TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - Toledo's new mayor sees a flaw in the budget process.
Wade Kapszukiewicz, a former city councilman, himself, says "The city budget is not supposed to be a secret document."
Traditionally, the mayor presents a complicated budget in November.
Council sometimes has other ideas...
So the mayor wants council to be part of creating the budget.
Mayor Kapszukiewicz says, "It will give us the buy-in we need to avoid the acrimony, the bickering and the fighting."
Often council and the mayor battle over priorities and funding amounts. Councilman Tom Waniewski has waged some of those battles.
But he believes a united effort with keep them all focused.
Waniewski asks, "How can we, out of the $500 million operation, make sure that the taxpayers are getting their money's worth?"
And where does the money come from? And, is the money efficiently used?
Those are tough questions to answer when council only has until march 31 to pass a spending plan.
Council president Matt Cherry welcomes council's involvement in building a spending plan. "We shouldn't be working on a budget 4-months of the year,' Cherry says. "We should be working on a budget 12 months a year."
Council can now do that. By putting perhaps six members on a task force with the mayor and his top budget people.
This would be councilman Rob Ludeman's 23rd budget. He believes the two sides can produce a strong plan.
Ludeman says, "It should be a uncomplicated and user friendly and hopefully we can work with the mayor and his administration to make that happen."
And councilman Peter Ujvagi says tracking tax dollars will be easier if both sides are engaged.
Ujvagi says, "We'll actually be able to examine and see how effectively we're using taxpayers dollars and what may be need to change to do even better."
Kapszukiewicz says that better communication and cooperation will benefit taxpayers. When we do it together, we'll have a better budget, we'll have more consensus, we'll have more harmony and the citizens will be better served."