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      City budget met with compliments and confidence

      TOLEDO - Complaints were few and compliments were plentiful at the City of Toledo's community budget meeting on Monday night.

      Despite a somewhat small turn out, optimism was high.

      "It's not how much resources you have, it's what you do with the resources and I think they're sitting down and really thinking and they're really bringing these things forth to the citizens," said Old West End resident Khali Maddox-Abdegeo.

      Issues brought forth by Mayor Mike Bell and Police Chief Derrick Diggs include budgeting for added public safety. The mayor told those in attendance, that by the end of next year, he plans to add more police and firefighters than have been added in the past 16 years.

      Fire Chief Luis Santiago was pleased by improvements in his department.

      "We've been forced to be more creative with our scheduling and to deal with some of our shortages, but help is on the way," said Santiago. "We have a class in place right now with 45 members."

      Residents and leaders agreed the proposed 2013 budget showed signs of growth within stringency.

      "They are allowing us, the department, flexibility to take care of our business and what we need to handle as city officials, without hindering our progress," said Dennis Kennedy, Senior Manager of the Division of Code Enforcement in the Department of Inspection.

      "I think the city government and representatives have built a capsule, a safety capsule to take us through all of that," said Maddox-Abdegeo.

      For a copy of the city's proposed 2013 operating budget:

      Toledo City Council will host another town hall budget meeting Tuesday, Dec. 18 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Weber Block, Front & Main Street.