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      Reaction to Toledo budget proposal

      Toledo Mayor Mike Bell handed members of City Council his recommendations for a balanced city budget on Monday.

      City councilman George Sarantou says the city's budget deficit is largely due to 14-percent unemployment in the city, which has led to declining income tax collection. "I believe that everyone is of the mind that we are in a severe fiscal crisis and we really need to move fast; we need to take bold action," Councilman Sarantou said.

      In 2009 the city collected $141.5 million in income tax down from the $155 million collected in 2008. Councilman Sarantou disagrees with the mayor on the issue of eliminating the tax credit for people who live in Toledo but work elsewhere but agrees with the mayor that having the state of Ohio take over the day to day operations of Toledo is not a good idea. "Having the state take over the city of Toledo is the worst possible action, we lose all control and it will take us years to recover from that," Mr. Sarantou said.

      The first public meeting on Mayor Bell's budget will be Wednesday, March at Waite High School. The meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. and will be conducted by Councilman Mike Craig.