Toledo's Mayor and City Council in Budget Showdown

Toledo's Mayor and City Council in Budget Showdown

July 25, 2007 08:18 AM

After a heated and sometimes angry discussion in the council's meeting on Tuesday, the amendment passed by an 8 to 4 vote, and will appear on the November ballot.

"For council to completely abdicate their responsibility to participate in this process, or some councilmen, is irresponsible," said Brian Schwartz, the mayor's spokesman. "It's a purely political maneuver because council doesn't share any of the responsibility for those cuts or those revenue enhancements. They can simply sit back, pick those off one by one and make life tough for the administration."

"While voters could pass the amendment on November 6th, the clerk of council told us that's too close to the November 15th deadline to affect the 2008-2009 budget."

No votes yet

If those responsible for preparing the budget start now they can meet the deadline when the voters approve the bill. If the voters don't approve the bill then hooray for the budget preparers who prepared a balanced budget anyway. Isn't that what they are supposed to be doing?

How do we assemble a balanced budget in November when we don't close out the previous fiscal year until February? We don't know the carryover or year end deficit that has to be covered. Nor do we know revenue projections because we don't have the data from the previous year.

Yes, a business just like Enron.

Old South End Broadway

I tried to find out when businesses submitted preliminary budgets for the ensuing fiscal year or calendar year, but didn

Old South End Broadway

Mr. Schwartz stated on this;

"The City of Toledo must operate with a balanced budget accoring to state law. The last time the city budget was not balanced was in the early days of the Great Depression when city employees were paid in scrip in lieu of real cash."

It may be a matter of semantics but to operate on a balanced budget that is submitted to council in November, "In November, the mayor sent to council the city's $241.7 million budget."",
which is confusing.

The city is required to operate with a balanced budget and the city council can cuts and so and yet here the claim is made that there is a problem.

And City Council Member Sarantou states this in an e-mail to me; "The Budget Task Force met 12 times. Additionally the Finance Committee meets every single month, and we conducted 3 public hearings in the evening for citizens to express their opinions on the budget situation.", so with twelve meetings between a Task Force and the Mayor and staff, surely someone can figure out how to submit a balanced budget, yes?

The reason these City employees can't prepare budgets in advance is because they don't know how to run a business. If the companies I used to work for ran themselves like the city of Toledo runs itself, they would have been bankrupt in six months.

I have been in the presence of Toledo city administrators when they are trying to allocate money. Its not a budgeting process, its a contest who can blurt out the most confusing terms and acronyms in ten seconds or less. Believe me, these administrators stick out their chest and display the biggest smiles when they are convinced they have totally confused almost everyone in the room.

What's remarkable is that the confused people in the room will bob their heads up and down to make sure everybody knows they aren't stupid, but in reality they don't have a clue what's going on. Furthermore, if you look at the processes the City uses to perform most things, average time to get something done is six to eight weeks. Successful corporations do some of the same things in fifteen minutes.

Tell us Captain, just who was your last business partner?

Want to answer that one? How was business?

Neighborhood concerns seems to have some confusion between the words "submit" and "pass". I often find my good friend Miriam Webster to be of help in such confusing situations.

Sorry Captain, but I got you in my tractor beam.

You slipped up when you published the title to the article you published and you slipped up again just yesterday when we encountered each other. Worse for you, a mutual friend of ours confirmed what I already knew.

Captain Kirk,

I'm Brian from the planet Oregon. I come in peace. But me signing the recall petition would do you no good.

For some reason, I have many, many friends. Must be my winning smile on television. We have at least two mutual friends. No cigar? Wrong! I had one today. Bautismo de Fuego. Best $2.00 cigar money can buy!

In almost every city that I've looked at the fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. "Preliminary" budgets are usually submitted early in the New Year, looked at, and voted on in March (like Toledo). Ohio's state law required a balanced budget by April 1 (fully three months before the start of the fiscal year). Do we need to have a balanced budget by November because the Council, and voters are too incompetent to be able to prepare budgets fully three months before the start of the fiscal year, or is it because some

Old South End Broadway

There is one good thing. The chief executive position is taken out of the hands of the electorate directly, and placed in the hands of city council. Political power swings from a strong executive back to part-time councilmen. On any given day (if a contract is crafted to allow it) the city manager can be fired "at the pleasure" of the council if things are going badly. The council will always have a scapegoat then for their collective incompetence. Maybe we will have full-time councilmen, but I doubt it. Of course, if we ran Toledo like a business we would have a strong executive who would serve at the pleasure of a Board of Governors.

If we the shareholders (voters) chose wisely we would have a good board of governnors (council) with a strong chairman (mayor) who could fire the CEO (city manager) at any time things were going badly. Unfortunately, I imagine our part-time council will craft a contract that doesn't give us that freedom. We'll get an incompetent as a city manager who will have to keep in his office until his contract ends.

Of course, the difference between our form of governance, and that of a large business is that we don't have large stockholders with a vested interest (with more shares) in the way things turn out. We have one person, one vote, and any fool can vote. I am sure there are those on this forum who quite rankled by the fact.

Old South End Broadway

Well, there seems to be reasons. Like the Mayor, and whom ever the office holder is at the time, does not want to be held responsible for the budget and wants the council to share the blame for any mistakes.



This quote is from Wikipedia:

Old South End Broadway

"In most cases, triple rigs are allowed only on the turnpike, but a rule in the Ohio Constitution allows the city to permit FedEx to travel the aforementioned route. A FedEx Ground spokesperson says the company uses triple trailer rigs in a "very limited capacity," but David Westrick also says, "We have to have time to look at that. Talks are ongoing. We have to consider a number of factors."

While this does not address the question directly, it seems almost moot as the media in Wood County are reporting that the Wood County called of talks with Toledo and FedEx is rumored to be looking at Michigan sites, also.

We are in no financial position to loose this many jobs and tax dollars. This will go down as one of the most substantial losses in contemporary Toledo history. Not only have we likely lost FedEx, the surrounding counties are gonna run the other way whenever we approach them. Tax sharing??..Ha! Coperation on anything? Ha!

The irresponsible comments of our Mayor have cost us potentially millions of dollars, 600 jobs and respect throught the land. This is not a "opps"..this is a "OH MY GOD!!!!!!" This is deriliction of duty and trashes the office of the mayor again.

Imagine 2 more years of this! Anyone care to sign the Recall now? Email me for an appt.


I've explained this here before, but for your benefit, I'll explain it again.

Carty recruited me. I did not send in a resume for the job. He knew me by reputation. Because he recruited me, I was able to negotiate. One thing that I insisted on was that I continue to be allowed to live in Oregon until my son was able to graduate from Clay High School with the kids he'd been going to school with since first grade.

The mayor found that to be a reasonable request. If you do not, I don't know what to tell you. My family is more important to me than anything and my career ambitions will never be placed ahead of what is good for them.

As Nc has pointed out here and there, He's backkkkkk. And apparently the mountain air got to him? I had to read some of Carty's stuff in the blade. Alien abduction? Slip and fall? Or did he meet a new Pr person in Denver?..hehehehe This is gonna be a ride of a week.

From Toledo gave the Mayor a different perspective. One of a dysfunctional group of people who have held office for so many years and still battle over the simplest things, call a truce take a breather and then continue the battle that has no winners just citizens that loose.

Good point, Brian. I have worked for private concerns where we prepared budgets for the next fiscal year long before the current fiscal year ended. Its called good planning. Maybe the City of Toledo should try some. The last place I worked the fiscal year ended September 30 of each year. Our new budget kicked in October 1 of the same year, which meant that all our budget preparations had been prepared, reviewed and approved by the end of August.

If the City of Toledo operated more like a business rather than what is the hype of the day, maybe the money would get wisely spent.

Umm... maybe ask any major corporation in the Toledo area and they can tell you how they do it. Seemed to work for any company I've been involved with.

I won't tell you who they are, but I worked with them for two decades. I was part of their second tier management team. I reported directly to the Chief Operating Officer who reported to the CEO. In the first ten years I was there, the company grew from $150 million in annual sales to $960 million in annual sales. When I retired, the company's annual sales was $3 billion annually.

Brian, you know why I won't tell you who the company is. You still think I'm some mysterious individual and you hope I will slip up and give you a clue. If you promise me that you will sign the Czarty recall petition, and then sign it, I will tell you whatever you want to know.

Trust me, we don't have any mutual friends. And, the only encounter we had yesterday was on this web site. We have met each other on several occasions, but we haven't been in the same room with each other for at least nine months. Nice try, Brian, but no cigar!

Brian, sign the recall petition so we can have lunch.

Schwartz, mayber you could call past mayors and ask them, seeing as how it was done all along until the last two times...

Don't get throat cancer.

...begins July 1. the city's fiscal year is Jan 1 - Dec. 31.

There is no reason that the city can't produce a balanced budget prior to the end of the year. They can 'estimate' any carryover (plus or minus) based upon current spending/revenue. When I was clerk, I was able to prepare the balanced budget for my office (NOT a city department) in November. The only item I couldn't accurately predict was the health insurance costs because the city provided those for my employees and I was dependent upon them for that figure.

budgets are modified throughout the year, regardless of the original 'approved' one - so there is no reason that Toledo - like other cities and counties - can't produce a balanced budget in November or December.

...let me re-phrase. There's no GOOD reason...


...brdy...but you'd think that such issues would be thoroughly researched before they even mentioned such a thing to Fed Ex...but that would require thinking more than one step ahead, and people in government so rarely do that.

There may even be some immunity from such lawsuits...a lawyer would be a better person to answer such a question.


You dont live in the city???

Wasnt Carty once going after a couple cops because they dont live in town, but you get a free pass???

I have no problem with your living situation. I think you should be able to live anywhere you want. Elected people on the other hand, should live within the city and their district, with the exception of the the City is the district in his case.

Good for you that you put your family first, as do I. I admire that you acknowledge your flaws along with your good points. I respect a person that is the same in and out of the shawdows. I'm not as nit picky as some, I like what works..not what doesn't. I like that you blog and I like that in spite of your sometimes gruff exterior that you are a family man first.

I also have good relationships with people I disagree on politics with. Some do indeed have a hard time seperating the two, but I get it. I like a lot of people in the private aspects of life while not liking their views on politics and other subjects.

Good for you, getting the best deal you could in employment terms. I hope you also have a "Penalty Fund" for violations of personal space. :-)

But tell us, Brian, do you regret you didn't stay with the Port Authority? No reply will give us the answer.

You don't know what you're talking about.

I've never seen a company--ever--that legally must have a budget completed 3 months before the end of the current fiscal year.

Any reason why Toledo deviates from the fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) that it seems most cities follow? It seems the state law is set up to deal with this kind of fiscal year, and it can lead to confusion when Toledo blindly "follows the law". City Council should have some advance time in which to get a "preliminary" budget sent to them so that they can get with their constituents, and present any changes they deem appropriate.

Maybe a city manager is the only way to go because s/he is subject to instant dismissal (if it

Old South End Broadway

How about OI, OC, Dana or FedEx? Their main budgeting for next year is done with three months of the close of the previous year. Thats how they can plan who will hired or laid off in the next year. They just do minor revisions over the rest of the year to the plan they created earlier.

You know he doesn't have to have a perfect budget by the deadline? Carty just needs one that is balanced and reflects where all the money is going. That what the whole "give us something in November" deal is about. That way council and the mayor can hash the revisions out over months instead of days.

FYI: A full time city planner could do this.

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We'll put your voice in a podcast every Monday and Thursday

...a lot of people think that cities follow the state budget year. But many cities, counties, townships follow a calendar year and do only a single-year budget. The state does a 2-year budget...

btw - shameless plug - I've written a blog post on what the charter really says:

You do realize that in a corporation there is no law covering such things? Budgets can be changed, modified as needed. Furthermore, there's a difference a mile wide between "Their main budgeting for next year is done with three months of the close of the previous year." and "The FULL Budget MUST be done A FULL three months before the close of the previous year"

Even carty could park his SUV in the space between those two statements ;)

Your argument holds no water. How many times have funds been diverted to pet projects? Southwyck/Marina District is the first one that comes to mind.

Want to be heard? Leave a voicemail at Toledo Unplugged: (419) 464-7952
We'll put your voice in a podcast every Monday and Thursday

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