Councilman Charlie Winburn urges city to freeze credit cards - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Councilman urges city to freeze credit cards

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Cincinnati City Councilman Charlie Winburn wants City Manager Milton Dohoney to freeze all 145 city credit cards to fight the $35 million deficit.

Winburn presented documents on Monday showing the city of Cincinnati has put about $6 million on their city credit cards in the last five years.

 As the fate of dozens of city workers and departments remains a mystery, Councilman Winburn proposes the city reduce the number of credit cards from 145 to 18, one for each city department. 

"I think that all ideas should be on the table and you should be able to take a look at their personal expenditures," said resident Gabriel Fletcher. 

Councilman Winburn says what upsets him is the fact that in the past few years, the spending is growing substantially. He adds there's no need to have dozens of employees with a credit limit between $15,000 and $20,000.

"In 2008, the city manager spent $87,000 for credit cards and in 2009 spent $616,000 in credit cards," said Winburn. 

So what is all this money being spent on? Records show that thousands of dollars has been spent at JC Penney, on luxury hotels, iTunes and office furniture. 

"Why not get a nice hotel, but not the best hotel? Certain things can be cut out and just do things in moderation," said resident Gabriel Fletcher. 

"It's the perception, am I partying while some kid is losing his service or an elderly person is losing their service," said resident Amos Robinson.

For this year alone, Winburn says records show almost $700,000 has been spent and he anticipates that number will grow to $2 million by the end of the year.

"We don't have a credit card to put police officers back on the street. We don't have a credit card, not one credit card to put firefighters back," said Winburn. 

Winburn says he would like the city to request an audit of these credit card accounts for the last 10 years to see if there was any inappropriate spending over that time period. He also is urging the rest of council to direct city manager Milton Dohoney to turn in all city credit cards by five o'clock on Wednesday.

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