Thursday, February 22, 2024

Hildo December 2023

We suspect you missed the news. Whilst prepping to give your family the big bird on Turkey Day, and fretting over Aunt Gertrude’s seating arrangement, given her peculiar odor, you prob missed the latest.

No, not the November 7 election results. Of course you caught the fact that Ohio voters respect a woman’s right to bodily autonomy. And the right to flame a big fatty. As for local elections, if you missed the results, just check our column from last issue. We were spot on.


RELATED: City Politics 2023: Raise Your Voices


Nope, none of that. You missed Wade presenting his proposed budget to Toledo City Council. And what a doozy it is!

See, Wade is the fortunate son. He caught lightning in a bottle as Toledo mayor. While his predecessors were saddled with struggling economies and attendant tax revenue problems, Wade has been blessed by billions upon billions of federal infusions into the economy. Not to mention a cool one hunnerd eighty mill directly into city coffers.

What would you do with record revenues? Presto! Blow the whole wad!

Windfall

Back to the budget. Wade proposes spending nearly three hunnerd thirty million in the general fund. This is over fifty million more than the actual expenditures just four years ago.

Of course, four years ago was the pandemic year. When income tax revenues declined for the first time in years. And federal largesse had yet to save the farm.

How does Wade propose to fund record expenditures? By mortgaging the future. Duh!

First, Wade’s budget assumes record income tax revenue. As in, a city rolling in dough. Flush with cash. That sort of thing.

Next, the budget assumes a transfer of over twenny-five mill from the capital improvement budget. That’s right, more robbing Peter to pay Paul shenanigans Wade promised to eliminate once and for all.

The budget is officially balanced by tens of millions in federal ARPA funds. The once-in-a-lifetime windfall that must be encumbered by the end of next year and spent by two years after that.

Talk about lucky. This means Wade can continue to draw on this fed cash cow all the way through his remaining term. Lavish spending on pet projects will cement his legacy as a great mayor.

You see, Wade can’t seem to live within his means. Not even these historically bloated means. Not even with projected record tax revenues, and continued capital improvement transfers, and one-time fed money.

Nope. His proposed budget draws down the fund balance by another couple of mill.

Never mind what will happen when the economy stagnates, as it inevitably will. And the pennies from heaven dry up. And there’s no more fund balance to draw down. Hoo boy.

Because Wade will be term limited out of office by then. Leaving his successor to tighten the belt and clean up the mess.

This makes it all the more interesting to see who will run for this fool’s errand in twenty twenty-five. Stay tuned.

Election recap

We don’t want to gloat. Aw, heck, sure we do.

Here’s how our election predictions fared. We predicted turnout over thirty percent countywide. It topped forty. We predicted easy victories for incumbents, and all incumbents won. Like, blowout wins. As in, why did these yo-yo challengers waste our time kind of wins.

To recap, we were right. But you already knew that.

It’s why you read this column.

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