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Cincinnati Council Approves 2-Year Budget

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati administrators will now begin the process of implementing the city's new two-year budget.  

City council approved both the operating and capital budgets unanimously Wednesday after weeks of public hearings and debate.  

Council members made some minor tweaks to the spending plans, but they both still overwhelmingly reflect what the city manager presented last month.  

Mayor John Cranley did veto several spending items following Wednesday’s council meeting.  That included rejecting funding for the proposed Clifton Market, additional bike lanes and bus shelters in Bond Hill.  He also said no to more money for the city's health department.

Vice Mayor David Mann was involved in many budget conversations.  He praised the process and the role of Mayor John Cranley.

“I do think this is a product we can be proud of,” Mann said.  “It got a little complicated in recent days, but in my experience that’s the way in un-folds.”  

Council Member Kevin Flynn said he did not like the process of council members adding to the budgets.

“Mr. City Manager I would recommend next year that we just put a line item in the budget for council members pet projects of $2 million and then let us fight about that,” Flynn said.

Council Member Yvette Simpson said she did not get everything she wanted in the spending plan, but that is the sign of a good negotiation.

“But I do think that we need to build budgets that reflect our values and not negotiate on those,” Simpson said.  “As we grow as a city, this Council needs to be committed to making sure we do that.”

This was City Manager Harry Black’s first biennial budget since come to Cincinnati last September.

“I applaud our policy makers for the respect shown throughout the process and the thoroughness of their deliberations,” Black said in a written statement.  “This budget represents the beginning of the Cincinnati of the future. This budget moves us beyond stabilization and toward long-term fiscal solvency.”

The all funds budget for Fiscal Year 2016 is $1 billion and for Fiscal Year 2017 it is $1.1 billion.