The Enquirer's Jane Prendergast has a blog post that discusses Cincinnati Council Member Chris Bortz stating he is tired of 'Democrats' saying he and the 'other side' don't have a plan to balance the budget. Jane then outlines a list of steps from Bortz that would cut half of the $33 million city budget deficit.
I hate to point out the obvious and I don't have any other way to say this but: half a plan is no budget plan at all. If Joey Votto hit the ball half way to the fence at GABP and wanted to call it a home run, I think everyone, including Bortz, would call that a joke.
Leslie Ghiz said Republicans have a plan, or at least are working on one. Bortz is not endorsed by the Republicans, but has been voting with that 'side' on budget issues, so whether these are the same issues Ghiz is taking about, then Ghiz has no more of a plan than Bortz. She should keep working on it. I thought Amy Murray, Charlie Winburn, and Wayne Lippert were spending the August recess working on issues like the budget, no?
The bottom line is a simple number: zero. The budget deficit has to be zero after cuts are made. I can't find anyone who thinks that both unfilled budget jobs and current staff working must be eliminated from the 2012 budget to reach the legally mandated zero number. If Chris Bortz or Leslie Ghiz can make those staff cuts without cutting police or the fire department, then that means they are cutting some other departments, heavily, reducing city services. The details on that should be made public an put forth now. In case anyone forgot, Cincinnati is having an election and voters should know where the candidates stand and what services they would cut to balance the budget if elected (or re-elected). That kind of knowledge is something that means candidates have to make political choices. They have to either take on the FOP or be their shill. It is a crappy choice, but that is the box the FOP and it's supporters have forced the Republicans and Bortz into and I for one am not going to give them a pass on making that choice.