Commissioner Konop statement on county budget voteWritten by Toledo Free Press Staff Writers | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop has released the following statement:
“This morning I will vote No on the $140 million, taxpayer-funded 2009 budget presented to me last week. My decision is based on proposals in this budget to potentially eliminate some road patrols by the Sheriff’s department and the exclusion of a new class of Sheriff’s deputies. Also, I object to allocating $1,000,000 to the under performing and mismanaged LCIC, $450,000 for new windows on a county building, arbitrary pay raises to select employees when we have laid off 20 employees, and the closing of the exhibit halls of the Lucas County Rec Center which would end, amongst other things, Children’s Wonderland.
Furthermore, I implore my fellow Commissioners to either join me in voting against this budget or to agree to table a vote to allow us more time to construct a budget that makes sense for Lucas County. While we have disagreed over many issues in the last year and will not agree on everything that goes into the budget, surely we can do better to insure that our citizens and our roads are safe and our taxpayers money is spent prudently at a time of economic hardship. Items I disagree with in the budget include:
- Reductions in the Sheriff’s road patrol; no new class of deputies. I appreciate the Sheriff’s willingness to be fiscally responsible in these economic conditions, and I know the potential cuts in public safety are not his prerogative, However, as Commissioner I would rather see dollars be allocated to hiring more sheriff’s deputies and providing for public safety than spent on other, less essential aspects of county government.
- Pay raises, in some cases of 5 percent, to select Lucas County employees.
- Handing the LCIC $1,000,000 with no implemented accountability standards and no governance structure.
- Allocating $450,000 to nonessential windows on a county building.
- Shutting down the exhibit areas of the Rec Center for community usage, including Children’s Wonderland, trade shows, and recreation opportunities.
- 300 page, $140,000,000 budget was distributed to Commissioners only 3 business days before this scheduled vote, leaving little time to study a budget that could potentially jeopardize public safety, allocates resources to non-essential services, and negatively impacts the community.”