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Mayor announces $30 million youth programing plan

Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz says the money will come from the American Rescue Plan.
Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 1:06 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - At Tuesday afternoon’s council meeting, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz made a stunning announcement after vetoing a previously approved plan to focus on youth programming in the city’s Parks & Recreation Department.

The mayor’s reasoning for the veto: the plan didn’t follow the charter.

Instead, Kapszukiewicz unveiled a new plan for spending a portion of the $188 million Toledo is getting from the American Rescue Plan.

“We can make historic investments in our kids that have never been made before in the history of our city and probably can never be made again,” offered the Mayor. “I’m going to recommend that we spend 30 million dollars from the relief we received from the American Rescue Plan, to invest it in our kids.”

The mayor’s peace offering didn’t sit well with the councilwoman who proposed the reorganization of the department in the first place.

“It’s really disingenuous to throw any amount of money at us and we’re supposed to believe that will be the case because frankly, 30 million dollars might not be enough,” said councilwoman Dr. Cecilia Adams.

The mayor says he’s been working with the city law department to develop the new plan, which would include youth mentorship programs and education, with a large-scale jobs program for kids over the summer.

“We have folks, primarily black and brown, primarily young men, that need mentoring. They don’t need words on a piece of paper, they need an investment. Let’s give them that,” added the mayor.

Leadership from local organizations, like the City Park League, which advocates for youth and family leisure activities in high-risk neighborhoods, were overjoyed with the announcement.

“It was awesome to hear that,” said Montrice Terry with the City Park League. “It’s pretty exciting to know our administration is now going to focus dollars to continue efforts like that.”

The mayor says he plans to release more details about the new project early next week.

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