Ward Calls For Salary Reductions In City Administration

Toledo Independent City Council At-Large Candidate Stephen Ward, calls for salary reductions in city administration. Recently, Councilwoman Lindsay Webb and Councilman Tom Waniewski along with the organization, Toledo COBRA held a press conference calling for a reduction in City Council from twelve members to nine. They cited that half of Toledo faces under-representation, and also tax dollars can be used to maintain some police officers.

Ward states, “it is easy to propose position cuts when those cuts will not affect you, as with the proposal of Councilwoman Lindsay Webb and Councilman Tom Waniewski. The success of Toledo is in direct relation to the success of their first responders and public safety. We must work earnestly to maintain the safety of all Toledo residents, while taking innovative ways to solve the current budget deficit. This requires sacrifice, an immediate end to the paralysis of communication among city government.”

In July of 2007, the council reduction plan was part of a proposal that Mayor Finkbeiner issued to end Toledo's budget deficit. Ward states, “At that time I believe the motive was not to solve the deficit, but rather a political grandstand. A move suggested ostentatiously.”

Currently, the Mayor has a salary of $136,000, the Council President salary is $32,500 and the salary for Councilman are $27,500. In addition, the Finkbeiner administration can legally spend under $10,000 without council approval. Because of this, there are nearly 2,000 expenditures...items such as pizza and others that total more than $2 million in just two months.

Ward asserts, “while reducing the number on City Council may save money...it will not solve the under-representation of various areas of the city. For years, areas such as the North End, the historic Vistula neighborhood, have been neglected by city administration. Furthermore, reducing council size may jeopardize how all neighborhoods and racial groups would be assured a voice on council. Current councilmen live primarily on the west side, but having six at-large councilman will protect representation for all people. This is Toledo, a city made up of a diverse group of people. Since city government is elected by all people, it should serve all people...and measures should be taken to protect this. The only way to solve under-representation in any area of the city is for those on City Council to do a heart and motive assessment. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The best way to solve the deficit and get more police on the street is to sacrifice.”

Ward states, “I propose that the $10,000 that the Mayor can spend without council approval, be reduced to $4,000. In addition, any improvements to the mayoral office, such as showers, regardless of the cost...must first be approved by City Council. Furthermore, expenditures on food should be considerably reduced. We can eat at home. Lastly, I propose that the salary of the Mayor, the Council President, and those on City Council...both current and in the future, reduce their salaries by 20%. Also, I propose that the health insurance of those on City Council be subject to reduction. The current health insurance plan enjoyed by Toledo City Council is one of the most generous in existence in the area. It is better than the plan provided to employees of Lucas County, Toledo Public Schools and those working for the state of Ohio. ”

Under the plan proposed by Councilwoman Lindsay Webb and Councilman Tom Waniewski, the city would save $82,500, not including the cost saved for health insurance.

Under the plan that Council Candidate Stephen Ward proposes, the city would save $94,200, not including the cost saved for health insurance.

Ward asserts, “this is a time of sacrifice for all people. This sacrifice must include those within the leadership ranks of city government. Under my plan, the city will save $94,200 and when you factor in the proposed reduction that the Mayor can spend without council approval, reduce the frivolous expenditures on food, and reduce the health insurance plan of City Council...clearly my plan is the right choice to help reduce the current budget deficit of the city of Toledo.”

NOTE: The above figures do not include the fringes, retirement, health care and the staff supporting City Council, including those items...the total savings would be over $150,000.

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Error: "Current councilmen live primarily on the west side, but having six district councilman will protect representation for all people."

Correction: "Current councilmen live primarily on the west side, but having six AT-LARGE councilman will protect representation for all people."

Note:

The savings of $94,200 do not include the fringes, retirement, health care, and the staff supporting City Council. Including those items...the total savings would be $150,000 or more.

www.WardforToledo.com

I have a question, i'm not real clear on one point, are you against less city council members?

Personally i don't think they should get health insurance, they all have full time jobs, i don't see why they need additional insurance on our dime for a part time job.

Also they shouldnt be paid if they dont show up, i know i sure as hell don't get paid if I dont show up for work. (And that little part about a reduction of such and such amount for every meeting missed unless they are EXCUSED by other members is a bunch of baloney)

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