In a new tact some council members are proposing to defer payment of 2.5 million dollars the Cincinnati Public Schools due in October. That would buy some time. I assume the four members of council reportedly pushing this newest idea beleive that if we save 2.5 million dollars, that they CPD is the most important group to retain. They are the most vocal about it, that is for sure, but not all of the jobs affected are more important than keeping more Health inspectors. I'd like to not get sick the next time I eat out.
I like where Council Member Greg Harris is going on this issue. He reportedly is inclined to support the idea of deferring payment to CPS, but he wants the FOP to step up to the plate and make concessions for 2010. We will be having the same fight next year if the FOP doesn't. The FOP president is quoted in the article as basically saying no, cut someplace else. I still do not get how the FOP can be so hypocritical and plain old greedy. Sure some would say it is their job to fight for their members and they need to have a strong negotiating position. Well, sure, but how can anyone in good conscious claim they are moral and doing the right thing for the safety of the city if they willingly take a pay RAISE while other police officers and other vital city employees loose their jobs? We are not talking about pay cuts, just a pay freeze. If there are other departments in the city not taking a pay freeze, slap one on them for 2010. If people are serious about public safety being compromised, then they should be taking these steps, the FOP should not be playing chicken with public safety. If people (like Jeff Berding and Leslie Ghiz) are not being serious about the impact of the reduction of police officers and are doing this to appease the FOP and appear (falsely) to be fighting crime, then they should be ashamed of themselves and be honest about it. Yeah, I know, that is a pipe dream.
Deferring the payment to the CPS is a short term fix. It can buy us some time. It does not solve the problem for 2010. The FOP must step up with concessions or agree that the CPD doesn't actually need the number of police officers it has.