600,000) with the simple stroke of a pen and 7 yeas. Would Council do this? I don’t know, but the question remains, should they have the power to do this. I say NO; they should not have the power and both the TMC and ORC agree.

Also, ask this question: is this tax (not legal) or is this a fee (legal)? Through other court cases, the description of a fee has been defined: 1. Must be transactional (if you take a load of trash to the dump, you pay for that load only); 2. Must be based on usage (when you take the trash to the dump, you pay a fee based on the amount you take based on lbs. Or volume); 3, must be able to opt out of the fee (I only pay when I go to the dump, if I don’t go to the dump, I don’t pay.) Consider the other fees we pay: fee for a dog license; fee for a marriage license; fee for a drivers license; fee for a building permit; etc., and it becomes obvious this is a tax not a fee.

If this is a legal form of revenue enhancement, the City of Toledo would never need to put a tax levy on the ballot again, they would only need to increase the “Refuse Fee”. If anyone out there believes that next year it will remain $8.00 / $1.00 and the following year $10.00 / $0, then you are fooling yourself. The city spent a great deal of time patting themselves on the back at how much money they were pulling in, even over budget, and were so very proud of themselves. If done incrementally, we would become even more complacent then we are now as we justify the amount as only “$66” per year, and then only $96 per year, and then only $120 per year. When we think in this way, we make a molehill out of a mountain and that is how we ended up with a tax, which was passed as a fee.

In essence, City Council is stealing from the taxpayers through this illegal “fee”. If a shop owner catches a shopper stealing a $10 garment, they yell “thief” and want restitution… for a mere “$10” because of the accumulating effect of 1000’s of stolen $10 garments. We have laws to protect us from theft; we pay taxes for police, prosecutors, judges and jails so the “perps” can be prosecuted. And yet you cry “fowl” – a “molehill, a waste of time and effort, after all it’s only $66 per year… accumulating to $4,200,000 a year. I ask, is that really ok? Have taxpayers been harmed. You bet we have, so far in the amount of over $6,000,000!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Went to court on the 15th as the Court was to decide whether the case qualified as a class action suit. The opposing attorneys can question whether my attorneys have enough experience to represent a class action suit and rather than run the risk of a decision on behalf of the opposing counsel, my attorneys brought in another attorney to join the team representing all of the residents of Toledo in the lawsuit.

I mentioned we had heard from others in the community who wanted the refuse fee reversed as they, too, believed it was wrong. If you have been "harmed" by the lawsuit, please email the attorneys and voice your view. They are interested in hearing from you. Email address to use:

After waiting for a short time in the court room, the attorneys were called into the Judge's chambers, the Attorney representing the City of Toledo requested a continuance for a month so they could review the credentials of the new attorney, the extension was granted. So, we wait again for a new court date.