Candidates On: Budget Showdown (Part Two)

Oct 23, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Today’s installment of CityBeat’s questions for non-incumbent candidates for Cincinnati City Council is a follow-up to Thursday’s question.

In light of the recent budget showdown on City Council and the dispute about whether the Police Department should get an up-front, blanket exemption from the threat of layoffs, we asked, “Do you believe it’s appropriate to ask the police union for concessions in a time of deficits?”—-

Anitra Brockman (Green): No. I was taught a valuable lesson as a business professional, you must lead by example. A manager/department head should never ask an employee to do something that he/she would not first do themselves. I commend the few council members who have written checks back to the city in lieu of the budget issues and these council members are “leading by example”.  I fully stand in support of the police, fire and city workers who help to keep our streets clean and neighborhoods safe.

Tony Fischer (Democrat): “I believe it is appropriate to take any path that will prevent police layoffs. Keeping the current complement of officers on the street during this budget crisis is a win for the city of Cincinnati.”

Nicholas Hollan (Democrat): “I firmly believe that public safety is unquestionably one of the most important functions of local government. If the police force was able to function at the required levels to maintain public safety then it is absolutely appropriate to ask the police union to join with other unions in making the necessary concessions to avoid layoffs.”

Amy Murray (Republican): “As City Manager Milton Dohoney has pointed out, labor is the largest part of our city budget so avoiding some form of cuts in times like these is difficult. As I noted before, longer range forecasting and planning would take some of the pain out of any cuts necessary. (Union) President Kathy Harrell has forwarded a more business like approach using attrition and decreased hiring as its reduction drivers. Managed reductions, over time with (union) involvement are clearly superior to a reactive and secretive approach.”

Laure Quinlivan (Democrat): “Yes. We cannot exempt public safety departments from budget discussions. In the real world when times are tough, we all do more with less. We should focus on “smarter” policing driven by data and the latest technology.”

Bernadette Watson (Democrat): “Yes.”

George Zamary (Republican): “Yes. It is appropriate. Council must also work with the police union in determining the best way to accomplish the necessary savings.”