Jay Hanselman

A small number of people showed up Wednesday night to speak about the proposed Cincinnati budget for the next fiscal year.  There were lots of empty chairs in the auditorium and only eight people offered testimony.

Some of them want continued funding for on road bicycle lanes.  The proposed budget could cut money for bike lane maintenance and eliminate dollars to build new ones.

Jay Hanselman

Mayor John Cranley presented a new budget Wednesday morning which closes a $22 million budget hole without lay-offs of city employees.

Cranley, in a press conference at police headquarters, said the $358 million general fund budget, if passed by city council, would be the first structurally balanced city budget in more than a decade.

“No gimmicks, no on-time revenue streams,’’ Cranley said, surrounded by several city council members and representatives of the police and fire departments and city employee union officials.

Hamilton County Commissioners approved the 2014 general fund budget Wednesday.

The $204.1 million spending plan was nearly unchanged from the plan presented by county administration. The only difference being redirecting $6.65 million in indigent care levy funds from the UC Medical Center to cover a gap in the Sheriff's inmate care budget.

The budget Hamilton County Commissioners vote on later this week will likely look a lot like the one proposed by county administration.

Board President Chris Monzel is suggesting just one change. The proposed budget calls for cutting $6.65 million in indigent care levy funds from the UC Medical Center and using it to cover a gap in the Sheriff's inmate care budget.

In his proposal, Monzel writes:

Hamilton County Commissioners are slated to vote next week on the 2014 general fund budget. Board President Chris Monzel will present some adjustments Monday to the current proposal and he's hoping for universal agreement.

Commissioner Greg Hartmann says what likely won't be in the budget is a response to last weeks appeal from the county coroner for a new crime lab.

Hamilton County Commissioners are unanimous - the 2014 budget won't include tax increases.

Jay Hanselman

Six Cincinnati Council Members are ready to restore about $4 million to the recently approved city budget after better than anticipated revenue collections for May and June.  

The funds will be used for things like recreation, parks, human services and the health department.  Council Member Laure Quinlivan said there's added money for parks too, which was a popular topic during public hearings in May.

A year and a half ago Covington City Manager Larry Klein projected a $20 million deficit over five years. Now with what he calls "painful" cuts out of the way, including new labor contracts with higher health care premiums, a reorganization of city departments and a consolidation of emergency dispatch services, Covington is on track to save 20 million over five years. He will detail his new budget Tuesday morning for businesses at a meeting spearheaded by the Covington Business Council.

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory is rescinding raises he gave to several of his staff this week.

In a statement Mallory says:

“I am rescinding the raises that I gave my staff and returning all salaries to the previous levels.  Although the changes that I made in my office structure resulted in a saving of $66,000 to be used in next year’s budget, I realize that the perception has had a negative effect on the morale of other City Employees."

Hamilton County Commissioners are meeting with department heads as they work out next year's budget. With most agency leaders begging not to have their budgets slashed and Commissioners facing steep cuts, the meetings don't last long.

Board president Greg Hartmann calls the process challenging.

“We’re in the neighborhood of being $100 million dollars smaller than we were six years ago, from $300 million to $200 million,” he says.