Qualls/Seelbach plan to further reduce public safety layoffs

May 16, 2013

Two Cincinnati Council Members are supporting a plan to eliminate all the proposed firefighter layoffs while reducing police officer layoffs to 25.  

Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and Council Member Chris Seelbach announced the proposal Thursday.

“We will continue to look for additional savings that could reduce layoffs even further,” Qualls said in a press release.  “We must preserve essential services that keep all of our neighborhoods safe and clean.”

The motion would make the following changes to the budget proposed by the manager, resulting in a savings of $607,000:

  • Double the cost savings (furlough) days for supervisory and leadership personnel from five to ten, for a savings of $250,000
  • Ask all members of council to take the equivalent of ten cost savings days through payroll deductions for a savings of $22,700
  • Reduce council office budgets for a total  of $18,000
  • Reduce the Clerk of Council’s budget by $46,000
  • Merge the departments of Community Development and Economic Development, for a savings of $171,000
  • A reduction of $100,000 in the account for firefighter’s protective gear.

The Qualls/Seelbach motion follows the mayor's budget plan Wednesday, which also reduced the number of public safety layoffs.  

“I am proud to stand with Vice Mayor Qualls to put forth a plan to eliminate firefighter layoffs and dramatically reduce police layoffs,” Seelbach said in a release.  “Public safety continues to be a top priority in Cincinnati.”

The city manager’s budget called for 71 firefighters to face layoffs along with 66 police officers.

Council will likely approve the budget for fiscal year 2014 before June 1st.  The group must close a $35 million general fund deficit.  

The manager proposed, and Council approved, leasing most of the city’s parking facilities to the Port Authority to help balance the next budget.  

But opponents of that proposal took the issue to court and a judge ruled they had the right to place the issue on the ballot.  The city has appealed that court decision and an opinion could be released soon.