Councilman Matt Trafis
                                         Public Statement on the 2015 Budget
                                           Council Meeting of March 23, 2015

It is with deep regret and incredible frustration that I will be voting NO on the 2015 Budget. I could literally speak on this subject for an hour but I will do my best to summarize my thoughts here quickly.

--The 2015 Budget has an approximate $700,000 deficit that is being paid for by Reserves previously set up to pay for the future debt due to the debt restructuring in 2011.

--The 2015 Budget doesn’t come anywhere within reason of matching the City’s revenues vs. expenses.  We are operating far, far beyond our means.

--The future issues were and are created through the acceptance of the last five budgets (2011 – 2015). The 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and now 2015 budget were all in a deficit position and balanced through the cash generated from pushing the debt to the future and selling our most productive revenue producing asset , the cell towers. That cash for the most part is now gone and is further exasperated by the passage of the 2015 Budget.

--In the future, even if we reduce the yearly deficit to $500,000 per year from the current $700,000, 2016 and 2017 will each be $750,000 in arrears each year because of the debt and operations and could be covered by any leftover reserves and a further reduction to an unacceptable low balance in the General Fund.

--In 2018, less than three short years from now, our deficit from operations and having to pay back the moneys we used to balance the budget from 2011 to 2015 will exceed $1,000,000 per year for 2018 through 2023 !!  That’s right, a $1,000,000 shortfall each and every year for 8 straight years.

--At this rate the General Fund will be in the red by 2020 and by 2023 it would be in the red by over $3,000,000. Obviously the State of Ohio would not permit this to even continue through 2018 or 2019.

--And unfortunately to make this even more challenging there are millions of dollars of net debt notes the City currently owes that are covered for payment at minor amounts as well as an infrastructure that is in need of major repair with no money allocated since the income tax revenues were allocated to general expenses.

--One last thing…  Our voting residents have shown that they will not accept another property tax levy through the resounding defeat of the quote on quote police levy, thus the only logical alternative would be a restructuring of the income tax which I have presented in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 which has not garnered Administrative or Council support.  Why can’t this City saving measure be put on the ballot and let the resident’s decide?

The political rhetoric is sure to come quickly from my comments. We have already in the past heard labels like "chicken little and the sky is falling" and "crying wolf". Well facts don't lie and I have a new about "let's get real".

Due to all of these reasons I will be voting No on the 2015 Budget.

Seven Hills Resident:  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns about the budget or any other issue.        216.410.4062 


City Council Meetings

Monday, March 6, 2017
Committee - 6:00pm
Caucus - 7:00pm

Monday, March 13, 2017
Caucus - 7:00pm
Council - 7:30pm

Tuesday, March 20, 2017
Committee - 6:00pm
Caucus - 7:00pm

Monday, March 27, 2017
Caucus - 7:00pm
Council - 7:30pm

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