City workers still waiting on layoff announcement

By Dan Wells - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - City of Cincinnati workers thought Monday might be a day full of layoff announcements.

The pink slips will still be passed out, but it's still unclear to whom.

The city is wrestling with a $28 million budget hole, and needs to come up with funds to make it through the rest of the year. Layoffs seem to be the last and only answer, but city manager Milton Dohoney is asking for more time to decide which departments could lose employees.

Some city workers attended Monday's city council finance committee meeting to get answers. Union leaders said they hoped to get answers last week

"We're all sitting here its like the undefined package at the airport," said Diana Frey with C.O.D.E. "You don't know if its a puppy or its going to blow up in your face. We know it's probably somewhere in between, but its really inhumane - the waiting and not knowing."

Frey says she has the impression the city is trying to combine the departmental plans into one big report before releasing the information.

Meanwhile, also during Monday's meeting, council approved spending more than $3 million on recycling. The money will buy a 64 gallon recycling cart for every household in the city.

Some members of council and union leaders in the crowd question the timing.

"When I talk to residents out there, would they rather have firefighters and police officers in their neighborhood or recycling?" said councilman Chris Monzel. "They're telling me they want firefighters and police officers and I believe the same thing."

Council members who voted in favor of the spending say if more people start to recycle, the city will eventually save money by cutting down on thousands of tons of trash.

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