City workers face pain, uncertainty

By Dan Wells - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - More than 300 city workers face uncertainty as their jobs are on the chopping block due to a $28 million budget deficit.

Tim Kellard has worked for the city for 18 years, and fears this may be his last.

"We've dedicated our lives and careers to the city of cCncinnati to do the best we can with what we have," said Kellard. "I am absolutely scared to death. I have been informed by my union that it appears that I am one of the people on the list."

"This entire process has been inhumane and has been terrible for anyone to have to go through," said Diana Frey, the union lead for CODE, Kellard's union.

Frey says it's not clear who in her membership will officially be let go on Sept. 6, but says it will be about 20 middle management employees.

Kellard says the writing is on the wall.

"You feel...its hard to describe how you feel...because you're so empty because you put for so much effort and did so much for your job and you dedicated yourself for nothing," said Kellard.

The uncertainty about who stays and goes comes as union rules about bumping positions and seniority pit co-workers against each other.

"The amount of stress and heartache that they are going through is tremendous right now," said Frey.

Kellard says as the process plays out, he will continue to be the best city employee he knows how to be, even if it is just for a week or two more.

"We're going to continue on going to work and doing the job the best we can with what we have and we will cross the bridge when it gets here and hopefully it doesn't get here," he said.

Kellard says if he does get that pink slip, he will most likely have to pull his two kids out of private school, possibly sell his house and reinvent the life he's used to living.

The last day for workers cut from the city's budget is Sept. 6.

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