City of Toledo holding meetings, hoping to get budget into focus
Toledo Mayor Mike Bell

By Rob Wiercinski - bio | email

Posted by Kate Oatis - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Mayor Mike Bell and Toledo City Council are holding a series of meetings toward finding consensus on how to tackle the operating budget deficit, which is estimated at more than $43 million.

Various city leaders attended Thursday's meeting.

The mayor and his administrators have scheduled a meeting for next week with the state's auditor's office, which will monitor the situation more closely if the mayor doesn't get the budget in line.

"If we don't address the financial situation we have in the city, we'd be heading down that path," acknowledged Deputy Mayor Steven Herwat. "The purpose of the meeting next Thursday is to begin dialogue with the auditor's office. They've been monitoring the situation."

A couple of scenarios are possible: If the city ends 2010 with a deficit higher than $20 million, the city would enter fiscal watch, which amounts to an official red flag from the state. If the city ends this year with a deficit exceeding $40 million, the city would enter fiscal emergency, and the state would create a commission to oversee city finances.