Pink Slips: Akron Mayor projects shortfalls, law enforcement layoffs

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AKRON, OH (WOIO) - Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic released financial information that was shared with the city's bargaining groups last week, and that shows how Akron's labor unions would need to share the sacrifices so that the city can balance its budget by year's end - a requirement of Ohio law.

This means the FOP will be first on the chopping block.

The Mayor repeated what mayors are asking all around the country. "What do Chicago; Stockton, California; Philadelphia; Hoboken, New Jersey; Oakland, California; Bay City, Michigan; Boston; Cleveland; Minneapolis and Springfield, Illinois have in common with Akron?" asked the Mayor.

"Each of these cities has suffered a tremendous decrease in revenue, and mayors have had to layoff police."

"There is nothing political or personal in these numbers," said the Mayor. "It's just mathematics."

The exact amount of the shortfall in the 2010 calendar year budget will not be estimated until near the end of the month. The chart released by the city spreads projected shortfalls ranging from $1 million to $6 million dollars against the three employee groups that have yet to negotiate sufficient cost reductions with the City.

"These numbers are straightforward," said Mayor Plusquellic. "The estimated shortfall will be calculated on our actual income and expenses as of August 20, from which we will project the needed layoffs by September 12th."

"Despite the fact that virtually everyone understand the ramifications of the downturn in our global economy, 10% national unemployment, and revenue being down, "Plusquellic said, "The FOP president in each of these cities has accused the mayor of laying off police because of some perceived political advantage."

"What is the political benefit for any mayor to be laying off safety forces? None whatsoever. In each of these cities, the mayor has a legal obligation to balance the budget."

"We have received a tremendous level of cooperation from every other employee group including firefighters, our managers and non-bargaining employees, who made sacrifices necessary while still providing the service levels our residents need. The reality is that the FOP is the largest one left to make these important cost savings, and safety forces generally consume 67-72% of every city's budget."

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