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City officials: It’s inevitable city workers will lose jobs



Published: Thu, April 9, 2009 @ 12:10 a.m.

By David Skolnick

The head of the police patrol officers union says there’s no need for layoffs.

YOUNGSTOWN — City administration officials met with union leaders to discuss ways to avoid layoffs, but both sides acknowledge that it’s inevitable city workers will lose their jobs.

The Wednesday meeting, which lasted about two hours and 45 minutes, focused primarily on administrators’ answering questions the union leaders had about the city’s 2009 general fund budget, according to those who attended the private discussion.

The option to meet again is there, but nothing is scheduled.

“It was productive from the standpoint that we got a better understanding of the budget, something we would have liked to have had a year ago,” said Cicero Davis, president of the union that represents clerical and secretarial employees. “But I don’t foresee the meeting stopping the city from making initial layoffs.”

The budget calls for $860,000 in personnel cuts, most of it from the police department. That could mean up to 34 city workers, including 22 to 26 police officers, losing their jobs. Two-week layoff notices are expected to be delivered Wednesday.

Mayor Jay Williams said he’d be “committed to no layoffs” if the unions give up “special pay,” such as money given to them for longevity (payments given for the number of years working for the city), clothing allowances, bonuses for not using sick days and for having college degrees.

“There’s no guarantee of no current or future layoffs,” Davis said as to why the unions won’t agree to reopen contract negotiations to eliminate special pay. “They threw this proposal at us at the last minute. It should have been proposed months ago.”

Union officials say their suggestions for saving money and requests to discuss budget problems were rebuffed by the administration for the past year. Administration leaders dispute that.

Edward Colon, president of the police patrol officers union, said he left Wednesday’s meeting confused.

The city, he said, has enough money through grants to not lay off any officers. Also, the city is seeking federal stimulus money to hire 30 police officers. The request is for about $6 million, yet the city budgeted $500,000 from the federal program.

Finance Director David Bozanich, who was at the meeting, said the city is “trying to be fair with our numbers.”

The mayor, who didn’t attend the meeting, added that the city won’t know how much stimulus money it will receive until July or August. If more comes in than expected, officers can be recalled.

Colon said, “I understand why you want to be conservative, but $500,000 is extremely conservative. There doesn’t seem to be a need to lay off anyone. But I’m afraid they’ll still do it.”

Colon also lashed out at Williams.

“If [Williams] goes forward with layoffs, we’ll know it’s a personal attack,” he said. “Why do you want to lay off so many police officers unless it’s personal?”

In response, Williams said, “Statements like that don’t merit a response, but it’s so wrong I have to respond. Statements like that are disappointing and are as unfounded as anything I’ve heard in my life. There’s nothing further from the truth.”

skolnick@vindy.com


Comments

1hooper31(3 comments)posted 5 years ago

Ok here I go with a cloudy mind again, because the fact that 26 police officers face layoffs is crazy. I agree with officer Colon. This mayor really needs to get his head out of his you know what. He's only laying off 26 police officers, because he know that the stimulus money is coming in. So in the end, he will call back all the laid off officers and more than likely hire new officers, and seem like a hero to the people of youngstown when its time for election. I don't care if he is running against Joe Smith, he don't have my vote and hopefully he won't have yours. He is full of crap.

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2PEACE2U(115 comments)posted 5 years ago

~ well said hooper31 !!

~~ Most of the problem is "behind closed ' doors!!

What the public does not KNOW!!
~~ Most of the Police force does NOT like Williams & how he is doing BUSINESS & HE INDEED KNOWS THIS!
~There's your ANSWER to the question Colon asked Williams & this is why Williams said, “Statements like that don’t merit a response

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3PEACE2U(115 comments)posted 5 years ago

~~ It is amazing how much you KNOW for a FACT when there is INSIDE CONNECTION!!

Jay Williams IS NOT the SAME person that he LED ALL to believe he was ~~ ONCE ELECTED~~ how Jay CHANGED~~ most of the OFFICERS seen this immediately & that is why Jay is NOT well liked!!

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4horace(4 comments)posted 5 years ago

To layoff 26 officers when you know grant money is coming is insane! Why are the majority of the layoffs from one department? This is liberalism taking over our country when a mayor of a city that can't get a handle on the crime rate lays off a record number of police. Liberals don't think we need police!

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5DontVote4Jay(5 comments)posted 5 years ago

It’s amazing that Jay Williams would even think of laying off 26 police officers when he is well aware of the stimulus grant money that the Youngstown POLICE department is receiving. The purpose of that money is to hire Police not lay them off because of his own personal hatred of Police, only to bring them back when the money is received by the city. The tax paying citizens need to be made aware that Jay has hired all his friends and created positions for them( Jason Whitehead) that are not necessary. Are any of his friends getting laid off? In a city who has one of the WORST crime rates in the country why is this mayor so set on laying off the people who are needed the most? It’s a shame to have a mayor who believes the Police make too much money. I am willing to bet he won’t tell that to the families of all the Youngstown Officers who were killed trying to protect the citizens Jay doesn’t care about. It’s a shame to see the Pittsburg and Oakland Officers murdered and Jay publicly stating Police make too much money.

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6Tugboat(759 comments)posted 5 years ago

What the public does not know is Y-town screwed up years ago:
http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/grants/g5098...

And Y-town is maintaining a higher officer-per 1000 citizen ratio than communities that have already experienced some pretty serious layoffs.

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7DontVote4Jay(5 comments)posted 5 years ago

The reason that Youngstown has a higher ratio (with police:citizen) is because it has one of the largest crime rates of the nation-and they're still short staffed! Summers just around the corner and 26 fewer officers means longer response times and an increase in crime

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8jeffhoef1(45 comments)posted 5 years ago

If only they had a competent legal department who could have negotiated the city's union contracts. Instead they spent the $500,000 on an out of town firm headed by Mike Esposito. I guess of the 45 church friends the local messiah has hired none were cops. So they are expendable. I'm one of the idiots that voted for Jay. Sorry

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9blkpride(186 comments)posted 5 years ago

tugboat. quit living in the past

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10YOUNGSTOWNPUNISHER(19 comments)posted 5 years ago

jay, jay jay....what are we the citizens are going to do with you and your FRIENDS....that got jobs at the expense of taxpayers safety! Layoff your friends and fellow church people and you can keep Cops on the streets trying to make this town safe for the CITIZENS OF YOUNGSTOWN and for companies that are looking to relocate to Youngstown do not get scared away with alarming stats on crime! Why layoff if we are getting federal stimulus money are you CRAZY or STUPID? We need to get rid of him.....OKAY he made history first black mayor in Y-town.....lets move on.......we need to progress not regress! WE NEED OUR POLICE OFFICERS ON THE STREET. THAT IS WHY WE THE CITIZENS VOTED AND PASSED A TAX INCREASE TO COVER FOR THIS OR DID WE FORGET ABOUT ALREADY? WE ARE IN DOUBLE DIGITS UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES AND CONTINUE LOSING JOBS......THAT MEANS MORE CRIMINALS ON THE STREETS......AND LETS NOT FORGET ABOUT THE COUNTY AND DEPUTIES ALSO FIRED...THE FIRST BATCH...BECAUSE THEY WERE UNDER THEIR 2 YEAR PROBATION.........AND THE JAIL DOING MORE WITH LESS!

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11Tugboat(759 comments)posted 5 years ago

blkpride wrote: "tugboat. quit living in the past"

Please elaborate. Youngstown is still bolstering the same number of cops they did when they had twice the population they do now. With that in mind, their crime rate should be one of the lowest in the nation. Police-citizen ratios are not based on the crime rate but what the taxpayers are willing to pay for. Period. If 90 officers are patrolling the streets, what are the other 90 doing?

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12YOUNGSTOWNPUNISHER(19 comments)posted 5 years ago

like foxtrot said "The reason he wants to decimate the police department is so crime explodes in the city, people feel unsafe, and then the time will be right to put forth a ballot issue to increase the local income tax. Parma Heights has 3%, Euclid 2.85%, Youngstown 2.75%." ......enough of taxing thew working poor! Jay and his other saved friends can give up their salaries........and enough b.s. Y-town is getting fed money get some older guys as in brass to take retirments and get this city roling again, but good old Jay and his big head are not thinking staright! And City council what are they smoking? Swierz and his friends what a Joke! Swierz who supposidly worked at CCA the private prison and quit because he was scared for his life is also now back in City government taking care of themselves and screwing the City of Youngstown working and retired poor for their own self indulgence.......then they say they have the City's best interest!.....

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13JD010101(137 comments)posted 5 years ago

RECALL MAYOR WILLIAMS.. HOLD A NEW ELECTION FOR SOMEONE WHO IS COMPETENT. HE WANTS TO REOPEN CONTRACTS TO DO AWAY WITH SOME BENNYS FOR THE COPS. THEN HE WILL GIVE HE AND HIS CHURCH FRIENDS RAISES NEXT YEAR AFTER THE STIMULUS ARRIVES. BY THE WAY HOWS THE JED COMING JAY.. YOUR PATHETIC!

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14brj(5 comments)posted 5 years ago

Mayor Jay Williams, why don't you work for min wage? maybe then the city will help out and take pay cuts. $100,000 is alot for what nothing in this town

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15got2laugh2keepfrmcrying(3 comments)posted 5 years ago

Who feels safe living in this city? I live here with my family I am a full time student and both my husband and I work. Every time we leave the house we worry about being burglarized by opportunistic thieves. Despite that real life feeling there is more than one solution to curbing criminal activity other than creating a police state with may I add police officers who themselves need policing. I say get rid of them all revamp the personal with creditable individuals who can uphold the law for themselves and the citizens.

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16blkpride(186 comments)posted 5 years ago

got2laugh2keepfromcrying come do a ride along and quit slamming the police. What is that? TOO scared?

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17Ytownboy(142 comments)posted 5 years ago

Williams has been one dissapointment after another. I guess we can expect even more killings than last year. Jay should call up Forbes and reserve a spot for "the most dangerous cities in America" list.

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