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.
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.”
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.
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.