Pressure to balance budget has Niles PD worried about layoffs

Mayor Tom Scarnecchia said he would not lay off police and firefighters

Niles acting Police Chief Jay Holland and Mayor Tom Scarnecchia discuss possible layoffs.

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – The news out of Niles City Hall keeps getting worse. Layoffs haven’t been decided on yet, but the possibility was discussed at Wednesday’s city council meeting.

Earlier this week, an audit of the city’s 2015 spending concluded that Niles needs to stay committed to containing its cost and adding revenue. With the city still in fiscal emergency, the meeting had its tense moments.

Acting Police Chief Jay Holland spoke up at the meeting Wednesday. He said he was told by Niles’ tax office that the city could face a sudden deficit of $127,000.

“The officers are worried because they feel that we’re right back to where we were last year,” Holland said.

He also said Niles’ first responders had worked hard to lobby for the half-percent income tax increase in March.

Mayor Tom Scarnecchia repeated what he’s been saying since the tax passed.

“I would not layoff police or firemen.”

George Kuriatnyk did not hold back as he addressed Scarnecchia by saying, “This administration has done nothing to move us forward. Nothing. We’re going backwards. I don’t care who says we’re moving forward, because we’re not.”

The pressure is on the mayor to come up with a financial plan for the city within the next month – a point driven home by Council President Bob Marino.

“We are at the bottom of the barrel,” he said. “At this point in time, the ball is in the Mayor’s court but in the same vein, he has to put the plan together.”

Two areas that are still running at a deficit are the water department and the wellness center.

The financial commission said at its last meeting that they are working on correcting those deficits to get Niles out of fiscal emergency.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s