May 1, 2009 press release by Toledo City Councilman Frank Szollosi (emphasis added by me)
SZOLLOSI ASKS FED UP TAX PAYERS TO CALL COUNCIL & SAY “NO!” 419-245-1050
TOLEDO - Over 3,000 Toledo Jeep and GM PowerTrain workers awoke this morning trying to figure out how to do more with less - having themselves assumed the leadership to make the sacrifices they felt needed to be made in their labor agreements in order to position themselves, their companies, and their communities for a stronger future.
Every street in Toledo is effected by wrenching economic challenges. One of every 124 Toledo homeowners currently face the living nightmare of foreclosure, and thousands more of our neighbors lose sleep over their fight to keep a roof over their heads as unemployment in Toledo remains high.
Despite these mounting pressures, Mayor Finkbeiner continues to demand more money from Toledo families to bailout his flawed budgets. From 2006 through 2008, Finkbeiner and his allies on Council, led by Mark Sobczak and Rob Ludeman, surged city spending from $226 million to $252 million - a $26 million increase in General Fund spending in just three years - fueled in part by new taxes and fees, including the garbage tax.
And how does the Mayor threaten hardworking Toledoans?
Essentially: “Keep paying a greater share of your income to the city or we’ll lay off cops and you won’t be safe.”
With every other major police force in Ohio, the city pays a share to city employees’ pensions, and the employees pay a share to their own pensions. Finkbeiner - and apparently the Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association - expect City Council to raise taxes to finance the unique and inequitable Toledo way: Taxpayers contribute both the city’s share AND the employee’s share towards individual pensions. No average Toledoan has it this good even in a great economy, yet the average Toledoan is being asked not only continue their support, but to reach into their pocket in tough times to pay more!
Mayor Finkbeiner’s failed attempt to get City Council to cast aside the collective bargaining process two weeks ago and unilaterally nullify labor agreements was deeply offensive. How extremely disrespectful to our co-workers and the rich history of the labor movement in Toledo!
Earlier this week, as ham-handed as it was, Mayor Finkbeiner was correct to reject a ridiculous TPPA demand for additional weeks of paid vacation at taxpayer expense.
Fundamentally, both sides must understand that City Council has shown rare, principled unanimity in holding out for union concessions through collective bargaining in lieu of damaging tax increases.
Scores of studies indicate a historic and painful shift of the overall tax burden onto the wage-earning American Middle Class. Toledo embodies the devastation caused by huge tax cuts for the wealthiest alongside massive spending during war time.
Mayor Finkbeiner and his allies only make it worse for middle class Toledoans with their insistence on increased taxing and spending at the local level.
Residents are asked to call City Hall at 419-245-1050 and urge a “NO” vote at the next City Council meeting on the questions of increasing the garbage tax and eliminating the income tax credit.The Administration and our bargaining units must meet again, immediately, to find concessions and reduce layoffs.