Citizens For A Better Norwood

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bessie's COW Report for September

Financial recovery plan...
Finally, there's a financial recovery plan for Norwood, and it was the only topic on Tuesday night’s Committee of the Whole agenda. Betty Montgomery will be so pleased they’ve finally done their homework (see 8/06/06 archives for her 7/18/06 letter to Mayor Williams.). Sounds like there’s some more work to be done on it before it goes to the state for a thorough examination.

Positive feedback, but what about the $2.8 million deficit?

There was positive talk about this recovery plan. Mr. Schneider asked if the goal is to get out of fiscal watch, and does this plan do it? Mr. Sanker said that's the goal but wondered if it will be in one year or two. Then he said the numbers in the plan show we’ll be out of fiscal watch in two years. Of course, this is just a plan that's subject to change, it still has to be reviewed by the state, plus they made it clear no one knows what the 3 contracts still in negotiations will do to the budget. Maybe I missed something, but I didn't hear anyone say how the plan addresses this year's $2.8 million deficit. It seems like that's a big amount to deal with in a plan that, according to Mr. Sanker, has numbers showing fiscal watch will be over in two years.

Important November ballot issue...
They talked about this, too - there’s supposed to be a November statewide ballot issue that will make it harder to pass levies. Mr. Sanker said if Ohio voters pass it, local governments will need 51% of all local registered voters to pass levies, not just a simple majority of those who vote. That's major stuff! Mr. Moore was probably right when he said school districts all over Ohio will have fits if it passes. Sounds like this might be from the proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution to severely limit state and local government spending. I'll see if I can find out more and report back.

9/8/06 UPDATE: The ballot issue council was talking about is not going to be on the November ballot, according to what Citizens for Tax Reform, the group that was pushing it, told me when I called. The issue was called Tax Expenditure Limitation, or TEL. There are five statewide issues that may still make it on the ballot, and they’re described here: