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Published: Sunday, 3/7/2010

Hike in taxes would hurt city

Toledo's budget problems are starting to spill over into the rest of northwest Ohio. I can appreciate the challenges facing Mayor Mike Bell and the need to balance the city's budget ("Bell's budget seeks cuts, $15 trash fee, events tax," March 2). However, now it could be at the expense of those the city has worked hard to attract to spend money in Toledo.

An 8 percent entertainment tax will hurt all that hard work. A few weeks ago, downtownparkinglots substantially raised their special events parking fees. That made me think about whether I wanted to renew my tickets to the ValentineTheatre.

If the 8 percent tax goes through, I will have to consider whether I want to renew my Toledo Symphonytickets. Let's not forget the Mud Hens and the great entertainment at the Lucas County Arena, and the restaurants people usually go to when attending special events.

These are tough times, but does Toledo really want to cut off one of the hands that still feeds its economy?

Ron Amrine

Risingsun, Ohio

I hope Toledo City Council will not back Mayor Bell'sidea of an entertainment tax.I would miss attendingbaseball and hockey games.

Tim Riddle

Waterville

A lot has been said about how greedy city unions are at this time of distress. But there has been almost no talk about the other city employees: management personnel.

There may be lots of room to extract concessions and savings if the city were to restructure management.Asking a union worker who makes $30,000 a year to do with 20 percent less in wages and benefits without asking the same from management does not seem fair.

Once the administration shows parity, it may be easier to obtain concessions from the unions.

Frank Falzone

Broadway Street

The City of Toledo does not need to waste money on police or fire classes. Hire the unemployed who have completed criminal justice classes and have experience. This will save the cost of paying students to attend classes who may drop out or fail to pass requirements.

Rodney W. Henning

Shoreham Lane

Who negotiated the last contract for the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association?As a state employee, I get 10 paid holidays.What other major holidays are there that TPPA is allowed 15 holidays a year?

We are allowed to cash in our sick time and personal time at the end of the year. We only get a percentage of the pay for sick time.

When we retire, we get a percentage of the sick time we have accrued. We have a cap on how much personal time and compensatory time we can accrue. Our contract states that we have a limitedtime to use comp time.

The Toledo police force does a wonderful job and needs to be commended, but we are all taking concessions.Maybe it is time to take the police union back to the table to see what can be done to make the situation work for everyone.

Kristin Kohring

Kimberton Drive

Does local government seem out of touch? This week, we heard Mayor Bell's proposed budget cuts and tax increases. Then we heard Toledo Public Schools proposals ("TPS proposals would end all athletics, shut Libbey," March 4).

Envision a city where the school system has no athletics, your child must walk two miles to school, and you pay federal, state, and city taxes no matter where you work. Why stay in Toledo when you can move one mile north to Bedford, one mile south to Perrysburg, or one mile west to Holland?

We must make tough decisions. But increasing taxes and eliminating basic services are in contrast to the end goal, especially when we see waste and substantial pay increases at One Government Center.

Eliminate waste, then attract business and residents. Getting people and businesses to move to Toledo will broaden the tax base. Increasing taxes on those who already live and do business here and then giving them second-rate service gives them no reason to stay.

Scott Thompson

Crestwood Road

Sunoco is hiring out-of-state workers for its annual maintenance project and taking our local economy with them ("Out-of-state workers at Sunoco protested," Feb. 27).

With a $48 million city deficit and thousands of laid-off workers, you'd think Sunoco would be more neighborly and hire local contractors who normally perform this task.

Sunoco's corporate philosophy states that the company "is proud of our long-standing commitment of investing time, talent, and financial resources to improve the quality of life for our customers, neighbors, and employees."

Live up to your principles, keep local people working, and prevent our tax dollars from leaving.

Shaun Enright

Clark Street

Evidently Toledo City Councilman Joe McNamara is so anxious to obtain the backing of The Blade for his political ambitions that he has lost all sense of reality about the former United Way building ("Reprieve for building asked, McNamara asserts structure could play revitalization role," March 3).

Toledo does not need more vacant downtown office space.

Henry Hauenstein

Holland

I read with dismay about First Energy Corp. removing 140 trees on the property of a family in Providence Township ("Family loses its battle to save 140 evergreens," Feb. 24).

According to the family, the trees would never have grown to a height that would interfere with power lines, and the appearance of other trees in the area would seem to bear that out.You wonder why the trees could not have just been topped if necessary, and not destroyed.

This must be devastating to the family. I will opt out of any services connected to FirstEnergy at the first opportunity.

Janet Miller

Reynolds Road

The March 2 letter "Offline and out of touch" stated that seniors and those on fixed incomes are not cared about because they don't own computers. I'd like to suggest the services of public libraries.

Libraries recognize that some feel left out by the digital divide and offer a multitude of solutions to help bridge the gap. At the Rossford Library and most other public libraries, patrons have access to the Internet via computers.

There are free computer classes for those who lack the most basic Internet skills. Our library also offers free one-on-one computer help by appointment to address specific patron questions or for a simple opportunity to become familiar with personal computer usage.

These days, when it is common for business to be transacted impersonally via computer, know that your library is offering friendly assistance and opportunities for learning and entertainment. I urge people of all generations to take advantage of this wonderful resource.

Jeannine Wilbarger,

Director

Rossford Public Library



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