(West End) -- At District One Headquarters, surrounded by police officers, Mayor John Cranley released his proposed interim budget, with a few changes to what he received from the Acting City Manager.
Mayor Cranley's proposed budget puts a focus on public safety and public works. He says it's structurally balanced, without layoffs, without tax increases, and without "gimmicks", like using one-time sources to cover budget gaps. Cranley's budget cuts more than $21.6 million in spending.
The budget includes money for the lateral hires and a new recruit class for Cincinnati Police, and uses a federal grant to cut fire station brownouts down to two a day. Just three years ago, there were as many as eight closed a day. Fire Chief Richard Braun says the City is moving in the right direction in that area.
In addition to public safety, Mayor Cranley says his budget puts a new focus on improving the quality of life, and creates a poverty czar. Cranley says that poverty czar will work on a five-year plan for dealing with unemployment, homelessness and other issues, so the city can receive funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
He is planning on more street repaving "than ever before", and wants to see potholes filled more quickly. That money is coming from other cuts; a proposed $125,000 customs house at Lunken Airport, and $154,000 for new solar-powered trash compactors. Overall, most departments face a 4% spending cut.
Cranley is also proposing a 1.5% raise for members of city unions, CODE and AFSCME. To do that, his plan dips into city reserves.
Mayor Cranley expects City Council to make amendments, but asks they balance any new spending with cuts. The interim budget must be passed before July First, but the chair of the Council's Budget and Finance committee wants it done long before then.