YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Some members of Youngstown City Council were expecting specifics Monday night on how to erase next year’s multi-million dollar deficit. Instead, they got information they already knew and it appeared like the current administration was going to leave the specifics to the next administration.
Next year, Youngstown is facing a deficit of between $2.5 and $3 million. Finance Director Dave Bozanich had previously said that as many as 40 people may need to be laid off.
About 50 people — mostly city employees, along with Mayor-elect Tito Brown — were at the meeting, expecting to hear who would be laid off next year. They looked to Bozanich, who had no specifics.
“It’s a little bit disingenuous for myself to put together a go forward plan when I don’t plan to be the go forward person to implement it,” he said.
Councilwoman Lauren McNally questioned the purpose of the meeting.
“What is it that you’re trying to get out of this meeting then if you didn’t bring us anything new?”
Bozanich said he called Councilman T.J. Rogers to say the meeting might be unnecessary.
Charles Beck, with the Parks Department, said that during the last layoffs, his union — AFSCME Local 2312 — took the brunt of the layoffs.
“Would that still be the major consideration as who is going to be laid off, or not?”
Rogers said the goal is to try to do it through attrition.
“Basically, let people retire and not fill those positions. I don’t think any of us want to lay anybody off.”
After the meeting, the mayor-elect said he was okay with decisions being made now.
“I don’t think we should wait until January 1st,” Brown said. “If it’s a reduction in working some of those options that will help the budget, I think we should do it right now.”
Councilwoman McNally admitted she was frustrated with Bozanich.
“I’m disappointed that he didn’t give us more concrete options with actual numbers and figures,” she said. “To say, ‘Here’s what Plan A would look like, what Plan B would look like, here’s what Plan C would look like, these are the impacts it would have.'”
No further meetings have been scheduled to discuss next year’s budget and the possibility of layoffs. This might not be decided until early next year when the Tito Brown administration takes over.