Teamwork Toledo to Oppose Garbage Tax Increase - Updated Statement

WHO: Teamwork Toledo Members

WHAT: Press Conference

WHEN: Sunday, August 9 2009, noon

WHERE: One Government Center

WHY: Oppose “Incentivized” Garbage Tax Increase

Teamwork Toledo members Kevin Milliken, Tricia Lyons and John Adams, Jr. will hold a press conference to call on Toledo City Council to once again reject the mayor’s request for an increase in the monthly trash fee. This time, two council members—who are also running to retain their seats—have submitted a proposal to make the tax increase more palatable through “recycling rewards.”

“There is never a good time to raise taxes on Toledo’s citizens—and now is certainly the worst time to even consider it,” said Milliken. “Add to that a new proposal that makes city government even bigger—with more rules, regulations, and red tape—and it’s just even worse idea. Show some leadership, go back to the drawing board, make the tough choice, and make the cuts necessary to balance the budget like we all do at home.”
Teamwork Toledo consists of five independent, first-time candidates: 30 and 40-something professionals and small business owners, like-minded individuals who want to reclaim city government on behalf of its citizens. Teamwork Toledo is a group of fiscal conservatives with a social conscience.

Teamwork Toledo stands for three basic principles: no new taxes, back-to-basics government, and a business-friendly community. Teamwork Toledo seeks to restore a common-sense approach to city government.

Teamwork Toledo Presser
August 9, 2009
Garbage Tax Increase

Thank you for coming this afternoon.

The purpose of this press conference is to call on Toledo City Council once again to reject the mayor’s call for an increase in the monthly trash tax.

This time, two council members—Joe McNamara and Steve Steel, who also are running to retain their seats—have submitted a proposal to make such a tax increase more palatable through a so-called “recycling rewards” program.

Their mantra—Toledoans can earn more money back than their shelling out in a tax increase…IF local grocery stores and businesses offer discounts and rewards. That’s a big IF in this economy.

Toledoans already have an incentive to recycle…the current trash tax costs them less if they sort their paper, glass, and cans—and take it out of the waste stream.

Now, two of their elected representatives want to change the rules of the game mid-way through—by raising that same fee…and making citizens work even harder to see any incentive.

Let’s reduce another waste stream instead. Cut city government waste some more—reach for the budget book again and take another look to find the eight million dollars needed--instead of trying to reach into our wallets again.

This issue goes right to the heart of Teamwork Toledo’s platform—no new taxes.

Toledo City Council, to its credit, has drawn a line in the sand and resisted the mayor twice already on his proposed tax increases.

Hold that line—and do it a third time. Don’t slip into the quicksand of politics—and let that line get redrawn.

In fact, we believe it would be political suicide for a council flip-flop now—with at least four of them up for re-election.

A trash tax increase is the EASY way out—and would only send a message to citizens that it’s the same, old tired politics of the past.

Simply put, JUST SAY NO—again. Send a different message to citizens this time—that you’re actually listening…and doing the will of the people.

There is never a good time for to raise taxes on Toledoans. Now, during an economic downtown, is certainly the worst time to even consider it. Add to that a new proposal that would make city government even bigger—with more rules, regulations, and red tape—and it’s just more reason to reject it.

(Hold up wallet) Toledoans only have to look in their wallets to see two things: one, there’s no cash left to pay for an increase in the trash tax.

(Get out reward cards) Number two, many already have enough reward cards to get cheaper groceries.

Show some leadership: go back to the drawing board, make the tough choices, and vote for the cuts necessary to balance the budget like we all do at home or at our businesses.

We’ll even make a suggestion to get you halfway to your goal: meet with the Metroparks…and find a way to end the duplication of services in maintaining our community’s parks. The city is spending four million dollars each year on parks and recreation.

Taxpayers are funding them to the tune of four TIMES that amount annually. For the greater good of our community, there MUST be some common ground there—why do we need two sets of mowers, managers, and maintenance staff?

It’s an idea Teamwork Toledo proposed several weeks ago…and it fell on deaf ears.

The idea solves other problems, too. Take that millions in savings, HIRE A NEW FIRE CLASS to cut the city’s overtime problem, then use that savings, in turn, to hire back ALL 75 police officers, not just 31. (We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.)

No votes yet

Just a question...

Are there problems within the Teamwork Toledo camp?

Initially they started off with 6 members, and their upcoming press conference only makes mention of 3 members.

In addition, it seems that every time you hear from Teamwork Toledo it is just Kevin Milliken speaking on their behalf.

Is he the leader of the group?

Also I know many people would like to hear the issues of all the members of Teamwork Toledo, and not just a select few.

The thing that concerns me with this group is...they cannot possibly agree on everything. I would rather see them run as individuals rather than as a "team."

Running alone it will allow us all to see what they believe as individuals, but running as a "team" it allows a few of them to perhaps "hide," and not address the issues.

If there are problems within the Teamwork Toledo camp now, just imagine how it would be if they all get elected.

Just something to think about.

I would rather see perhaps 1 of them elected, but surely not all of them.

The last thing we need is a monopoly on council.

I'd put the one most used to public speaking and most used to the cameras front and center.

I would say it has less to do with a politics issue as it does a PR issue.


First, let me say I appreciate very much your interest in Teamwork Toledo and your comments here.

Please allow me to set the record straight, so there is no reason for assumption or speculation. There are no problems with Teamwork Toledo.

Three members will be at Sunday's press conference, because the others have prior family obligations and cannot attend.

You see my name attached to press releases, because we are sharing the workload of running a coalition campaign of independent candidates. In other words, we don't have the big volunteer base that political parties tap into to do their work for them. As an example, I handle public relations because of my media background. The other members of Teamwork Toledo handle other campaign tasks, based on their professional backgrounds, personal inteests, etc.

Because of Nine is Fine and other factors, we also are running as individuals. We always could hold individual press conferences, but so far, the city budget has been the dominating issue of the campaign and we all agree on the same basic point that budget cuts are needed-- not tax increases-- to balance our city's spending plan.

We also have individual campaign websites, besides Mine, for example, is

Our coalition campaign is to share resources and expenses, as much as it is because we're like-minded fiscal conservatives with a social conscience.

Will we agree on every issue in the future? I can't say for sure.

But voters have the choice of choosing us all to put fresh faces and true public servants in office, as an alternative to the professional politicians. Or they can pick and choose their favorite individuals from the Teamwork Toledo slate.

The voters are the bosses-- it's their call. We're just stepping forward to offer them choices beyond the tired, old politics as usual that has our city government in the poor shape we find it today.

I hope that answers your questions/concerns. If not, you can always drop me an email through the website.

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