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Cincinnati Council ready to vote on 2013 budget

Jay Hanselman

The full Cincinnati Council will vote Friday on the nearly 20 documents needed to adopt the city's 2013 budget.  

The Budget and Finance Committee Thursday approved the framework for the spending plan.  It takes the city manager's recommended budget and makes some ten changes to it.  

Some of those include keeping the police department's mounted patrol program, maintaining income tax reciprocity, restoring funding for human services and arts grants and providing an additional year of funding for Media Bridges.  

The budget framework allows the city manager to continue with efforts to let a private company operate some of the city's parking facilities.  That issue has created a lot of discussion in the community and many people are telling Council to oppose it.  

Council Member Wendell Young responded this way.

“I haven’t heard anybody come up with a better plan.  I haven’t heard anybody say here’s a way to do it better,” Young said.  “For those in the public, and we’re all getting bombarded with don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it…but I don’t know how many of us are getting bombarded, I certainly have not been, with solutions to the problem.”

The city manager balanced the 2013 budget with revenue from the parking proposal.  

Council Member Charlie Winburn is against the plan.

“You can fix it up any kind of way you want to,” Winburn said.  “You can cover it up with certain niceties or complexities, you can put a dress on it, you can put pants on it, you can put lipstick on it, this is called privatizing city services.”

The full Council would have to vote on the actual contract with a private firm and that's likely in February or March.  

Council Friday will also set the city's property tax rate for 2014.  It can either keep the amount the same at about $23.5 million or increase it to collect either $29 or $31 million.

Friday’s Council meeting is set for 10 a.m.