In a previous post (Issue 2 Ballot Language) I discussed the upcoming issue which, if passed, will create a dedicated funding source for police and fire pension and capitol. The following question was raised on social media recently. I answered it there and wanted to add it to my website as well.
But what happens if the bill (Issue 2) fails? The city, rightly so, is obviously going to (and should) prioritize Police and Fire services. Where will the funding come from?
You are correct… police and fire pensions will still be fully funded (as is required by Ohio constitution). They have been subsidized by our General Fund to the tune of $1 million per year for decades now. Passing issue 2 will create a dedicated fund for pensions, as well as for the first time in history, a dedicated capital fund for police and fire as well.
If it fails, we’ll have some very difficult decisions ahead. I can’t speak for the rest of the administration but I will NEVER vote to NOT have a fully funded safety force. This will most likely mean we’ll have to begin charging for things that have been provided free of charge in the past, or eliminate those services.
Things like garbage, senior center, fitness center, indoor / outdoor pool, parks and rec programs, free sidewalk leveling, etc. will all have to be considered.
Our latest performance audit (recommendations start on page 4) suggested that we charge for garbage and recycling. I would suggest that’s most likely where we start.