Mayor Leiken: Letter Not Intended As Threat
The mayor responded to some residents' claims that the layoffs and department cuts are scare tactics
Shaker Heights resident Sara Schiavoni on Monday echoed the sentiment some residents have expressed since the city issued two statements last week about cuts that will be made if the income tax increase fails.
"I got the letter in the mail from council and the mayor, and I don't' want to say it's a scare tactic, but I feel like it is," she said.
Schiavoni, a lifelong Shaker resident who is undecided on the Aug. 7 ballot measure, was the only resident to speak at Monday's City Council meeting, the last before voters hit the polls to decide on a 0.5 percent income tax increase.
She charged that the city could cut some other services or departments "with a fine-tooth comb" instead of tapping into core services like police and fire if the increase fails. Mayor Earl Leiken said the city would not be able to make up for expected estate tax and state funding losses without laying off 10 police officers and 10 firefighters.
The mayor reiterated the points of his letter to residents for a few minutes Monday, but prior to the meeting, he responded to some residents' opinion that the letter was full of threatening language.
"They're not threats, they're intended to allow our residents to be informed so that they understand what the issues are and weigh the alternatives," he said.
"It's also so they understand the importance of voting. Council and I both feel the responsibility to make sure that everyone understands what's at issue so they can make an informed decision."
Did you miss the citywide letter to residents from Mayor Leiken? Read it here.