Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced today he may have to lay off 350 to 400 employees in order to close the city’s budget gap. For years, Jackson has impressed Ohioans with his ability to close the city’s budget gaps without significant layoffs or cuts to city programs.
But this year, Jackson says the decline in state support leaves him with few other options. Ohio’s two-year budget as proposed would begin July 1st and leave Cleveland with a $35.7 million deficit through the end of 2012. Jackson said other cost-reducing measures he’s considering are consolidating staff and programs, closing some facilities and continuing an existing hiring freeze.
Jackson has sent a letter to Governor John Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly to request a reduction in some cuts, and a restoration of funding elsewhere. He said he hasn’t received a response yet.