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Monday, February 11, 2008

Good Financial News? Let's Fight About It!

Councilmembers went quickly through today's finance committee agenda - until Chairman John Cranley decided to highlight parts of the city manager's budget status report for 2007.


In the report, Milton Dohoney writes that the city's general fund ended the year with a carryover amount of $13.3 million, $4.8 million more than anticipated.

Sounds kinda like a good thing, huh? Cranley thought so: "There's a lot of good news in this report."


But Jeff Berding jumped in, saying the numbers showed the budget passed in December is "structurally unbalanced."


Chris Bortz agreed, reminding that he'd recognized the "structural imbalance" of the budget back in December before council passed it. He cited the inclusion of an estimated $1 million from red-light cameras tickets as one of the problems - an amount of money used to help balance the budget, yet no one really knows how much money, if any, such cameras might bring. The cameras, of course, were among the things Cranley added in to the budget.


Cranley took offense to any allegation that council had done something wrong in its budgeting: "Everything council did was budget-neutral."


Budget Director Joe Gray tried to explain that everybody was a little bit right. He said the budget was balanced, but that some of the carryover balance had to be used to make it so.


Read the documents here.


8 Comments:

at 9:23 AM, February 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Cranley rightly noted, it is ironic that the same Councilmembers who are so worried about the "structural imbalance" are the same ones who are promoting a $100m streetcar plan that would require $250K per year in operating costs.

 
at 9:41 AM, February 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

So now Berding is using good news to attack his fellow dems? Wise up, Gerald. If all you're going to do is attack those in your party to suck up to Bortz, then maybe you should replace the D after your name.

 
at 2:37 PM, February 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like City Council has learned how to budget from the real financial experts, Cincinnati School Board.

 
at 3:20 PM, February 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to be a voice of reason Bortz..you can't count the money until it is secured Cranley

 
at 4:05 PM, February 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

i totally support berding and bortz. they are trying to secure our city's future, unlike cranley who just wants to give money to everyone who asks for it and look like a hero to the voters when really he is hurting the city in the long-term.

 
at 5:26 PM, February 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the same Councilmembers who are so worried about the "structural imbalance" are the same ones who are promoting a $100m streetcar plan that would require $250K per year in operating costs."

If that's true, Bortz and Berding are bigger hypocrites than I thought. Maybe just liars.

 
at 10:22 PM, February 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Voters, be smarter with your 2009 Council votes

 
at 10:38 AM, February 13, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Council underfunded the Cincinnati Retirement System by $9M to balance the 2008 budget. How is that good news?

 
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