City budget meeting canceled - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

City budget meeting canceled

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A Cincinnati Council budget meeting originally scheduled for Friday morning has been canceled. The committee will now meet on Tuesday, December 28 at 10am.

Council members must have a budget in place by the end of the year.

Council was scheduled to meet Wednesday morning after several recesses were called on Tuesday. However, they announced recesses at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., 3 p.m, and 6 p.m.

"We're trying to focus on minimizing the potential numbers of layoffs, minimize the potential reductions in service, and wherever we can find money to make sure those things are the most important in our discussions," says Councilman Cecil Thomas.

City manager Milton Dohoney's proposed budget calls for the layoffs of 131 police and 144 firefighters. Mayor Mark Mallory sent Dohoney's recommendations directly to council without any changes.

Kathy Harrell with the Fraternal Order of Police says any layoffs would be effective on January 2, but pink slips have been going out since Friday, and so have demotion letters for sergeants. No police specialists have received demotion letters yet.

Meanwhile, the city council debates this week on three main plans to fix the $60 million budget deficit.

Among the choices to fix the problem: layoff the police officers and firefighters, get $20 million in concessions from the two unions, or outsource the public patrol division to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, with assurances from Sheriff Simon Leis that he will hire back some of the laid off officers.

"The challenge is not so much for the council, but it's for those folks that are waiting to hear weather or not they have jobs. I mean this is a terrible season in which to have to deal with this," said councilwoman Roxanne Qualls.

Council members could vote on a budget at any time.

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