Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's Hiring Spree Still Coming Up A Little Short
The City of Cleveland has yet to spend millions of dollars budgeted to hire new staff, two years after the passage of an income tax increase meant to improve city services.
The income tax brings in an estimated $80 million a year to the general fund.
The city has $2.5 million waiting to be spent on hiring new emergency medical service staff. It has close to $2 million left for new personnel at the municipal court.
In city council this week, Cleveland finance director Sharon Dumas asked to transfer that money plus another $18 million — mostly from staffing budgets — to other budget priorities.
Some members of council, particularly new arrivals like Anthony Hairston, questioned Dumas about whether service enhancements are being held back because of slow hiring.
“There are folks listening, there are folks watching, who don’t understand this. These are the questions that are being asked to most of us when we are out in the community,” said Hairston.
During budget hearings earlier this year, Jackson and administration officials faced grilling about the slow pace of hiring.
At the time, he told council that his administration has instituted expedited processes for hiring employees outside public safety, where new hires go through extensive training.
Council suggested Mayor Jackson’s proposed 2019 budget will have a tougher time getting through council next year.