Tensions high at city budget hearing - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Tensions high at city budget hearing

CINCINNNATI, OH (FOX19) - You could almost taste the anger from the several hundred people who attended a public hearing on the city manager's proposed budget.

One by one, people told council they don't support the city manager's proposed cuts.

"These are people with families, and they've got bills, just like I do," said Sharon Koehler as she testified at the city council budge hearing Wednesday at Duke Energy Center.

"The mayor didn't even take time out of his busy schedule to be here at this meeting, and that my friend, is outrageous," said NAACP president Chris Smitherman.

FOX19 didn't hear one person say they support the Dohoney plan, a plan he says would save the city enough money to balance a budget that right now is $60 million short for 2011.

Most everyone who testified before the city council had their own agenda and their own passion for speaking out, but they did represent a broad range of police, firefighters, city workers and community groups.

Some in the crowd also brought up the city's plan for a streetcar, saying the money for that project shouldn't be kept separate from the city's general budget. Some told council that using that money would allow the city to make fewer cuts.

"They say, well, you can't spend it out of this fund because it's out of that fund. Well, these people here, every week they transfer millions of dollars from one fund to the other," said Tom Luken.

No decision or formal response was given from the member of city council's budget and finance committee. This was only the first meeting. Four more are on the docket for this month.

Copyright 2010 FOX19. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly