It’s happened to all of us. “Budget busters” that wreak havoc on the family finances. A broken-down washer or a leaky roof or maybe, an unexpected doctor bill.
Local governments are no different. Just ask the folks who run the 22 Ohio communities, from Massillon to Maple Heights, who are in “state fiscal emergency.” This month, County Executive Armond Budish and the County Council approved a two-year, $750 million budget. But not without making some hard choices, like siphoning dollars from a job creation fund and reducing support for MetroHealth Medical Center.
At Cleveland City Hall, Mayor Frank Jackson and City Council have proven to be good stewards of the city’s finances. But they, too, will be tested. The Justice Department consent decree could cost up to $13 million. A court ruling against the city on a so-called “jock tax” will drain the budget of millions more. Then there are those potholes left over from last winter. Repair costs could balloon to over $8 million. And oh yeah, we have a convention coming to town we need to prepare for.
In the months ahead, we’ll be keeping a close watch on the people who spend our tax dollars to make sure they don’t “bust our budget.”
I’m Dominic Mancuso and that’s how we see it.
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