TOLEDO (WTOL) - Across the partisan aisle, Toledo’s city leaders are saying they’re hoping for a new era of leadership under Governor Mike DeWine. Many hope increased funding will flow from the statehouse to Toledo.
"There’s been a spike in momentum, in investments, and for lack of a better word “zeitgeist” in Toledo in recent years,” Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said at Impact Ohio’s first regional conference Thursday morning.
The post-election conference brings leaders together to discuss key issues facing the state.
Yet Mayor Kapszukiewicz’s bubbling excitement for a city on the rise is not a solo opinion. A crowded room gathered to hear Governor DeWine address key issues facing our city and the future that lies ahead.
"We have to invest in our kids. We have to invest in our workers. We have to invest in our infrastructure,” Governor DeWine said during the conference.
It’s no secret crumbling roads and infrastructure plague Toledo. Poverty, lack of education, and homes torn apart by addiction threaten our children’s futures. And preserving the water quality and health of Lake Erie may be the ultimate task. Leaders must strike a balance between farmers and the future sustainability of the lake.
Many of Toledo’s elected city leaders say they’re hoping for a new relationship in Columbus to tackle these issues.
“Specifically with Toledo, the funding chain seems to have dwindled over the years. So that we’re better able to take care of our roads, I would really like to see that addressed,” Toledo City Councilman Chris Delaney said.
Over the years, leaders say Toledo has lost $105 million in state funding. Money that would have gone to our city’s roads and infrastructure instead went to maintaining our police force and court system.
“It would be nice to see the local government dollars come back to the cities, so that has been cut drastically the last eight years. Governor DeWine has said, at least he said during in his campaign, that he was looking at restoring some of those local government funds,” Toledo City Councilman Tom Waniewski said.
The governor will propose his biennial budget for 2020 and 2021 tomorrow at 10 a.m.