Hamilton County Commission

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County's Administrator today presented Commissioners three possible budgets for next year but it sounds like they'll be choosing Option number four.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners are expected to discuss the 2013 general fund budget Monday morning.

As Hamilton County budget meetings continue, the story remains the same. Department heads are still begging to keep their budgets intact... and commissioners keep saying everyone will have to deal with less.

Lamenting unfunded mandates from the state legislature is another popular refrain.

Board member Todd Portune says, “At what point do those above us in this hierarchy acknowledge that they can’t just keep demanding and expect to be absorbed? I would argue that we’re at that point.”

Michael Keating

Hamilton County Commissioners are moving forward with a plan to shore up the struggling stadium fund for another year.

Essentially the board is taking out an insurance policy to cover the bulk of the debt and fund what's left from county reserves. It'll cost about $300,000.

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.

Hamilton County Commissioners are navigating the budget process for next year. No decisions have been made but they're already responding to comments from outgoing Sheriff Simon Leis that they plan to gut his department.

Leis threatens proposed cuts would mean laying off employees and reducing space at the overcrowded county jail.

Commissioner Chris Monzel says public safety is a top priority.

Tana Weingartner

Hamilton County Commissioners are considering a proposal that would cover the projected 2013 deficit in the stadium fund.

(photo by Tana Weingartner)

Renewal levies for Hamilton County senior services and mental health will stay at their current millage rates for a five-year period, meaning reduced funding for the agencies that rely on them.  Commissioners approved both levies today for November's ballot. 

Board president Greg Hartmann acknowledged it would be a challenge for levy recipients, but said it was important to hold the line on property taxes when many county homeowners were facing tough economic decisions. 

Commissioner Chris Monzel called it the right direction to go:

Jay Hanselman reviews some of the stories that made news in Greater Cincinnati this past week, including City Council term limits, relocating utilities for the streetcar project, and levies for Hamilton County Senior and Mental Health Services.

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