A March 8 editorial discussing Mayor Finkbeiner's proposal to reduce the income tax credit for people who live in Toledo but work outside the city contained what I believe to be a completely inaccurate statement.
It was stated that "Realistically, most of the 19,200 people affected aren't going anywhere because in this housing market they'd never be able to sell their Toledo homes, but that's not really the point." We agree the housing issue was not the point of the editorial. However, that statement is very misleading. Certainly, it is well known and acknowledged that the housing market in Toledo and northwest Ohio is slow compared to the past few years. It is not dead.
Statements not based on facts only help potential buyers believe they cannot buy a home and lead sellers to believe they cannot sell.
According to statistics from the Multiple Listing Service of the Toledo Board of Realtors, there were 3,047 single family and condominium sales from March 1, 2008, through February 28, 2009.
Those sales accounted for 39 percent of all listings in the City of Toledo that were sold through the Multiple Listing Service during that period. We have no knowledge of how many other sales there were that were not listed through the MLS. Additionally, while not a big increase, sales for February, 2009, were 2 percent higher then February, 2008, in Lucas County.
We would invite The Blade to check statistics with either the county auditor's office or with the Toledo Board of Realtors before making statements that are false, thus doing a big disservice to its readers and the public in general.
Paula S. Hiett
Chief Executive Officer
Toledo Board of Realtors
While Rossford Mayor William Verbosky, Jr., may have been accurate with his math on the recent increase in the Rossford water rate, he certainly was off base on the City of Toledo's intention on the revenue-sharing agreement and is conducting a misleading public relations campaign.
It is time to set the record straight:
1) During contract negotiations, Rossford was told by the City of Toledo that all new Joint Economic Development Zone agreements are being negotiated on an equal revenue-sharing basis.
2) The City of Toledo has offered to keep the Rossford Joint Economic Development Zone rates the same for existing businesses.
3) The Rossford JEDZ increase would be only on business new to the area.
4) Without Toledo water, Rossford would not have been able to annex the area from Perrysburg Township.
5) Perrysburg Township sustained huge losses on the failed Rossford arena/amphitheater project and, consequently, chose to work directly with Toledo on a JEDZ for the FedEx project, in essence landlocking Rossford.
It appears that what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. It is acceptable for Toledo to be landlocked by its neighboring communities leveraging Toledo water, but when Toledo wants its fair share of development, which could only happen with Toledo's water, Toledo is considered punitive. This is far from the fact.
Unfortunately, it appears that residents of Rossford will pay the higher water rates, spend additional money on infrastructure, and be restricted from growth until Rossford is willing to negotiate fairly in the interest of regional cooperation.
Robert R. Reinbolt
Chief of Staff
City of Toledo
According to the Census Bureau, there are approximately 145,000 working adults in Toledo. If each person were to send $185 to the City of Toledo, most of the city's budget deficit would be erased.
Some people certainly won't be able to contribute that much but there are others who could contribute more. Maybe it could even be structured through a nonprofit organization to make it tax-deductible. It would certainly be cheaper than the cost of the loss of city services or police and fire protection.
Michael K. Veh
I see that the mayor has numerous suggestions for the city to save money and try to balance the budget.
I can agree with some of the ideas, but has anyone readdressed the idea of eliminating the six "at-large" council seats. The $165,000 savings could be used for police or fire personnel.
It seems that all 12 council members can't attend meetings to make pertinent decisions or votes. When something needs to be done, it takes weeks or months for them to get up to speed and voting gets delayed because several hadn't attended to be informed.
Also, while council is at it, bring up the "strong mayor" issue and get rid of this problem too. Council should put a $2,000 cap on the mayor's spending without authorization. If council cannot do it, then bring it to the citizens for a vote.
Leave it to The Blade to take every opportunity to slam truck drivers. Do not let facts get in the way of their editorial opinion. Facts are that, overwhelmingly, when cars and semis are involved in crashes, the fault is usually the car, not the truck.
As a truck driver, I can tell you that it is far more likely for a car to be tailgating a truck than the opposite. People will get behind you and stay there to save gas. Does The Blade ever research the states that have the same speed limit for semis and cars? I doubt it.
Ever see a car go under a semi's trailer because of different speed limits? It is not pretty.
It would serve the motoring public much more to educate them about trucks, instead of using scare tactics. But that would not serve the purpose of editorial writers.
I had the pleasure of visiting the board of revision office of the Lucas County Auditor recentlyto file my "complaint against the value of real property."
I have to tell everyone about the wonderful experience it was. The staffwas pleasant, genuine, and doing their best to help the residents who had come in to appeal their property values.I was greeted with a smile and hello as soon as I entered the door and one of the clerks quickly called for more help when there were two of us waiting.The staff was answering questions, reviewing forms, and making copies for people with a smile on their face.
I commend Auditor Anita Lopez and her staff for really caring about their customers, the taxpayers of Lucas County.
Now, if we could only get other government agencies and public utilities to fashion themselves after the auditor's office.
Between the federal government and the City of Toledo, I wonder how the deficit numbers can grow dramatically on a nearly daily basis. Maybe an investment in working calculators would be a wise expenditure.
I suggest that we take the current deficit figures and double them to arrive at a projected deficit. In doing so, we can start with an overstated amount and whittle it down a little every day, thus turning a negative into a positive.
Mark A. Pahl