Karen Shanahan's White Paper on fixing Toledo
Sep 18, 2007 posting at Karen Shanahan's blog.
After 2 years of campaigning, some of the issues facing Toledo have become very clear and the resistance to deal with the issues by elected officials is often driven by a concern they may lose the backing of the unions and city employees.
The last election highlighted the reality of this as the electorate did not vote. Those elected won by connections in the political and union arena, not by issues, so to survive as an elected official, there is logic in appeasing the political party and unions.
However, this is not to the benefit of Toledoans and we need elected officials to work for the good of the city not the good of the unions.
I'll bullet-point some of Shanahan's statements. Access her blog posting for her complete list and for details.
- We need a good school system but we don’t have one. The chokehold TFT (Toledo Federation of Teachers) has on the system inhibits creative, flexible and innovative programs.
- Residents of Toledo do not need to pay more taxes; we need to realign the employee compensation to reflect the market.
- It is time to stop manipulating business opportunities to further political agendas.
- Our community would be in a much better position if we approached the business of the City of Toledo as a business. The residents are the customers of City Government and we are not treated very well.
- Embrace charter schools and the voucher program, it is offering a much-needed alternative to a failing public school system and can be instrumental in retaining and recruiting families to Toledo.
- Send out a blind survey and ask the 60% of teachers and administrators of TPS why they don’t live in Toledo and also to those who do live in Toledo but send their children to private schools.
- Balance the budget by looking inward for cost savings not outward for more revenue.
- Effective Jan. 1, 2008, all city employees would contribute $100 per month towards their medical coverage and $20 co-pay for office visits and prescriptions.
Business and Economic Development
- Stop bundling groups of legitimate businesses to vilify (i.e., convenience stores).
- Review the cost and frequency of inspections. They may increase city revenue, but at what cost to small business.
- Create a complete list of all yearly inspections and the inspection costs to determine whether they are necessary. Those identified as frivolous and designed primarily to increase revenue should be eliminated.
- Bundle into one package all costs and permits required to establish a new business.
- Eliminate the living wage law in Toledo.
- Seek more volunteer organizations to handle the beautification projects.
- Reduce the size of council.
- Answer emails and phone calls.
- If a program is going to change, consider the programs a contract with the residents and give at least 30 days proper notification before implementation.
- The police department could use some realigning.
- Create a relationship with Owens Community College to offer a degree which would prepare students to be employed by TPD after graduation so the “police class” could be cut from one year to 3 months.
- What are the 292 policemen duties?
- In the morning and evening, position a police car at a school for 15 minutes during the busiest time and have the lights flashing.
- Create a web-based list of all repair requests for streets, potholes, and complaints which can easily be accessed by residents.
- It could be a free Google spreadsheet with a link on the City Web Page.
- The list should be prioritized by severity, listing: location, type of call, date of call, date of expected repair, estimated cost of repair and completion date.
- The city has ownership of hundreds of residential properties with 30’ frontage primarily in the central city.
- They all must be maintained by the city.
- It drains our resources.
- Have a fire sale; offer each property to any buyer for $1.00.
- Continue the [unlimited trash] program, we already pay for it.
- Educate the residents on the recycle program and be consistent.
- Return trash pickup to the alleys.
on Sep 19, 2007 at 12:18:49 pm
- When the ¾% temporary tax was passed, it was to include an incinerator. With the issue of landfills, recycling and energy, it is time to revisit the possibility of an incinerator. A committee should immediately begin researching the latest technology of refuse incineration.
© 2003-2012 Toledo Talk
Creative Commons License - Some Rights Reserved
current date: 19-Jun-2013 2:04 P.M.