Cincinnati City Council starts wrestling with $60 million deficit today

Asking departments where to cut

CINCINNATI - Cincinnati city council is looking to its department heads, andthen to the public for ideas on how to cut expenses and boostrevenue as it comes to grips with what could end up being a $60million budget deficit for next year.

The council's Budget and Finance Committee will startconsidering the 2011 city budget during a meeting Monday afternooninside City Hall.

In a news release, Councilmember and former Mayor Roxanne Quallsasks for all departments which receive money from the city'sgeneral fund to show how they plan to consolidate programs andservices, reducing their department's expenses, and improveefficiency. She also wants department heads to describe what theycould do to make more money or generate additional revenue.

"We need to ensure that we are able to continue to provide thebasic services and prevent layoffs, especially for our safetypersonnel," said Qualls.

During last fall's budget discussions, initial plans showedseveral hundred Cincinnati police and firefighters could be laidoff due to a $50 million budget deficit. Initial discussionsindicated the city could save $11 million next year by laying off90 to 150 fire department personnel.

The schedule for department presentations is:
- Monday, October 18 – Planning
- Wednesday, October 27 – Recreation
- Monday, November 1 – Parks
- Wednesday, November 3 – Community Development
Department of Transportation and Engineering
- Wednesday, November 10 – Police
- Monday, November 15 – Health
- Wednesday, November 17 – Administrative Services
- Monday, November 22 – Public Service (Roads, SnowRemoval)
- Wednesday, November 24 – Fire

Monday meetings begin at 1 p.m. and Wednesday start are at 10:30a.m.

All meetings are in City Council Chambers and will also bebroadcasted on CitiCable.

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