Special to The Truth
Carty Finkbeiner, three-term Toledo mayor, long-time Toledo city councilmember, and current candidate for Toledo mayor in this year’s race, issued a statement last week on proposed spending of the $180 million of the American Rescue Plan Act spending announced by Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz on the previous day.
“Mayor Kapszukiewicz’s plan does not breakdown how much American Rescue Plan dollars — $180.9 million — is going to those who lost income, and/or their jobs, and possibly their housing. Those Toledoans should be our first concern as that is the primary purpose of this plan. There was no mention of assistance for those unfortunate individuals and families, and that must be corrected immediately.
The City of Toledo is presently sitting on a rainy-day fund created by a recent Kapszukiewicz tax increase of an estimated $70 million. That $70 million is available for the mayor and city council for salary increases and City of Toledo projects. Yet Mayor Kapszukiewicz is not touching that $70 million, instead using federal money intended to assist Toledoans financially stressed by the pandemic.
The federal act will not be renewed in two years, I’m sure. No program announced by the mayor should be initiated without funding secured beyond the next two years unless that program has just a two-year life. For example, funding Pre-K Education must not be utilized unless the mayor can tell parents and school leaders that he has financing for such a program beyond the two-year life as presented.
Finally, Toledo needs growth and Toledo needs more jobs. Our infrastructure needs to be so strong that potential investors see a city prepared for significant investment which will lead to job creation. Infrastructure is not a glamorous line in anybody’s budget, but our nation, our community, bridges, roadways, and waterways very dramatically need investment that keeps us moving forward.
While I think some of the ideas without question can be of help to Toledoans, Christmas has come in this package but the dollars will not in all probably be renewed in our lifetimes. Therefore, anybody who is thinking about future growth and development for Toledo should not be putting a majority of this money into salaries and start up programs where two years there will be zero money available to continue the program.
Thankfully, Toledo City Council will be reviewing the recommendations that have political attractiveness but not necessarily sound fiscal funding going forward.”