Public sounds off on city budget - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Public sounds off on city budget

By Dan Wells - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - People took the chance Tuesday night to speak up about $20 million-worth of cuts proposed to get Cincinnati out of a budget nightmare.

City council members held the first of two public hearings on the issue at the Dunham Recreation Center in West Price Hill.

From police and fire to parks and recreation, layoffs, furloughs, all of it was on the table, and residents are frustrated by a diminishing lack of city services.

In recent days, city manager Milton Dohoney told city council members cuts need to be made in every department, with layoffs and furloughs also on the table.

At the packed public hearing, council members addressed concerns about police and fire taking the biggest hit, but that wasn't the end of the discussion.

"Council has made it very clear. We're not talking about street strength. What we're talking about is a combined budget of $176 million for police and fire we can find five percent in administrative overhead," said city council member Roxanne Qualls.

Dohoney has also called for the closure of the Carthage and Camp Washington recreation centers, an idea some parents are unhappy with.

"First of all, I'm a single mother of two and my teen daughter goes to the teen camp. It's a great way to keep them out of trouble," said Lisa Robertson, a Cincinnati resident.

"I think that is a shame to close rec centers. That will overcrowd the rec centers that are open it's going to hurt a lot of families that rely on this," added another resident, Jennifer Helsel.

On top of all of that, 11 public pools could also find themselves on the chopping block, which is a move residents say will sink the summer season for the city's children.

"I understand they have to make cuts but make cuts tighten the belt somewhere else," said Terry Burke, a Cincinnati resident.

"They keep taking more and more taxes from us, what are the taxes going for if its not to help working people and parents where is it all going," said Robertson.

There will be another public hearing on the city budget Thursday, June 25 at the Evanston Recreation Center.

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