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Tight Budget Means Cuts to Come
CINCINNATI (Jeff Hirsh) -- The number one issue of 2013 has been resolved.
The streetcar is moving forward. But 2014 promises plenty of other challenges.
Mayor John Cranley said, "Every year should be a zero-based budget. You say here's the money we have, now what's #1, #2, #3. You pay for whatever is a priority and whatever is not a priority has to be cut. Money doesn't grow on trees."
For Mayor John Cranley, the priority is basic city services. Paving streets, collecting garbage, and public safety.
"So absolutely it's the case that we need more officers on the street. The police chief has said publicly that we're desperately low on officers right now. We haven't had this few cops in over 40 years and the homicide rate this year is very disturbing, so yes, adding more cops is more expensive, but it's the right thing to do. But it means we'll have to cut expenses elsewhere."
Cranley says the specific cuts will be determined during the budget process this spring. Speaking of money, the Mayor still thinks the streetcar is a waste but accepts that the project is moving ahead, and likely will keep going even if the price tag goes up.
"Well my position hasn't changed. I think we should stop throwing good money after bad. And I think the streetcar is a bad investment. But again I don't expect council will change from its current position. And I don't want to spend every minute on it when I have other issues like dealing with homicides, basic services that I'd rather spend my time on."
Cranley says he'll keep prioritizing public safety and other basic services. Not easy, but in his words, "I love this job. Sometimes council will go with me, sometimes they won't but I promise that I will keep faith with the voters who sent me here to keep faith on those issues."
See full interview HERE