Opponents of Cincinnati parking plan forcing vote

CINCINNATI (AP) — Opponents of a controversial plan that would help balance Cincinnati’s budget by privatizing parking have collected enough signatures to force a public vote on the issue in November.

Through Friday morning, the Hamilton County Board of Elections had validated about 10,000 signatures submitted by a citizens group for a referendum. That’s about 1,300 more than the minimum required.

The plan’s supporters say it would not only balance the city’s budget through 2015 and jumpstart major redevelopment projects, but also would prevent the layoff of hundreds of police officers and firefighters.

Opponents say there are smarter ways to solve the budget gap than privatizing parking. They accuse the city of holding police and fire jobs hostage to get it approved.

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