Mayor and City Council President disagree over Issue 1

By Rob Wiercinski - bio | email

Posted by Dave Dykema - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The debate continues to heat up over an issue going before Toledo voters on Sept. 15.

Toledo's Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and the President of City Council Joe McNamara are not backing down from their stances regarding Issue 1 appearing on the September primary ballot.

Issue 1 is called the Safety First Plan.

"All Safety First does is give council an option to spend more money on police, which we desperately need," says McNamara.

According to Mayor Finkbeiner, if approved Issue 1 will rob Peter to pay Paul, taking vital money away from street repaving in order to offset fiscal mismanagement by council.

The head of council says all they're asking for is a little flexibility.

Right now, the 3/4% income tax the city of Toledo gets is divided 1/3 to police and fire, 1/3 to the general fund, and 1/3 to capital improvements.

If Issue 1 passes, the city will be able to use $3.9 million from this year's Capital Improvement Projects fund to help balance the general fund with 1/2 to police and fire and 1/2 to the general fund.

For the next 3 years, the 3/4% formula will shift to 1/2 police and fire, 1/3 general fund and 1/6 capital improvements.

"If issue 1 passes we will have to cut city capital improvement resurfacing money by $28 million over the next 3 1/4 years," says Finkbeiner.

While the mayor is using figures to support his Issue 1 opposition, the head of council calls those figures pure fiction.

"The new mayor and new council will decide how much the CIP fund is funded and what projects within the CIP fund program get funded," says McNamara.

What the mayor says will suffer is street repaving, at the expense of council unwilling to address the city's budget woes.

"Our roads will further deteriorate and there will be no money available to repair them," says Finkbeiner.

Joe McNamara has put a 4:00 video on YouTube to state his case.

"Mayor Finkbeiner has no alternative for the $3.9 million deficit that'll happen if Issue 1 fails," says McNamara.

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