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Second Cincinnati Budget Hearing Draws Small Crowd

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Jay Hanselman
/
WVXU

Public hearings on the Cincinnati city manager's budget proposal will continue next week. Three meetings are planned in Madisonville, Mt. Airy and Price Hill.  

Another small crowd attended Thursday night's hearing in Roselawn.  

Once again much of the conversation focused on the city's human services funding policy.  

Matt Flege is with Saint Vincent DePaul.  He supports more money for social services agencies.  He said Cincinnati needs to do more to reduce childhood poverty.

"The best way to reduce childhood poverty is to ensure that all parents have a job that pays a living wage," Flege said.  "And in the meantime providing supportive services to ensure that families can stay in their homes, that they're not fleeing a violent community, these all support that effort."

The city manager's budget proposal includes $1.5 million for human services agencies using the United Way allocation process.  Council had voted last year to increase it to $3 million.  

Ted Bergh is with Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio.  He supports the Council proposed increase.

"The increase that city council recommended from $1.5 million to $3 million is a good investment for the city, and I believe it's consistent with at least 4 out of the 5 of the city manager's goals," Bergh said.  "This would prepare residents for jobs, early childhood health and education, mental health services and providing healthy food choices."

City administrators said the funding did increase, but most of it goes to agencies outside the United Way process.  

Resident Pamela Adams wants the additional $250,000 slated to go to the Center for Closing the Health Gap redirected to the city's health department.

"So I just want the public to know, and they need to ask the city council, why are you giving Health Gap this kind of money and you're taking away from the health department," Adams said.

Cincinnati Council is now scheduled to approve the next two-year budget on June 17th.  

Budget hearings scheduled for next week:

Monday, June 1st -- Madisonville Recreation Center, 5320 Stewart Avenue
Tuesday, June 2nd -- Mt. Airy Elementary School, 5730 Colerain Avenue
Thursday, June 4th -- Price Hill Recreation Center, 959 Hawthorne Avenue

All the hearings are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.