CINCINNATI -- As the public battle between Cincinnati's mayor and city manager rages on, some residents and councilmembers are questioning whether it's having an impact on the city government's day-to-day business.
The dispute between Mayor John Cranley, who wants City Manager Harry Black to resign, and Black, who says Cranley is trying to become the city's chief executive, was a popular topic at Northside lunch spot Ruth's Parkside Cafe Thursday.
"I feel very much that they're wasting time and money while they're arguing and posturing back and forth while things could be decided and money spent," Maureen Ward of College Hill said.
Diners questions who's running the city and taking care of issues important to taxpayers.
"They should be worried about running the police department, the fire, the EMTs, the traffic, all of the city," Molly Hodapp said. "That's what they're supposed to be doing."
One of the biggest looming issues is the city budget, which has to be balanced by June 30.
"There's a $24 million gap between expected expenses and the revenues coming in," Councilmember David Mann said. "That's a lot of gap to try to close."
The city manager develops the budget, then sends it to the mayor for tweaking before the council has the final say.
"We need to do it without laying off police and fire, without furloughing people," Mann said. "I don't know how we're going to do it."
Councilmember Jeff Pastor also said he's concerned the mayor/manager dispute is hijacking important matter as well.
"The reality is, we're much better than this," he said. "This is not how government works."
Back in Northside, the lunch group came up with a quick solution to the problem.
"I think they need to sit down and have a meeting and act like grownups and stop arguing," Ward said. "Sit down and work out their differences and get back to work."