That confluence of events, and approaching deadline, set off a public relations frenzy from Mayor Mallory, Roxanne Qualls, and Milton Dohoney to both justify their unjustifiable Parking Plot, and to convince voters not to sign the referendum petitions. They failed in both efforts.
Below we link to the second of those press conferences (we are looking for a good link to the first). Please watch it, in light of the budget vote tomorrow and Thursday, and ask yourself:
Did they just lie to us?
Watch Mayor Mallory from 3:17 to 4:20. It was utterly shameless. Here are the words from Mayor Mallory's lips:
Let me be clear. It is not a threat that I am making. I am giving the citizens of Cincinnati the reality of the fact that if this parking plan does not move forward, we will not have the resources we need to balance the budget beginning July 1. Therefore we will be forced, we will be forced, to lay off City employees, which will include police officers and firefighters....Let me make it clear again. If you sign a petition, you are leading us down a path where we will have no choice but to lay off police officers and firefighters.
And from Mayor Mallory's famous "Pink Slip" press conference only five days earlier:
We don't have any alternatives. There's no group we can turn to that can give us enough money to fill a budget hole so that we don't have to lay off police officers and firefighters.