Norwood passes partial city budget

The City of Norwood passed a partial budget on Thursday night, which will allow some of the city's employees to get paid as early as Friday, but fire and police unions were upset because the Council did not come to terms on a contract for them.

"I can't say 100-percent that our offer is pulled from the table, but our members will be voting on that on Monday, no matter what Council does," said Norwood Firefighters Union President of Local 445, Bobby Schlachter.

Police and fire unions were disappointed by Council again and say this feels like the final slap in the face.

"We've started out from the very beginning making concessions, asking very little in return, that's what happens when you negotiate, it's give and take and we have given and given and given and got nothing in return," Schlachter said.

"Just part of the security that we want put into the contract," said Norwood Patrolman Brian Baker. "As the Mayor said, it doesn't necessarily say that we wouldn't come back, just that they can't force us."

"Motion fails," read the Council President.

One by one, Council tried to pass ordinances for the Police and Fire contracts. They did however, pass an amendment that changed the language from through 2013 to 2012, and that's as far as it got, amounting to a one year extension.  A move that did not sit well with Police and Fire reps.

It failed to get enough votes to pass, but both Police and Fire contracts passed first readings.

"They like anybody else that works for the City," Mayor Tom Williams said. "Does not want to see this City destroyed, this is their home, this is their job, this is what they do."

Council did pass an appropriations ordinance, so City workers could see a paycheck covering the last four days of March as early as Friday.

This also means bills, like a disconnect notice for power at an unnamed City building, will get paid.

Technically, the budget did pass, but another ordinance to pay other bills still has yet to pass.

And the divide between Police and Fire and the City got a little deeper.

"We have a meeting Monday night," Baker said. "Same as the Fire Union and we'll see what happens from there."

"Firefighters took an oath to serve our citizens and protect these people," Schlachter said. "We're gonna continue to do that, we want the citizens to know that we are here for them."

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