Cincinnati budget

Michael Keating

A Cincinnati Council committee is expected to approve a budget plan Wednesday that now includes no layoffs for police officers and firefighters.  But about 60 other city employees will likely be out of work in a couple of weeks.  

Back in March the city manager proposed laying off 344 city workers including police officers and firefighters.

Right now there are three separate budget motions and the plan is to combine them in one large item for Wednesday vote.  

However the city's longer-term issue of spending more money than it takes in will continue.

Jay Hanselman

Once again preventing park cuts and saving public safety jobs were the focus of many speakers during a Cincinnati Council hearing Monday night on the city’s budget.

There was a smaller crowd for the session at the College Hill Recreation Center, and about 30 speakers offered testimony.

About half of them are asking Council not to reduce funding for the parks department.   The board that runs those facilities has threatened closures and reduced maintenance if the city manager’s budget is adopted.

Jay Hanselman

Don’t cut parks and public safety. Those were the dominate themes last night during the first of three public hearings on Cincinnati next budget, which City Council must approve by June 1st.

About 50 speakers offered testimony to Council’s Budget and Finance Committee in a session at the Duke Energy Convention Center that lasted about three hours.

A dozen speakers spoke against cuts to the parks department including resident Polk Laffoon.

Michael Keating

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.”

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory's budget plan released Wednesday reduces the number of police and fire department layoffs.  But 53 firefighters and 49 police officers would still be out of work in early June.  

Mallory said he believes the public safety layoffs are unavoidable.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Cincinnati park officials are laying out some drastic changes you could expect this summer if proposed budget cuts are approved by City Council. Fountains could be turned off, lakes could be drained and flower beds could go unplanted.

Ault Park's Facebook page lists more closings that could be considered including the Mt. Airy Dog Park and Disc Golf course, a handful of entire parks, and all park restrooms.

Here's a letter being circulated by one park advocacy group:

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney Thursday presented his proposed budget for the new fiscal year that begins on July 1st.   His plan included layoffs for 201 city employees, but that’s down from the 344 he first discussed last month.

Dohoney’s budget plan was given to Mayor Mark Mallory, who now has ten days to review it and make changes before sending it to City Council.

Jay Hanselman

Can Cincinnati balance its next budget without money from a proposed parking lease or massive layoffs?  The answer to that question depends on who you ask.  

City administrators say it's mathematically impossible to balance without one or the other.  

But some Council Members disagree.  P.G. Sittenfeld said during a special meeting Thursday there are options.

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