YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown City Council was given a balanced budget Wednesday night without laying anyone off. The city has managed to cut $1.3 million. After all that, some on council are not happy that a few areas could be getting less money.
Youngstown Finance Director Kyle Miasek went through all 24 cuts being proposed, like eliminating a fire department secretary, reorganizing the law department and cutting $27,000 in overtime from fire and even more from police.
“He believes he can deliver on cuts of $150,000 in overtime,” Miasek said.
Also proposed was cutting $45,000 from the Federal Plaza Program Fund — money that supports many of the events bringing people downtown. Councilman Julius Oliver said $45,000 is too much.
“Having these shows in the downtown area, basically, is part of the fuel that’s driving Youngstown’s comeback right now.”
Each member of council will also get only $10,000 to spend at their discretion — that’s half of what they got last year. Councilwomen Basia Adamczak and Anita Davis are opposed to those cuts.
“I’m not going to be in favor of anything that’s going to be detrimental to my ward,” Davis said.
“I’m not willing to let go of my discretionary funds,” Adamczak said. “I have 12 neighborhood organizations that really rely on those funds. We use them a lot of times for leverage for grant funding.”
Councilman Nate Pinkard said, unfortunately, everyone’s going to have to take some cuts.
“The main thing at the end of the day, all the city employees will be working.”
Mayor Tito Brown said, eventually, changes will also have to be made to the union contracts.
“I think we’ve come to a point where we’ve priced ourselves above our revenues. We have to reign ourselves back in where we’re living within our means.”
Also proposed was cutting $40,000 in street department overtime for mowing grass. Councilman TJ Rogers questioned that one. High grass on vacant lots is a complaint those on Youngstown council get often in the summer.