Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Council Can't Cut Costs, Continues Kicking Can

Guest editorial by Councilmember Chris Monzel

"Facing a $51 million deficit this past December, Cincinnati City Council decided continue to "kick the can" down the road instead of doing the tough cuts necessary to have a structurally balanced budget.

The budget, which was approved by a 5-4 vote, had more than $23 million in one-time cuts that will not provide longer-term savings. The budget also included closing 10 city swimming pools; charging $1.06 a month for yard waste and junk appliance collection; canceling police and fire recruit classes to save $4.1 million; and borrowing $4 million from the working capital reserve account, which is reviewed by bond rating agencies to determine the city's financial well-being.

But incredibly enough, besides not making the necessary budget cuts for a structurally balanced budget, Council also added money in the budget for the local film commission, nature education programs, human services agencies and $400,000 for enhanced recycling. Continuing pet projects and expanding programs that we will not be able to continue to afford is not the right way to balance our city budget. Especially, when we still have a $23 million hole that we will have to fill in 2011. Stay tuned to see how Council decides to keep kicking the can down the road.

I was proud to oppose this abomination of a budget Ordinance."

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