Toledo Talk

Toledo Roads...

New 3 part series on the sad state of Toledo's roads....

http://m.toledoblade.com/local/2015/06/14/Toledo-s-bumpy-streets-amount-to-a-1-3B-mess.html

Judging by what I've read, there has to be a better way to track which roads are in the worst shape, as the UT list seems to be ineffective....and stop robbing the CIP budget for general fund use. Hopefully the new (used) milling machine that the city bought from ODOT will be put to much needed use.

If someone actually campaigned on fixing the f*****g roads and actually improving the neighborhoods (instead of just downtown) do you think they would get elected??

created by WestToledoan on Jun 14, 2015 at 03:17:05 am     Comments: 65

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Comments ... #

"If someone actually campaigned on fixing the f*****g roads and actually improving the neighborhoods (instead of just downtown) do you think they would get elected?"..... no, look just think about the voter demographic.

posted by justareviewer on Jun 14, 2015 at 08:09:03 pm     #   3 people liked this

Here you go, direct from the local scandal sheet:

Routine Maintenance is Ignored, Creates Backlog

The streets division’s street-repair budget this year is $5.6 million...
Mr. Welch said he hasn’t calculated how much the streets division’s repair backlog would cost to catch up if funds suddenly became available, because to handle a heavier workload he’d need more workers.

Oh, sure. That's a great reason not to know the total cost, or in this case, the amount the city of Toledo is behind the eight ball. Between the management and the union labor, it's little wonder that people need a 4-wheel drive to commute to work. Those that have a job, anyway.

I guess the solution all comes down to money.

Toledo’s Bumpy Streets Amount to a $1.3b Mess

While not technically “broke,” Toledo — like many municipalities — has nowhere near enough money to keep up with street repairs and maintaining other infrastructure that includes sidewalks, bridges, and a sprawling underground system of water and sewer lines.
The city would need an astronomical $1.3 billion to fix all of its streets at once, according to Doug Stephens, Toledo’s commissioner of engineering services.
In a typical year, Toledo spends less than $20 million to maintain its streets, with about two-fifths of that coming from state or federal money. But to repave and, if needed, rebuild its streets on a regular, 20-year basis, the budget would need to be increased to about $64 million annually, Mr. Stephens said.

So Toledo is sending a few dump truck loads of c-notes to the State and Federal government, then getting about $8,000,000 back - after a handling fee, of course. This is government at its finest.

I don't know if any of these men hold an elected office, but if so this will be the first time in my personal history that I believe a politico is telling the unvarnished truth. About the cost, anyway.

I think a few pertinent questions might be asked of the city government pertaining to the condition of the roads they live on and the maintenance schedule of same over the past, say, 5 years or so.

posted by madjack on Jun 15, 2015 at 09:08:38 am     #   1 person liked this

The problem is not just a Toledo issue. The whole infrastructure of our nation is in deep doo doo. The wife and I drove home to Toledo for Easter. Starting on I 75 3miles from my home in Florida and all the way into Toledo it was a white knuckle bone jarring ride. We just bought a new car and I was truly afraid it would be trashed by the time we got back. The bridges and overpasses are falling apart. Huge chunks of concrete missing or large cracks all over not mention the "carcinoma of the ferrous structure". Add to that the failing power grid, aging sewers and water mains and gas and petroleum lines it won't take much beyond a 10 year old hacker in Outer Mongolia to take the U.S. to it's knees.

posted by Wydowmaker on Jun 15, 2015 at 10:29:50 am     #   1 person liked this

Definitely not just Toledo. Down here majority of the bridges in Oklahoma are structurally deficient. Hell, I-40 through downtown OKC was all elevated for 3-4 miles and had chunks of concrete falling from it with holes opening up. It eventually was completely replaced with an at grade design after years of patching.

Funding is definitely the biggest issue in all of this. You have the crap combination of welfare states like Oklahoma that don't pay in enough to coverage what we get back from the fed, yet continue to support uncontrollable sprawl. There is no reason OKC should be over 600 square miles in total land area (3rd largest in the country) with as horrible as a population density as it has. Then you have states like Ohio which pay in much more than it ever gets back.

I'm not sure if the answer is more state control over infrastructure and remove that portion of the funding from the Fed and give it back to the states. It isn't a bad starting point though to see what can fix this. Of course the other major issue is the funding stream roads comes from a gas tax that hasn't been increased in years and can't support the infrastructure it is responsible for. You also have cars getting more fuel efficient and or switching completely to alternative methods, so it might be time to evaluate a mileage based tax system instead of per gallon. I'm also not against allowing interstates to become completely self sufficient and toll all of them to ensure they are kept up to a high standard of quality. I know not everyone will like that, but I've become use to have local highways tolled and you just adjust to it.

posted by JustaSooner on Jun 15, 2015 at 10:57:04 am     #   1 person liked this

While I'm not a fan of toll roads, in Ohio we have the turnpike, which was suppose to stop being a toll road once it was paid off. We all know how that turned out. But at least in the past, the toll money was being used to maintain the turnpike and make improvements.

Now they're raising the turnpike rates by 2.7% per year for 10 years and using the money to fund non-turnpike related projects.

I look at it as a big tax on Northern Ohio that the rest of the state isn't forces to pay to maintain their roads. No one wants to hear it, but it's also a city vs rural thing as well. Those of us in Northern Ohio (particularly Cleveland and Toledo) and our businesses are now being further taxed so rural and small town Ohio can maintain low taxes and nice roads.

I've got to wonder how many intermodal projects decided to look elsewhere because they didn't want to have to pay our turnpike rates.

posted by SensorG on Jun 15, 2015 at 11:42:46 am     #   3 people liked this

At the federal level this is an administration concentrating on behavior modification. Since the citizenry will not wake up to energy conservation the simple answer is let the place rot away for awhile until a large consumer gas tax is palatable. They get what their after and joe taxpayer goes quietly because the overwhelming need has been firmly placed in his face. Does that hypothesis hold at the local level? Matters not when the revenue has to be pryed from the wage-earner somehow, somewhere. Is any of it fair? Nobody ever told me life was fair.

posted by Mariner on Jun 15, 2015 at 11:53:46 am     #  

But........but..........the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was supposed to fix our infrastructure - remember the millions of dollars of signs posted next to every pothole patch telling us so? Where did that trillion bucks go? And the trillions we've (printed and) spent since....???

It isn't just the gas tax that allegedly supports our infrastructure. A lot of excise taxes (some you see and some that are hidden as part of the price of the goods or services) are supposed to be earmarked for infrastructure too. The excise taxes you don't see separated out on an invoice are especially nefarious. You end up paying sales tax on the total price which amounts to a tax on a tax.

We don't have a revenue problem in this country. The gum't has figured out how to take your money in more ways than you'll ever be able to figure out.

We have a spending problem. And that is the biggest understatement since Noah gazed up and said "it looks like rain".

posted by Foodie on Jun 15, 2015 at 11:55:44 am     #   3 people liked this

I think at the federal level, the administration has been pretty eager to get to infrastructure.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/white-house-sends-congress-478-billion-6-year-transportation-bill/2015/03/30/0fee7de8-d715-11e4-8103-fa84725dbf9d_story.html

posted by SensorG on Jun 15, 2015 at 12:00:40 pm     #  

Well the administration could by high on transportation, but as we all know it's congress who needs to act on any transportation bill, as we haven't passed a transportation bill that covers more than 2 years since 2005. Also, they just voted to "kick the can down the road" on the latest transportation bill to the end of July, where they will proceed to do the exact same thing - and get paid for doing so.

We're more concerned with nation-building and giving billions of dollars to countries that have been fighting since biblical times, while our infrastructure crumbles.

posted by WestToledoan on Jun 15, 2015 at 12:18:04 pm     #   2 people liked this

Widowmaker
The bridges and overpasses are falling apart.

And those bridge problems can really do a number on the public.

http://abc.go.com/shows/in-an-instant/episode-guide/season-01/02-in-an-instant-rush-hour-disaster

posted by paulhem on Jun 15, 2015 at 02:08:38 pm     #   1 person liked this

Part of the problems is that the gas tax which we THINK funds infrastructure such as roads also goes towards bike trails, walking paths, landscaping and transportation museums. Spending on non-road stuff has gone up 40% in the last 7 years, while road spending has remained level; non-road projects is about 20% of the gas tax fund spending. If the gas tax went to actually fix the roads, our roads would be in much better shape.

Next problem is priorities within the road category itself. Does anyone know why the county engineer has a woody for round-a-bouts? Because the feds offer up money in the form of grants to install round-a-bouts. I know for a fact the first roundabout built in Sylvania Township (the first new one that was built in the county), was funded primarily with federal grants. I can't find quick records that the others that are going in are funded with federal $$, but a quick search of 'feds pay for roundabouts' shows that fed funding for them in other parts of the country is going on as well. I get that roundabouts are safer, better traffic flow, etc. But fix the fricken' roads and bridges first - the roundabout grants have been going on for 10 years now - think about how much money that is across the country, and what bridges and widening projects could have been funded instead.

(and don't get me started about how putting 6 lanes of traffic into a round about in front of a high school and major shopping center is going to make traffic better!)

Bottom line - politicians don't campaign on road work because it's not 'sexy'; its not social service programs, its not pools, its not police and fire. Its roads, and it takes way too long for people to realize that they have been neglected for decades and are now in put-out-the-fire mode.

Face it - even if Toledo has not been raiding the CIP fund for the last decade, they still would not have been spending what they should have on roads. They wanted to hire more police, hire more fire fighters, things that get politicians good PR. Roads - eh, roads can be fixed next year, and the decade after that, and the generation after that.

posted by MsArcher on Jun 15, 2015 at 11:38:38 pm     #   3 people liked this

Thanks Republicans!

posted by toledolen_ on Jun 16, 2015 at 12:08:49 am     #   2 people liked this

toledolen_ posted at 12:08:49 AM on Jun 16, 2015:

Thanks Republicans!

Uh who ran this area last 40 years?

posted by MIJeff on Jun 16, 2015 at 05:32:46 am     #   4 people liked this

I'll pay a toll on every highway if it will help our roads. I drive a ton within Ohio and Michigan. There is no contest as to who has the worst roads. Shouldn't Michigan be a cautionary tale? Whatever it costs to keep ahead of it, I'm all for it. Raise the gas tax, charge tolls, increase sales tax. We need to get ahead of the problem and creating more revenue from the good citizens of Ohio is probably the only way to sustain it.

And speaking of roundabouts-what is up with Waterville having like 4 within a mile of each other?

posted by ahmahler on Jun 16, 2015 at 08:14:17 am     #  

Maybe because I got used to "roundabouts" while living in Taxachusetts - out there, they call them "rotaries" - I have no problem with them. They solve a lot of issues. The rules are very simple: traffic in the roundabout has the right of way, incoming traffic must yield. Based on my 30+ years of experience driving in the Toledo area, I do realize that folks in this region seem to have a very difficult time understanding "yield" and "right of way" but hopefully one day they'll learn.
I'm especially fond of the roundabouts installed in the "Thousand Islands" area. For the life of me, I never could figure out how I was supposed to get from Berdan to Manhattan using Detroit as a loop.

posted by Foodie on Jun 16, 2015 at 09:04:14 am     #   1 person liked this

Jun 16, 2015 - Toledo Blade - Likely mayoral hopefuls roll out ideas to fix roads - "Stop raiding capital improvements, some say; tax raise called last resort"

For politicians, "last resort" means implementing first, as soon as possible, even if the newly-raised money is not used for road repair.

From the Blade story:

[Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson] does not envision ending the practice of transferring money from the city’s capital improvements fund into the general fund anytime soon.

In 2010, the city took $7 million from the capital improvement fund created with revenue from the 0.75-percent temporary income tax that was originally earmarked for capital improvements to maintain city services.

From 2011 through 2014, the city took $14 million from the fund and this year, the borrowing from the capital budget is planned at $11 million.

PH2 is the only honest person, regarding the issue of transferring some money from the capital improvements fund to the general fund. The practice will not end. Remember, voters gave the city permission to raid the CIP.

... 2010, when Toledo voters agreed to allow one-third of the revenue from the 0.75-percent temporary income tax, which was previously earmarked for capital improvements, to be used for daily operations.

The voters spoke. From my April 2014 comment

Toledo city government transfers money from the "capital-improvements budget to balance general-fund operations like police and fire."

By the way, it's not "stealing" from the Capital Improvements Plan (CIP). It's called "reallocation," which is permitted because Toledo voters approved Issue 5 in May 2010.

If the practice of raiding the CIP ends, then the general fund has a financial hole, which will mean taxes, fees, and/or assessments will increase. But the politicians can say that they did not raise taxes to fix roads. They will have to raise taxes to fix their other incompetent areas.


Carty's thoughs in the Jun 16, 2015 Blade story:

Former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner had a two-pronged prescription: no capital improvements dollars for anything but road improvements starting as soon as 2016, and instituting a regional metropolitan government that would allow the county or region to help share the costs.

Czarty uses a two-pronged "prescription" to jab people.

Outlying communities should be worried whenever someone like Czarty suggests an idea related to regionalism/unigov and sharing costs. It simply means that Czarty wants other communities to pay for Toledo projects. Instead of raiding the CIP, it's better to raid other towns. Valid reasons exist why outlying communities do not trust Toledo officials. Maybe this is Czarty's way of getting back at the Suburban Cabal that caused Czarty not to seek re-election in 2009.

In the Jun 16, 2015 Blade story, Czarty said:

“We will repave 40 street miles annually."

Nearly 10 years ago, on Jun 30, 2005, Czarty announced that he was running for mayor, and during his announcement speech, he listed his campaign promises, which included:

18. Commit to prioritize city Capital Improvement dollars to resurface city streets, with a target of 40 miles per year.

Did Czarty kept that promise during his last term? He didn't brag about the number of miles resurfaced in his state of the city speeches.

This 2003 Blade story states :

The Finkbeiner administration resurfaced more than 40 miles annually for three straight years during the late 1990s.

Here's a January 2010 "Thurber's Thoughts" blog post about Carty keeping his 2005 campaign promises:

SUCCESS: He made the resurfacing a priority in the CIP budget and did achieve his targeted 40 miles.

The paving Czar is clearly Czarty.

In that same Jun 16, 2015 Blade story, Czarty said:

"I’m going to ask a team of businessmen, bean-counter types, to take a look at the city budget immediately upon election night results and ask them to have in my possession as quickly as they can, but not later than 90 days, recommendations as to how and where the city budget is capable of being reduced."

And during his last term, did Czarty reduce Toledo's budget? No context was provided to the story. Officials make great claims now, but what did they do in the past?

More from the January 2010 Thurber's Thoughts post:

And this doesn't even get into the huge budget deficit [Carty] leaves, the zero balance in the city's rainy day fund, or the increased taxes we're all paying thanks to his 'leadership.'


Rob Crudeman "knows" what went wrong with Toledo's roads:

[Councilman Rob Ludeman] said the problem was caused by “the worst economy in my lifetime,” two harsh winters in a row, and the state slashing local government funds.

Dear Ludeman, to hell with your excuses.

Ludeman failed to mention a legitimate reason why Toledo's problems exist: years of massive incompetence and probable malfeasance by Toledo officials, such as Ludeman, who unfortunately have been involved in Toledo government for 20 years or more.

“We need to shift away from using CIP dollars in the general fund and make sure we have those funds for street repaving. We need to be more aggressive in working with the state for grants,” Mr. Ludeman said.

Ludeman has been an at-large councilman since January 2010. In the past couple years, has Rob proposed any ideas to council to end the raiding of the CIP? Yes or no, that info should be included in the story. And if no, then Troy or someone in the media should ask Rob why he hasn't proposed any ideas to end using the CIP.

Other context missing, what was Rob's stance on the idea of raiding the CIP ahead of the 2010 vote? Did Rob support or oppose the idea?

Prior to that May 2010 vote, we know that Rob's fellow republican buddy and then-councilman and financial wizard George Sarantou endorsed a Yes-vote on Issue 5.

The Jun 16, 2015 Blade story mentioned Czarty's opposition to such an idea.

[Carty] opposed an earlier attempt in 2009 to divert money from the capital improvements portion of the temporary tax, predicting “drastic cuts to our streets.”

Mr. Finkbeiner said the necessity for borrowing from the capital budget is largely because of the city’s overtime bill, which he said points to managers not doing their jobs.


Mike Bell's thoughts in the Jun 16, 2015 Blade story:

Former Mayor Mike Bell, who also is undecided about running for mayor again, said the city should have been weaned by now off the diversions from the capital improvement budget that began in his first year as mayor, 2010.

Back in 2010, Mike Bell urged voters to vote Yes on Issue 5. Bell was all for raiding the CIP when he was mayor.

Of course these hucksters have an answer. Things were bad in 2010, so the CIP needed to be raided. But I guess that things are hunky-dory now, therefore we can stop raiding the CIP.

Since things are grand now, then end the illegal trash tax, and stop using the illegal traffic enforcement cameras.

And the financial hole left behind in the general fund when the CIP money is no longer reallocated will not be a problem because Toledo's economy is fine.

Or not. More from the Jun 16, 2015 Blade story:

[Bell] said Toledo needs more revenue to improve its infrastructure, and that’s a decision only Toledo taxpayers can make.

“There’s no way you can fix that without having more money put into the system,” he said.

Translation: more taxes, fees, and assessments.


Thoughts from Sandy Collins in the Jun 16, 2015 Blade story:

Sandy Drabik Collins, Mr. Collins’ widow who is running for mayor as an independent, said the solution is going to take improved financial management and getting away from using capital improvement funds.

Mrs. Collins said she would retain the goal set by her husband of lowering the city’s reliance on the capital improvements budget to zero by the end of 2017.

During the 2013 mayoral campaign, D. Michael Collins's platform mentioned

Utilize Capital Improvement dollars to restore streets, not for operating expenses

But in his first budget as mayor ... Mar 31, 2014 Blade story

Council voted 11-1 to approve the budget, which Mayor Collins largely inherited from the previous mayor and changed slightly.

The mayor also said the general-fund surplus did not exist because the city has a “structural deficit.” For several years, the city has taken millions each year out of the capital-improvements budget to keep the general fund in the black.

This year [2014], the Collins administration proposed using $14.1 million from that [CIP] fund — which pays for street repairs and other capital improvements. Mayor Collins said that essentially leaves a $13.6 million deficit.


It seems like simple arithmetic.

  • If the CIP reallocation continues, then taxes will have to increase to support the CIP.
  • If the CIP reallocation ends, then taxes will have to increase to support the general fund.

I guess another option exists: raises taxes to support both funds, regardless of whatever else happens.


Oh, Opal Covey's thoughts in the Jun 16, 2015 Blade story:

Opal Covey said she would turn Toledo into a vacation destination and end corruption.

“I don’t like borrowing. I will pursue grants, plus me building this as the vacation city and getting people in here, it will build up our funds,” Ms. Covey said.

She said her plan for putting an amusement park on Promenade Park, instead of turning it over to ProMedica for a headquarters, would fuel a tourism surge that would generate ample tax revenues.

“We would be able to fix the streets in the first year,” she said. “I am receiving it from God that [Promenade Park] was already taken by God for an amusement park and that the ProMedica thing is going to fall through.”

posted by jr on Jun 16, 2015 at 12:23:33 pm     #   3 people liked this

The tax base has shrunk. The population has shrunk. And the number of city employees has shrunk. What hasn't shrunk is the number of miles of streets and alleys in the city. Toledo is still 88 square miles.

It's hard to read where Carty said that it is bad management on behalf of city department heads that has caused all of the overtime. City employees are trying to maintain the same infrastructure with fewer employees and fewer resources.

Carty micromanaged those city departments constantly and things were not any better then. There's just fewer dollars to work with because they're using capital improvement dollars to balance the general fund.

posted by MemyselfandI on Jun 16, 2015 at 05:05:51 pm     #   1 person liked this

Although it was originally my idea, I am willing to let Opal Covey spearhead the Evil Clown Carwash enterprise. It's a good fit for her ideas about entertainment here. And knowing there's grant money available ... what's not to like? :-)

posted by viola on Jun 16, 2015 at 05:30:53 pm     #   3 people liked this

While I'm no huge fan of Carty's, I have to admit he has a point when it comes to regionalism.

Each one of us pays county taxes. Yes, county services don't extend to people living in the city limits. For instance, if I need a cop, when I call 911, I get TPD. But if I live in a township, I get a sheriff's deputy. In the winter, it's up to city crews to plow the roads -- unless I live in a township, where the county takes care of it.

So, why shouldn't some of that money come back to the city?

posted by Anniecski on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:35:39 am     #   1 person liked this

Carty may have a point about regionalism. But I can tell you from experience there is no person in Toledo that suburban mayors trust less than Carty.

posted by MemyselfandI on Jun 17, 2015 at 12:02:55 pm     #  

Who was it he got into a fist fight with?

posted by MIJeff on Jun 17, 2015 at 02:54:23 pm     #  

Toledo restaurateur John Skiadas filed a lawsuit alleging that Finkbeiner physically and verbally assaulted him at the Erie Street Market in 2000. The lawsuit was dismissed by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Charles Wittenberg in 2004.5[6]

posted by Hoops on Jun 17, 2015 at 02:58:53 pm     #  

I was just looking at him in Wikipedia, here I cut and paste his more memorable moments. The one I find most disturbing is the 80,000 bucks to turn ESM into a concert venue with never a concert ever having taken place since.
__________________________________________________________________

Known as much for his temper as his work ethic,[citation needed] many allegations surfaced throughout Finkbeiner's two terms, and more continue to surface in his third.

Toledo restaurateur John Skiadas filed a lawsuit alleging that Finkbeiner physically and verbally assaulted him at the Erie Street Market in 2000. The lawsuit was dismissed by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Charles Wittenberg in 2004.5[6]

In March, 1999, Finkbeiner called for a boycott of Little Caesar’s Pizza because of the franchise owners’ involvement in a proposed Rossford sports arena. Some Little Caesar’s stores renamed their Crazy Bread “Carty Bread”.7

In 1997, the Finkbeiner Administration negotiated to convert the Beacon Place Apartments, an apartment complex in the Warren-Sherman neighborhood near downtown Toledo, into condominiums. Despite assurances from Finkbeiner's housing commissioner, James Thurston, that the city would not be held financially responsible for the project, the project collapsed because the Finkbeiner Administration failed to clear the sale of the properties with the federal government, which had financed the apartments. Toledo taxpayers lost $230,000 and could have paid more than $2.3 million. Thurston and Edwin Bergsmark (CEO of Cavista Corporation, the owner of the Beacon Place Apartments) were both convicted in this scandal.8

In her lawsuit filed in 1999, former city employee Carolyn Smithers claimed that Finkbeiner “accosted her with a ceramic coffee mug clenched in his fist” and shouted, “I ought to hit you with this!” She contends the mug struck the side of her face. Despite the fact that Finkbeiner denied the incident, Finkbeiner signed the $35,000 settlement on January 29, 2001.7

In 1997, Finkbeiner phoned a 19-year-old West Toledo woman from his car to tell her that she may not keep chickens in her yard. Finkbeiner not only denied her a permit to keep the chickens, but he also "got very, very mad" at her.7

Finkbeiner was the focus of a segment on The Daily Show poking fun at statements he made suggesting that Toledo could be the next Hollywood. During the interview, Carty expressed his ideas while the camera fixated on Toledo's most rundown neighborhoods, contrasting them with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. The segment aired during the 1997–98 season.

On July 1, 1998, Finkbeiner was fined $400 and court costs after pleading guilty to ethics charges when he was Mayor, realized a $10,000 profit from Owens Corning's purchase of his condo, and his failure to publicly report the gain.9

He plagiarized a single line in his KICK-OFF speech in 1998.10

Finkbeiner suggested relieving the problem of noise complaints from neighbors of Toledo Express Airport by selling homes nearby at low cost to deaf people.7

In early 2006, political adversaries scoffed over the mayor spending $9,996 of city money to complete the installation of shower facilities in his city government building office. The project was considered "controversial" in part because the shower quote was originally $10,006, six dollars over a threshold that requires approval from City Council. The contractor was able to shave $10 from the project, thus avoiding a Council vote on the proposal.11

In May 2006, he called Toledo's African American Fire Chief Michael Bell "King Kong" at a staff meeting. Finkbeiner later clarified his remarks as relating to the Chief's physical stature, and Chief Bell has acknowledged in public that he took no offense to the remarks.12

In June 2006, Jack Smith resigned from his brief tenure as Chief of Police after what he described as a near-physical confrontation with the mayor after they exchanged words.13

In January 2007, Finkbeiner claimed that both he and wife Amy were treated unprofessionally by Ottawa County sheriff's deputies when they tried to visit Amy's son, an inmate, on separate occasions. Amy Finkbeiner claimed she was not allowed to use a ladies' room at the jail, while Finkbeiner said he was denied a chance to visit after visiting hours had concluded. Sheriff Bob Bratton said the deputies were only doing their jobs.14

Also, in January 2007, Finkbeiner and his press secretary were sued by radio station WSPD, claiming that First Amendment provisions regarding freedom of the press were violated when the press secretary forcibly kept a station employee out of a public press conference. Finkbeiner's objection to the employee is that he produces opinions and editorials, and is not in fact a reporter on behalf of WSPD. On January 31, a federal judge granted the station a permanent injunction requiring Finkbeiner and his staff to admit station personnel.15

Finkbeiner has also suggested a café be built on the Martin Luther King bridge so city employees could eat there while the bridge was undergoing construction.16

In August 2007, Finkbeiner was confronted on two occasions by reporters because he parked in a handicapped spot and left his dog, Scout, in the car during a hot spell. Finkbeiner was ticketed and fined, but denied mistreating the animal.17

In February 2008, Finkbeiner refused to let a company of 200 [18] Marine Corps Reservists engage in urban patrol exercises on the streets of downtown as well as inside the mostly vacant Madison Building, 607 Madison Ave. Toledo police knew about the event three days in advance, but it wasn't until the Marines arrived that "the mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people", said Brian Schwartz, the mayor's spokesman.19 Finkbeiner defended his decision to cancel the exercise, but in an e-mail to Marine Corps officials, he expressed support for the Marines and the military and invited the Marine unit to return to Toledo for training, but not downtown. In reaction to the uproar, Finkbeiner has offered conflicting explanations for his denial. During a radio interview on The Frank Beckmann Show on WJR-760 AM in Detroit on Tuesday, Feb. 12th, Finkbeiner used profanity to describe the situation he caused as a "fucking ruckus".20
In summer 2008, Finkbeiner spent nearly $80,000 of taxpayer money (without City Council approval) to renovate Bay 4 the Erie Street Market into a concert venue. According to the City Charter, the mayor may spend up to $10,000 without City Council approval. Finkbeiner broke the nearly $80,000 into 13 separate contracts under $10,000 to circumvent council's approval. Moreover, Finkbeiner tapped a local concert promoter, Rob Croak, to schedule events at the Erie Street Market. Croak was convicted on one count of forgery and has been arrested for but not convicted of underage alcohol sales, according to court records. The forgery conviction stems from a 2001 accusation that Croak falsified records to obtain a liquor permit.21 Also, Croak owes thousands of dollars in back state and federal taxes.22 Since December 2008, there have been no concert events held at the Erie Street Market,23 and the city has not recouped its investment in the concert venue.

In December 2008, Finkbeiner stated in a press conference that he met with U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman to complain about radio station WSPD because of its coverage of him and his policies. Finkbeiner also called upon the U.S. Congress to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.24

In 2009, Take Back Toledo (a group of Toledo area businessmen whose goal is to foster a pro-business, pro-jobs and pro-economic development climate in Northwestern Ohio) led a campaign to recall Finkbeiner from office. On April 15, the Lucas County Board of Elections validated 20,400 signature, enough to recall Finkbeiner.25 On April 20, Clerk of Council Jerry Dendinger hand-delivered a recall notice to Finkbeiner. According to the City Charter, Finkbeiner had five days to resign or face a recall vote on the November election.26 Finkbeiner refused to resign and hired a law firm to contest the validity of the recall petition signatures.27 If the recall goes on the November ballot, Finkbeiner will be the second mayor of a major Ohio city in state history to be on a recall ballot.[dated info] The first mayor of a major Ohio city to face a recall election was Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich, whose recall was defeated on the ballot in 1978.28

In April 2009, despite Toledo having the lowest ratio of police per 1,000 residents in Ohio, Finkbeiner announced his plans to lay off an additional 150 officers. After the layoffs take effect, Toledo will have only 1.6 police officers per 1,000 residents.[dated info] In order to maintain a basic level of protection and safety on the streets, numerous units are being eliminated or reduced. Some of these units are the Gang Task Force, Mounted Patrol, School Resource Officer, Crime Analysis, Traffic, SWAT, Vice, and Community Services. This controversy has led to the Toledo Police Department filing a lawsuit against the City of Toledo in an effort to stop the layoffs.29

In June 2009, Finkbeiner supported the $25 tickets issued by the Division of Streets, Bridges, and Harbor to residents for parking in their own driveways. He claimed the tickets were given due to a city law that prohibits parking on unpaved surfaces, which includes gravel driveways. Despite criticism, Finkbeiner ignored a press question asking if the fines were related to the city's financial woes.30

In June 2009, a video surfaced showing Finkbeiner breaking up a fight in Highland Park, calling one boy "fatso", "tubby", and "fat ass".31

posted by MIJeff on Jun 17, 2015 at 03:13:33 pm     #   2 people liked this

Carty has repeatedly poked people in the chest while screaming (and spitting a bit) in their faces. He has been creatively profane at staff meetings. There are lots and lots of stories about anger problems and lots of stories about a range of inappropriate behavior. I'd hope we could find a different man or woman to be mayor. He's embarrassing.

posted by MaryCooksalot on Jun 17, 2015 at 03:27:17 pm     #   1 person liked this

MIJeff posted at 03:13:33 PM on Jun 17, 2015:

I was just looking at him in Wikipedia, here I cut and paste his more memorable moments. The one I find most disturbing is the 80,000 bucks to turn ESM into a concert venue with never a concert ever having taken place since.
__________________________________________________________________

Known as much for his temper as his work ethic,[citation needed] many allegations surfaced throughout Finkbeiner's two terms, and more continue to surface in his third.

Toledo restaurateur John Skiadas filed a lawsuit alleging that Finkbeiner physically and verbally assaulted him at the Erie Street Market in 2000. The lawsuit was dismissed by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Charles Wittenberg in 2004.5[6]

In March, 1999, Finkbeiner called for a boycott of Little Caesar’s Pizza because of the franchise owners’ involvement in a proposed Rossford sports arena. Some Little Caesar’s stores renamed their Crazy Bread “Carty Bread”.7

In 1997, the Finkbeiner Administration negotiated to convert the Beacon Place Apartments, an apartment complex in the Warren-Sherman neighborhood near downtown Toledo, into condominiums. Despite assurances from Finkbeiner's housing commissioner, James Thurston, that the city would not be held financially responsible for the project, the project collapsed because the Finkbeiner Administration failed to clear the sale of the properties with the federal government, which had financed the apartments. Toledo taxpayers lost $230,000 and could have paid more than $2.3 million. Thurston and Edwin Bergsmark (CEO of Cavista Corporation, the owner of the Beacon Place Apartments) were both convicted in this scandal.8

In her lawsuit filed in 1999, former city employee Carolyn Smithers claimed that Finkbeiner “accosted her with a ceramic coffee mug clenched in his fist” and shouted, “I ought to hit you with this!” She contends the mug struck the side of her face. Despite the fact that Finkbeiner denied the incident, Finkbeiner signed the $35,000 settlement on January 29, 2001.7

In 1997, Finkbeiner phoned a 19-year-old West Toledo woman from his car to tell her that she may not keep chickens in her yard. Finkbeiner not only denied her a permit to keep the chickens, but he also "got very, very mad" at her.7

Finkbeiner was the focus of a segment on The Daily Show poking fun at statements he made suggesting that Toledo could be the next Hollywood. During the interview, Carty expressed his ideas while the camera fixated on Toledo's most rundown neighborhoods, contrasting them with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. The segment aired during the 1997–98 season.

On July 1, 1998, Finkbeiner was fined $400 and court costs after pleading guilty to ethics charges when he was Mayor, realized a $10,000 profit from Owens Corning's purchase of his condo, and his failure to publicly report the gain.9

He plagiarized a single line in his KICK-OFF speech in 1998.10

Finkbeiner suggested relieving the problem of noise complaints from neighbors of Toledo Express Airport by selling homes nearby at low cost to deaf people.7

In early 2006, political adversaries scoffed over the mayor spending $9,996 of city money to complete the installation of shower facilities in his city government building office. The project was considered "controversial" in part because the shower quote was originally $10,006, six dollars over a threshold that requires approval from City Council. The contractor was able to shave $10 from the project, thus avoiding a Council vote on the proposal.11

In May 2006, he called Toledo's African American Fire Chief Michael Bell "King Kong" at a staff meeting. Finkbeiner later clarified his remarks as relating to the Chief's physical stature, and Chief Bell has acknowledged in public that he took no offense to the remarks.12

In June 2006, Jack Smith resigned from his brief tenure as Chief of Police after what he described as a near-physical confrontation with the mayor after they exchanged words.13

In January 2007, Finkbeiner claimed that both he and wife Amy were treated unprofessionally by Ottawa County sheriff's deputies when they tried to visit Amy's son, an inmate, on separate occasions. Amy Finkbeiner claimed she was not allowed to use a ladies' room at the jail, while Finkbeiner said he was denied a chance to visit after visiting hours had concluded. Sheriff Bob Bratton said the deputies were only doing their jobs.14

Also, in January 2007, Finkbeiner and his press secretary were sued by radio station WSPD, claiming that First Amendment provisions regarding freedom of the press were violated when the press secretary forcibly kept a station employee out of a public press conference. Finkbeiner's objection to the employee is that he produces opinions and editorials, and is not in fact a reporter on behalf of WSPD. On January 31, a federal judge granted the station a permanent injunction requiring Finkbeiner and his staff to admit station personnel.15

Finkbeiner has also suggested a café be built on the Martin Luther King bridge so city employees could eat there while the bridge was undergoing construction.16

In August 2007, Finkbeiner was confronted on two occasions by reporters because he parked in a handicapped spot and left his dog, Scout, in the car during a hot spell. Finkbeiner was ticketed and fined, but denied mistreating the animal.17

In February 2008, Finkbeiner refused to let a company of 200 [18] Marine Corps Reservists engage in urban patrol exercises on the streets of downtown as well as inside the mostly vacant Madison Building, 607 Madison Ave. Toledo police knew about the event three days in advance, but it wasn't until the Marines arrived that "the mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people", said Brian Schwartz, the mayor's spokesman.19 Finkbeiner defended his decision to cancel the exercise, but in an e-mail to Marine Corps officials, he expressed support for the Marines and the military and invited the Marine unit to return to Toledo for training, but not downtown. In reaction to the uproar, Finkbeiner has offered conflicting explanations for his denial. During a radio interview on The Frank Beckmann Show on WJR-760 AM in Detroit on Tuesday, Feb. 12th, Finkbeiner used profanity to describe the situation he caused as a "fucking ruckus".20
In summer 2008, Finkbeiner spent nearly $80,000 of taxpayer money (without City Council approval) to renovate Bay 4 the Erie Street Market into a concert venue. According to the City Charter, the mayor may spend up to $10,000 without City Council approval. Finkbeiner broke the nearly $80,000 into 13 separate contracts under $10,000 to circumvent council's approval. Moreover, Finkbeiner tapped a local concert promoter, Rob Croak, to schedule events at the Erie Street Market. Croak was convicted on one count of forgery and has been arrested for but not convicted of underage alcohol sales, according to court records. The forgery conviction stems from a 2001 accusation that Croak falsified records to obtain a liquor permit.21 Also, Croak owes thousands of dollars in back state and federal taxes.22 Since December 2008, there have been no concert events held at the Erie Street Market,23 and the city has not recouped its investment in the concert venue.

In December 2008, Finkbeiner stated in a press conference that he met with U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman to complain about radio station WSPD because of its coverage of him and his policies. Finkbeiner also called upon the U.S. Congress to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.24

In 2009, Take Back Toledo (a group of Toledo area businessmen whose goal is to foster a pro-business, pro-jobs and pro-economic development climate in Northwestern Ohio) led a campaign to recall Finkbeiner from office. On April 15, the Lucas County Board of Elections validated 20,400 signature, enough to recall Finkbeiner.25 On April 20, Clerk of Council Jerry Dendinger hand-delivered a recall notice to Finkbeiner. According to the City Charter, Finkbeiner had five days to resign or face a recall vote on the November election.26 Finkbeiner refused to resign and hired a law firm to contest the validity of the recall petition signatures.27 If the recall goes on the November ballot, Finkbeiner will be the second mayor of a major Ohio city in state history to be on a recall ballot.[dated info] The first mayor of a major Ohio city to face a recall election was Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich, whose recall was defeated on the ballot in 1978.28

In April 2009, despite Toledo having the lowest ratio of police per 1,000 residents in Ohio, Finkbeiner announced his plans to lay off an additional 150 officers. After the layoffs take effect, Toledo will have only 1.6 police officers per 1,000 residents.[dated info] In order to maintain a basic level of protection and safety on the streets, numerous units are being eliminated or reduced. Some of these units are the Gang Task Force, Mounted Patrol, School Resource Officer, Crime Analysis, Traffic, SWAT, Vice, and Community Services. This controversy has led to the Toledo Police Department filing a lawsuit against the City of Toledo in an effort to stop the layoffs.29

In June 2009, Finkbeiner supported the $25 tickets issued by the Division of Streets, Bridges, and Harbor to residents for parking in their own driveways. He claimed the tickets were given due to a city law that prohibits parking on unpaved surfaces, which includes gravel driveways. Despite criticism, Finkbeiner ignored a press question asking if the fines were related to the city's financial woes.30

In June 2009, a video surfaced showing Finkbeiner breaking up a fight in Highland Park, calling one boy "fatso", "tubby", and "fat ass".31

Least updated Wiki article ever.

posted by justread on Jun 17, 2015 at 07:47:58 pm     #  

The one I find most disturbing is the 80,000 bucks to turn ESM into a concert venue with never a concert ever having taken place since.

$230,000 is more than $80,000. Therefore, I find the loss to Thurston and Bergsmark more disturbing.

Not that Rob Croak isn't disturbing....

posted by justread on Jun 17, 2015 at 07:50:48 pm     #   1 person liked this

Anniecski posted at 10:35:39 AM on Jun 17, 2015:

While I'm no huge fan of Carty's, I have to admit he has a point when it comes to regionalism.

Each one of us pays county taxes. Yes, county services don't extend to people living in the city limits. For instance, if I need a cop, when I call 911, I get TPD. But if I live in a township, I get a sheriff's deputy. In the winter, it's up to city crews to plow the roads -- unless I live in a township, where the county takes care of it.

So, why shouldn't some of that money come back to the city?

I think this is the first time Carty has ever been in favor of regionalization - when he thinks he can get money from the 'burbs. When a project may benefit the suburbs financially, he kicks and screams and embarrasses the region until the project is a bust - Rossford amphitheater? Intermodel at the Airport?

Why shouldn't some of the the money 'come back' to the city? Because the city can't manage their own money, why should the suburbs give them more money to mismanage!?!?!?!

The city already gets income tax from a lot of workers who don't live in the city (and who can't vote), so asking the 'region' to pick up the tab for their poor decisions on prioritizing roads isn't going to fly. Who else has thought about asking the 'region' to help support them? I believe the Zoo has floated the idea, as well as Owens. Did COSI do it too? Not one of those proposals went beyond the discussion stage.

As far as the sheriff - several years ago, the sheriff told the townships that they would have to start paying for service. I believe Monclova, Springfield and Spencer all started paying for patrols, not sure about some of the others. Sylvania Township has its own department as; does Washington Township have its own?

Roads - the county plows and maintains county roads (your major cross streets like Central Ave., McCord as examples in Sylvania Township) while the townships plow and maintain township roads (in subdivisions).

I'll say this - I would consider supporting a proposal to regional things ... if the city's water department is on that list of 'things'. Until then, hands off our tax dollars and fix your own self-made problems.

posted by MsArcher on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:53:08 pm     #   2 people liked this

Washington township has their own police.

posted by MIJeff on Jun 17, 2015 at 11:37:21 pm     #  

Should of called them a revenue collection agency.

posted by MIJeff on Jun 17, 2015 at 11:38:31 pm     #  

I'll pay a toll on every highway if it will help our roads. I drive a ton within Ohio and Michigan. There is no contest as to who has the worst roads. Shouldn't Michigan be a cautionary tale? Whatever it costs to keep ahead of it, I'm all for it. Raise the gas tax, charge tolls, increase sales tax. We need to get ahead of the problem and creating more revenue from the good citizens of Ohio is probably the only way to sustain it.

----------

Really? Let's begin with a 300% tax on all wine sales.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jun 17, 2015 at 11:51:37 pm     #   2 people liked this

why should the suburbs give them more money to mismanage!?!?!?!

I'm talking about county taxes, gathered from city taxpayers, that in turn do not benefit city taxpayers.

Why should city residents pay county taxes that only benefit the suburbs!?!?!?!?!

posted by Anniecski on Jun 18, 2015 at 09:49:01 am     #  

The tyranny of the townships:

http://uac.utoledo.edu/Publications/StateOfInequityInOhio2011.pdf

posted by Anniecski on Jun 18, 2015 at 09:52:40 am     #  

I didn't even bother reading the report. All I had to see was that it was from the Urban Affairs Center at UT. Not exactly unbiased opinions - they've been critical of townships for decades including Sylvania Township. UAC reads the numbers the way they want to, to support the 'urban center'.

posted by MsArcher on Jun 18, 2015 at 10:04:28 am     #   5 people liked this

The Urban Affairs Center was heavily involved in the last attempt by the city of Sylvania to annex the Township in a proposed 'merger'. I have no use for them; they'll say whatever it is they're being paid to say.

If any township is unhappy with the police or fire service, they are perfectly capable of creating their own. As to why the township doesn't contribute to the neighboring city, it wouldn't make good sense to do so. We live in the township because we, the great unwashed, want less regulation; not more. We want fewer and lower taxes; not more and higher taxation. We want fewer clowns in government; not more. See?

What we really need is a law to permit individual secession from the city. If the city fails to live up to any individual's expectations, and the individual property owner is on the edge of the city boundary, allow that person to secede from the city and become part of the surrounding township or county. This kind of pressure would keep elected officials toeing the line, and I would think that the city would tend to shrink to a reasonable size as areas not supported left the city.

MrsArcher, as usual, nailed the entire situation dead on, then Robin Hooded her arrow. Nice job, MrsArcher.

posted by madjack on Jun 18, 2015 at 11:48:58 am     #  

6th_Floor posted at 11:51:37 PM on Jun 17, 2015:

I'll pay a toll on every highway if it will help our roads. I drive a ton within Ohio and Michigan. There is no contest as to who has the worst roads. Shouldn't Michigan be a cautionary tale? Whatever it costs to keep ahead of it, I'm all for it. Raise the gas tax, charge tolls, increase sales tax. We need to get ahead of the problem and creating more revenue from the good citizens of Ohio is probably the only way to sustain it.

----------

Really? Let's begin with a 300% tax on all wine sales.

Oh, ha ha, I get it. Because you know I sell wine and you don't like the idea of tolls on I75, you thought you'd hit me where i live. Good one. I would like to point out though, that my suggestion was offering to shoulder a part of the burden. It would be sort of like if you offered to give every business whose windows you peered into, say a toll. You know, to keep them open. See?

posted by ahmahler on Jun 18, 2015 at 01:01:22 pm     #  

Ok, let's try this again, slowly:

I live in the City of Toledo. I pay both city and county taxes. The county pays for the maintenance of roads in unincorporated areas. I do not feel my county taxes should be used solely to pay for those roads, when roads in the city, where I AND THE MAJORITY OF COUNTY TAXPAYERS, live. I would like to see some of that county money come back to the City of Toledo so that our roads can be maintained.

posted by Anniecski on Jun 18, 2015 at 01:13:35 pm     #   1 person liked this

Annieski, they get it... our taxes dollars fixing their roads and providing police are just fine. Cutting those dollars to maintain our own roads and provide policing is tyranny.

In short -
Townies... we don't want YOUR tax dollars, we want OURs back.

posted by SensorG on Jun 18, 2015 at 01:32:10 pm     #   2 people liked this

I would like to point out though, that my suggestion was offering to shoulder a part of the burden.

So what? I'd like a lower mortgage payment; I'll pay part, and you pay part. See how that works?

posted by madjack on Jun 18, 2015 at 03:04:33 pm     #  

SensorG posted at 01:32:10 PM on Jun 18, 2015:

Annieski, they get it... our taxes dollars fixing their roads and providing police are just fine. Cutting those dollars to maintain our own roads and provide policing is tyranny.

In short -
Townies... we don't want YOUR tax dollars, we want OURs back.

Can't have 'em.

Welcome to government as the Moonbats wanted it, and remember that it's only tyranny if you, personally, aren't getting what you want.

posted by madjack on Jun 18, 2015 at 03:06:12 pm     #  

In the meantime MJ you live off the backs of the citizens of Toledo, Maumee and Sylvania and our taxes are kept high so yours can be kept low. You're welcome!

posted by SensorG on Jun 18, 2015 at 03:13:24 pm     #   1 person liked this

The Lucas County Engineer is responsible for maintenance of all County Roads in the unincorporated areas. Funds used to maintain these roads come from the Vehicle registration (License Plates) as per state Law. The City of Toledo receives a portion of these funds base on the number of Vehicle registrations in the City of Toledo! So does the remaining Cites and/or villages in Lucas County. The townships receive their funding thru a property tax for Roads. Which My Wife and I are to pay for. Sometimes the county Engineer will perform work on a city Road if it is a extension of a County Road into the City of Toledo or another City in the County as per state law. Wife and I are pleased with conditions of the Roads outside the City and DON'T want Toledo to get their hands on the Money used to Maintain the Roads outside of Toledo. Let Toledo solve their own Problems!!

posted by whitehouse on Jun 18, 2015 at 03:14:49 pm     #   1 person liked this

Anniecski posted at 01:13:35 PM on Jun 18, 2015:

Ok, let's try this again, slowly:

I live in the City of Toledo. I pay both city and county taxes. The county pays for the maintenance of roads in unincorporated areas. I do not feel my county taxes should be used solely to pay for those roads, when roads in the city, where I AND THE MAJORITY OF COUNTY TAXPAYERS, live. I would like to see some of that county money come back to the City of Toledo so that our roads can be maintained.

Again, so what? Did I somehow force you to live in Toledo and suffer the brilliant leadership found on the Toledo City Council?

Look, we all pay County taxes. If you think those tax dollars are being misused, you're free to call the county commissioners and express your displeasure (if any of them will answer their phone, which is unlikely). You can support a rival's campaign next election, or you can even run against one of them and maybe get a public office for yourself.

Two things you should know:
1. Your feelings don't matter, as in I do not feel my county taxes....
2. Insanity has been defined as repeating the same action over and over again and expecting different results, which is what has been happening here. In this case you, and a few other people, have been paying huge tax bills with the vain hope that when Spring rolled around the city of Toledo would fix the streets you drive on. That didn't happen; not last year, not the year before and not the year before that. It isn't going to happen. Yet in spite of evidence to the contrary, you and people like you want to raid the county coffers and raise taxes so you can throw more money at the problem. And you've thrown money at this problem before, and it hasn't worked, and now you want to do it again.

6th_Floor: I'll pay a toll on every highway if it will help our roads.
Which is uncharacteristic of you, given your past opinions. The keyword here is if. If it will get the roads fixed, if there isn't anything more important, if Paula Pennypacker anyone else is elected Mayor of Toledo.

It won't help. You know it, I know it, GuestZero knows it and would likely say so if he'd bother to log in and post.

Unless and until some outside force is brought to bear on Toledo city government, this isn't going to change one wit. But you don't have to take my word for it - just hang around and watch what happens.

posted by madjack on Jun 18, 2015 at 03:32:10 pm     #   2 people liked this

SensorG posted at 03:13:24 PM on Jun 18, 2015:

In the meantime MJ you live off the backs of the citizens of Toledo, Maumee and Sylvania and our taxes are kept high so yours can be kept low. You're welcome!

I've been meaning to bring that up. If you wouldn't mind putting in a little overtime this summer, I've got a vacation I've been meaning to take and frankly, staying in a four star hotel in Bangkok just doesn't appeal to me. I am five star material, and I'd rather stay in a five star hotel where my talents will be appreciated.

I'm thinking that between now and October if you'd just kick in an extra, say, five percent, that would probably cover it.

I'll send you a postcard if I think of it.

posted by madjack on Jun 18, 2015 at 03:36:20 pm     #  

Anniecski posted at 01:13:35 PM on Jun 18, 2015:

Ok, let's try this again, slowly:

I live in the City of Toledo. I pay both city and county taxes. The county pays for the maintenance of roads in unincorporated areas. I do not feel my county taxes should be used solely to pay for those roads, when roads in the city, where I AND THE MAJORITY OF COUNTY TAXPAYERS, live. I would like to see some of that county money come back to the City of Toledo so that our roads can be maintained.

Let's look at the county's budget.

The county usually spends some where between $22-27 million on the roads, as best as I can read it. That's about 5% of its budget.

The other 95% of your county taxes goes to: Auditor, Board of Development Disabilities, Board of Elections, Child Support Enforcement, Children Services Board, Clerk of Courts, Common Pleas Court, Coroner, Communications, Canine Control, Domestic Relations Court, Emergency Services, Family & Children's Council (what is that?), Job & Family Services, Mental Health & Recovery Services Board, Probate Court, Prosecutor, Recorder, Sanitary Engineer, Sheriff, Treasurer and Veterans Services.

But, of course, Toledo doesn't benefit from any of these do they?

Even if the county handed over 100% of their road budget, that still wouldn't put Toledo where it needs to be to maintain their road system.

Actually, after looking at more detail for the engineers office budget, the numbers look even smaller - $6 million for administration and $10 for actually road/stormsewer/bridge projects, with $7.5 of that $10 million coming from state and federal sources. So with the $6 million administration paid for with the license/gas tax, only about $2.5 million comes from the general fund.

posted by MsArcher on Jun 18, 2015 at 09:03:39 pm     #  

Actually according the Ohio Code as Listed Below the funding for the A County Engineer's office in Ohio is:

315.12 Office to be maintained partially from motor vehicle taxes.

(A) Two thirds of the cost of operation of the office of county engineer, including the salaries of all of the employees and the cost of the maintenance of such office as provided by the annual appropriation made by the board of county commissioners for such purpose, shall be paid out of the county's share of the fund derived from the receipts from motor vehicle licenses, as distributed under section 4501.04 of the Revised Code, and from the county's share of the fund derived from the motor vehicle fuel tax as distributed under section 5735.27 of the Revised Code.

(B) Where employees of the county engineer are temporarily assigned to perform engineering and plan preparation work on a bond-financed project, their salaries and expenses for such work may be paid from the proceeds from the sale of such bonds, instead of from the fund as provided in division (A) of this section, from whence their salaries and expenses are ordinarily paid.

Effective Date: 11-09-1959

Only a mall portion of a County Operating budget goes to Pay for a County Engineer's Office in Ohio and that is the tax map department and the cost of providing a office building and supplies for the County Engineer's office.

posted by whitehouse on Jun 20, 2015 at 09:26:06 am     #  

The latest Blade story on the city's f**ked-up roads reminds me an awful lot of the work of econcat88, minus a few profanities.

But I thought the Blade did not like videos and commentary that criticized the negative aspects of Toledo.

I am so confused.

posted by historymike on Jun 21, 2015 at 07:52:12 am     #   1 person liked this

An unsurprising response:

City officials have blamed the crumbling streets on a series of problems, beginning with the 2008 Great Recession that led to cuts in the city’s income tax revenues and in local government revenues from the state.

Toledo's population in 1990 : 332,943.

Now, Toledo's population is around 280,000.

Over 50,000 fewer people in 25 years. I assume that some of those people who fled Toledo paid taxes to the city when they lived here.

2003 Blade story

Even [resurfacing] 40 miles a year would leave the city playing catch-up with pavement maintenance, however.

With about 1,100 center-line miles of street, the city would need to repave 55 miles a year to keep up with the 20-year life cycle that engineers generally accept for residential-street pavements - and that doesn't consider the 10-year lifespan for blacktop on major streets or the additional lane mileage that the wider streets entail.

posted by jr on Jun 21, 2015 at 08:15:21 am     #  

Madjack, you are quoting and replying a copy/paste I made from ahmahler's post, not my own words. He's the one who supports paying additional taxes if the money is used to pay to repair the roads.

I replied that since he supports paying higher road/gas taxes, maybe since he's involved with wine sales, a 300% increase in wine sales taxes also should be added to the revenue shakedown.

To be clear. I realize we already pay more than enough to maintain the roadways and paying more only would help for a short period of time. I won't be voting for any additional taxes.

They never should have been allowed to steal from the CIP funds.

I do believe the roads will be sacrificed until enough people like ahmahler cry for them to "do something" and that something will be paying higher taxes. Eventually, Toledo and/or Lucas County will have a roads tax levy on the ballot and unfortunately depending how large, it will pass because too many voters here don't realize why the roads haven't been properly maintained.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jun 21, 2015 at 11:17:10 pm     #  

The wife hit a tire-eating pothole this morning going to work today....

As we have had several freeze thaw cycles already this year, I've seen plenty of potholes explode into tire eaters. Even though they patch them up, these bastards pop back open during the next freeze thaw cycle. What do these workers use, is it more like job security for them and why hasnt Toledo ever invested in preventative maintenance (crack sealant)? Seems like we the taxpayers would save money if they would seal cracks before they explode into potholes. Thoughts?

posted by WestToledoan on Jan 25, 2017 at 01:16:30 am     #  

http://www.pothole.info/2012/03/hot-cold-and-recycled-different-asphalts-for-different-conditions-2/

See: seasonal differences in patch materials, temperatures, and techniques.

posted by justread on Jan 25, 2017 at 06:24:30 am     #  

They should use Macadam instead of blacktop.

posted by reggie on Jan 25, 2017 at 06:37:40 am     #  

Fancy name for chip and seal.

Chip and seal sucks. Potholes return nearly immediately.

posted by justread on Jan 25, 2017 at 06:51:11 am     #  

They should use Concrete instead of blacktop

posted by reggie on Jan 25, 2017 at 07:30:11 am     #  

Yes. reggie for the win.
And they should stop filling the few concrete streets that remain with asphalt. That pops out faster than anything.

posted by justread on Jan 25, 2017 at 07:47:45 am     #  

Would like to propose a different approach to fixing the condition of the streets of Toledo. Take away the mayor's city provided vehicle. At $122,000 annual salary am sure she can afford a good pre-owned car. In the event of an emergency condition the city has a whole fleet of new shiny vehicles both police and fire which could move her around at a moments notice. Not real sure how important that would become. If she is forced to own, drive, maintain her own piece of equipment then maybe an understanding of how severe the situation has become will sink in. The "I inherited the problem and it's not my fault," presentation might go away after multiple car repair bills of her own. Like a young girl who doesn't get the problem...take away her car.

posted by Mariner on Jan 25, 2017 at 08:23:25 am     #   5 people liked this

Mariner posted at 07:23:25 AM on Jan 25, 2017:

Would like to propose a different approach to fixing the condition of the streets of Toledo. Take away the mayor's city provided vehicle. At $122,000 annual salary am sure she can afford a good pre-owned car. In the event of an emergency condition the city has a whole fleet of new shiny vehicles both police and fire which could move her around at a moments notice. Not real sure how important that would become. If she is forced to own, drive, maintain her own piece of equipment then maybe an understanding of how severe the situation has become will sink in. The "I inherited the problem and it's not my fault," presentation might go away after multiple car repair bills of her own. Like a young girl who doesn't get the problem...take away her car.

Take her city "credit card" away too.

posted by justread on Jan 25, 2017 at 09:34:05 am     #   3 people liked this

Go back to brick streets. At least brick looks interesting. Brick roads, however, would be a little bumpy for bicyclists who use road bikes.

At the bare minimum, which is normal operation, the city should somehow repair the short bit of non-existent roadway that motorists encounter when entering downtown Toledo from I-75 south via the Washington Street exit.

Why welcome people with that broken infrastructure? It was terrible a few years ago. They patched it. It's terrible again. Actually, forget terrible. It's embarrassing.

You'll do better in Toledo if you drive a tank.

Last spring, mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson said that Toledo had no money to repair roads in 2016. Eventually, the city found a couple bucks for some repair work.

Last fall, the mayor said that Toledo had no money to repair roads in 2017.

That kind of failure is not an accident. It's not bad luck. It's not due to outside forces.

That's hard-earned, well-engineered, successful failing by city government and the voters who permit it.

It has taken many years to achieve this successful failure. An awards banquet should be given to dishonor everyone involved.

Recently, someone checked under the seat cushions, and now Toledo has $4 million to repair roads in 2017, although we don't really have all of that money.

Some of the money Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson’s administration found to repave streets this year came from a debt-refinancing scheme that will leave the city with higher payments later.

The restructuring makes the mayor look better than she deserves to look. She’s giving people what they want — street repair — and she’s giving it to them now. That’s certainly good. But to help make it happen, her administration has committed the city to higher payments in the next mayoral term and even higher ones the term after. Those payments will mean less money available for roads and everything else when that time comes.

The plan is not entirely irresponsible. There is an overall savings. And at least for now, the money is being budgeted for projects of lasting value.

Still, when Toledoans look at the street repaving and consider thanking the mayor in this election year, they should remember: There’ll be a price to pay five years down the road.

Hasn’t Toledo had enough of these “buy now, pay later” schemes?

Of course not.

It seems that the Blade editorial board is not a big fan of the mayor.

Soon we should learn if and how much the city will increase the illegal refuse fee tax, along with the fictional, fear-mongering reasons that the city will create to support the increase.

I thought that maintaining roads was one of those basic functions, conducted by a municipal government. If it is, then it's not a healthy look for Toledo, regardless of how many brick buildings from the 1800s are renovated in the downtown.

(started this comment with brick and ended with brick)

posted by jr on Jan 25, 2017 at 10:05:15 am     #   2 people liked this

At the bare minimum, which is normal operation, the city should somehow repair the short bit of non-existent roadway that motorists encounter when entering downtown Toledo from I-75 south via the Washington Street exit.

I was driving with a guest to a downtown meeting just yesterday and when we got to that exit I moved right asap and tried hard to avoid the biggest holes without making it obvious that it is an obstacle course. I'm sure my efforts were appreciated, but they failed.

posted by justread on Jan 25, 2017 at 10:16:40 am     #   2 people liked this

jr said (in part):

"That's hard-earned, well-engineered, successful failing by city government and the voters who permit it. "

We can bitch, piss and moan all we want but until this changes: "and the voters who permit it." , nothing else will either.

posted by Foodie on Jan 25, 2017 at 11:21:13 am     #   3 people liked this

A discussion started by Larry Sykes and Peter Ujvagi during yesterday's council meeting regarding Columbia Gas line replacement work and repair of residential streets was then referred to Lindsey Webb chair of Public Utility Public Service committee for consideration. Both Slykes and Ujvagi reported dissatisfaction with the gas companies' returning the streets and residencial properties landscaping to good order after work performed. Both reported insufficient responses by the company to their inquiries. Ujvagi said he had been in contact with the city Chief of Staff who had some ideas on how to deal with the problem. Ujvagi stated the construction trucks on the roadways contributed to the increase in deterioration of the residential streets and the company should be held accountable for the increase in potholes.
This is in its early stages and has the look and feel of a classic duck and weave by city council. Pass the buck to a third party for residential road maintenance and repair and wash your hands of responsibility while freeing up funds for more deserving groups of organized block voters which will perpetuate your own self interest. Meanwhile the cost of the shift to Columbia Gas has to be dealt with somehow and we all know what that somehow means...rate hikes to the consumer for a necessity to stay warm during Ohio's long winter. This administration and council have only one outlook which is to get the other guy to do their job for them while they sidestep accountability and perpetrate their own little dance.

posted by Mariner on Jul 12, 2017 at 08:27:19 am     #   6 people liked this

They did a terrible job in my neighborhood with restoration, or even attempting to prevent damage.

They destroyed my barrier between the grass and mulch. Calling was pointless as they say they will send someone to check but never did.

posted by webrioter on Jul 12, 2017 at 09:12:56 am     #   4 people liked this

I don't think they are responsible for the roads, but I agree with the above - absolutely horrible job with returning my lawn. The top soil was full of small pebbles and the grass seed was all weeds.

I spent a good day and about 150 bucks removing the "topsoil" and putting down a new 2 inch layer and reseeding. They also destroyed a few plants.

This is definitely an issue imo.

posted by Xbuckeyex on Jul 12, 2017 at 09:26:12 am     #   1 person liked this

This is sounding like two distinct issues. Toledo should suffer neither shoddy work nor buck passing.

posted by Mariner on Jul 12, 2017 at 09:44:04 am     #  

Will they hold the water department to the same standard?

posted by In_vin_veritas on Jul 12, 2017 at 09:49:55 am     #   2 people liked this

This is a microcosm of Toledo in general. Apathy rules all. All anyone in a position of authority or responsibility has to do is duck, weave, deflect, deny or hide from initial questions on any given issue, knowing apathetic Toledoans will just simply give up. Decades of cronyism and good ol' boy politics has beaten the fight out of everyone. The Blade will occasionally show signs of actual investigation, but those generally go nowhere...unless it's a pit bull or an aging courthouse. They're usually part of the problem they're suppose to help protect us against.

The only small victory some of us get over apathy is moving. That's sad.

posted by JoeyGee on Jul 12, 2017 at 10:14:12 am     #   2 people liked this