Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Cranley proposes budget cuts, more cops

By Howard Wilkinson
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati neighborhoods could have an additional 75 police officers on the street over the next two years, if Cincinnati City Council agrees to a budget-cutting plan to hire them.

        Councilman John Cranley is looking for support for his plan to cut $4.4 million from the 2002 and 2003 city budgets and put all but $1 million of that into hiring more police officers — 40 next year and 35 in 2003.

        Mr. Cranley paraded a half-dozen Cincinnati com munity council leaders before his law committee Monday. All said the new police positions are necessary to combat the rise in violent crime since the April rioting.

        To pay for his plan, Mr. Cranley has outlined a series of budget moves, including using the $908,000 the city had planned to spend on relocating the post office from the West End before that plan was scrapped.

        He would also, in 2003, shift $2 million in street rehabilitation money for low-income neighborhoods from the city budget to a federal grant program.

        Other cost-saving proposals: eliminating car benefits for city department and division heads, which would save $129,500; yanking funding for the city's Sister Cities program ($54,000); reducing the amount the city spends funding special events by $500,000; and reducing the debt service the city pays on the Albert B. Sabin Cincinnati Convention Center by $1 million.

        “I'm willing to compromise on any of this to get the cops on the streets,” Mr. Cranley said.


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