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Published: Friday, 5/8/2009

University stuck in a time warp

At a time when the nation and the state are forced to make tough decisions about how best to cut costs, the University of Toledo seems to be caught in a time warp.

Scott Scarborough, vice president for finance and administration, continues to hammer home the message that deep cuts are necessary, but the board of trustees can't help but award their cronies wage increases and contract deals that make double dipping fashionable.

At a time when employees have been asked to consider furloughs and layoffs as an option to control costs, why is the board so quick to rehire the retired, create new titles to award pay increases, and pass out bonus money like there is no tomorrow (and maybe there won't be if they keep it up)?

It's been going on for so long that they just can't help themselves.

While it's true that old habits die hard and desperate times call for desperate measures, these desperate times may be just what it takes to change those "old habits."

Come on, you guys, take the lead from President Obama and put some common sense into your decisions.

Mary Villegas

Cresthaven Lane

Regarding the recent police-city negotiations, it seems to me that one or both parties fail to understand the concept.

Negotiation, by definition, means that two parties come together to resolve differences and reach a mutually acceptable solution.

The negotiators should be given, by the heads of their organizations, the boundaries, limits, and guidelines under which they may operate.

It should be understood that if an agreement is reached within such boundaries, it is incumbent on the heads of the respective parties to faithfully accept the agreement. Otherwise the negotiations are a sham.

If the head of an organization cannot delegate negotiating authority, then that person should simply represent himself.

Gene Monroe

Queenswood Boulevard

Last November, I voted for Barack Obama because I thought he was a very bright guy and with the hope his platform of change would help our country out of the dire economic straits George W. Bush and Dick Cheney put us in.

I have been watching all the money go to the banks and the corporations, wondering how it will benefit "Joe Taxpayer."

Gee, I guess most of the workers will get another 10 bucks every week now. Wow. Big deal. That 10 bucks will be a nice down payment on that Cadillac Escalade we all want to buy.

I think we all know that trickle-down economics does not work. The big money kind of stays at the top, with not too much left for Joe Taxpayer after bonuses and golden parachutes.

Let's try something different, President Obama.

When Joe Taxpayer buys an American-made car, he should get a government voucher equal to half the sticker price of the car he is buying - and no sales tax added to the purchase.

I will buy an $80,000 Escalade for $40,000 and put one more guy back to work so he can buy a new car. Isn't that be the way things are supposed to be?

John A. Barber

Luna Pier

In June, 2005, then-Gov. Robert Taft signed House Bill 66, which is gradually eliminating tangible personal property taxes on the value of business equipment and inventory.

Nothing more than a state-endorsed Robin Hood measure, this bill takes tax revenue that once supported education and returns it to giant corporations already making billions in profit, such as the two refineries in Oregon.

Every explanation for loss of revenue to Ohio's schools cites Bill 66 as the culprit. Yet, never is the bill's positive impact for BP or Sun Oil disclosed. Still, what's done is done.

While these refineries have no legal obligation to support education financially, they are members of our community.

Their lack of civic responsibility to help Oregon's struggling school system provide the base for a future workforce stuns me.

These companies are certainly entitled to profit. However, if greed drives profit, only a limited few benefit.

The Oregon system has continued to cut staff and programs to the bone, yet thanks to Bill 66, the district remains millions of dollars behind in its struggle to educate according to state standards.

This financial disaster will not disappear soon. Once again, the burden will fall on increased taxing of property owners.

Even though the Supreme Court declared Ohio's funding system unconstitutional four times during the past 12 years, homeowners have repeatedly fulfilled an obligation to society's children. Today this is more difficult. It does, however, take a village to raise a child.

I am not above begging those wealthier members of our business community to help carry the load. It is to their benefit as well as ours. The wisdom and commitment of two local refineries will put education first.

Sherry Shaheen

Oregon

After reading the May 5 Blade, I am very confused by Mayor Finkbeiner's statements. I am sure everyone else is too.

On the front page, there is an article in which Carty is quoted as saying "violent crimes, shootings are not ever prevented by the presence of a police officer, no matter how many thousands of police officers you have."

Then we flip to Page 6 and we read about the model block program. Carty is quoted as saying police would conduct a "thorough crime sweep" of the area, which he said he hoped would prevent more shootings like the one that killed a man on Sunday.

I don't know where to even begin.

I have always believed that a team is only as good as its leaders. It is no surprise, then, that Toledo has fallen to its present state.

It is leadership that will bring Toledo to its former existence and I don't see that happening under the Finkbeiner administration.

When we put trash bins and spending money on rewards for catching people spray-painting graffiti above police protection, I guess I am just confused.

Ron Miller

Garrison Road

I no longer live in northwest Ohio and have no real interest in Toledo politics, but I find it amusing that Ben Konop is all hot to have the Lucas County sheriffs assist Toledo police after layoffs.

The sheriffs in Ohio have always had responsibility for maintaining the peace in cities and villages within their county.

So Mr. Konop is, in my view, grandstanding, since the story states the two departments have cooperated anyway.

Larry Huffman

Piqua, Ohio

Editor's note: The writer is a retired Fostoria newspaper editor.

Thank you, Democratic Congress and Obama Administration. Billions for banks, billions for insurance companies, and billions for the automotive companies, but no cost of living increase next year for more than 50 million people on Social Security.

I hope those 50 million remember on Election Day.

Bill Kuhman

Escott Avenue



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