Mayor John Cranley unveils his budget proposal

Posted at 5:50 PM, May 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 21:37:09-04

CINCINNATI -- Mayor John Cranley unveiled his 2018 proposed budget plan Thursday, focusing on social services and saying he would not increase parking tickets.

Cranley announced his plans in Villages at Roll Hill, where he wants the city to partner with the Boys & Girls Club to build a new facility. He said the proposed budget would reduce poverty and expand opportunities for those in need.

"You come to a community like this, where the average income is $7,000 a year, kids living in poverty," Cranley said. "And being able to provide the safety net that they need and opportunities like this Boys & Girls Club is a reflection of my values."

Cranley is running for re-election this year.

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The mayor's proposal includes giving $200,000 to an anti-heroin coalition led by Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus. It would match what the county has already put into the program.

"This financial match is so important though, because we have now been working long enough to know what works," Driehaus said. "We need more dollars, we just need more dollars to impact more lives."

Cranley also focused on social service funding in his announcement. Dorothy Smoot with the Urban League said the money helps build new initiatives.

"This funding is vital to the continuing success to programs that focus on helping youth, young adults and job seekers," Smoot said.

Cranley also spoke about some cuts he planned in his proposal: positions that are open and funded but not filled, a $1 million study and "non-essential projects" out of the capital budget.

City Manager Harry Black previously unveiled a proposed $1.1 billion operating budget. He said he was able to plug a $26 million budget hole without closing pools or recreation centers.

One of the ways Black suggested increasing revenue was to raise parking tickets from $45 to $60, booting illegally parked cars, increasing building permit fees and boosting parking meter rates.

Black also recommended a 2.4 percent increase for building and inspection permits and across-the-board cuts for outside groups like community councils.

The city council must pass a budget by June 30.