Simplifying Issue 2Written by Tom Waniewski | | email@example.com
Issue 2 is really quite simple. If you think nine city council members are enough to do the business of the city, please vote for Issue 2. If you think we need 12 people for a city this size, then you should vote no. There are also public policy considerations that go along with changing the organization of council, and honest people can disagree about them, but I feel that Issue 2 will not only save money for our cash-strapped city, but also improve representation and increase accountability; the best of both worlds.
If, after three months of public debate, you are still not sure how to vote on Issue 2, here are some things to think about based on the arguments presented by both sides
1. Will it bring about a better candidate? You’re always rolling the dice there. Who knows? But at least you’ll get to know the contenders more closely. There are nearly two dozen candidates running for city council. Can you tell me two meaningful, relevant things about one of them?
2. Compute the cost of public service. If you have a strong desire to serve the public, but disdain the politics you will have to go through to get elected, the current system prevents this from occurring. It hurts our city by depriving it of good leaders. It costs a lot and ties the candidate too closely to the organizations that can offer to erase those costs. Running for council, if Issue 2 passes, lowers the barrier or, I prefer, opens the door for more people who are not part of any political machine. It’s not to allow the menial, but to motivate the masses.
3. There wasn’t enough discussion on the topic. I’ve not known government to not talk a topic to death. And this was no different. Send it to this committee for review by another committee … Yikes! If we did as much doing as we do talking, we’d do a lot of doing.
4. The language is confusing. Have you looked at your bank statement lately? How about your cell phone bill? If you can read a couple of those a month, you’ll have no problem understanding Issue 2. Do you want nine council members legislating the business of the city or 12? If you think nine is fine, vote yes.
5. District members don’t have the interest of the entire city at hand. At our last council meeting, all but one district council member voted against raising the trash fee. All but one at-large member voted for raising the trash fee and one at-large member was not in attendance. Based on the flood of e-mails I’ve been getting on the trash fee, I believe the majority of the city was best served by the vote of the majority of district members.
6. One thing both sides have agreed on is that it will save money in the form of salary and benefits for three council members and some support staff. We have all had to downsize in our personal lives and so has government. This cost savings can only be achieved by the vote of the people. You are the boss, and on Sept. 15, you can vote to streamline city government. We all know the council would never act to do this on their own. This is why the people had to put this on the ballot.
In a few days, you will decide. Don’t let me or anyone else tell you how you should vote. Please search out for the truth and decide for yourself.
One last thing; you should not feel conflicted by voting for your preferred at-large council candidates this year, while voting to shrink the size of and reorganize our city council.
There are hard-working, at-large council members. Joe McNamara, George Sarantou and Mark Sobczak, before he left council, were at every one of my frequently hosted neighborhood meetings. Voters will recognize that.
Tom Waniewski is a Toledo City Councilman for District 5.
Tags: Issue 2