Shaker Heights Sets Dates for Cuts, Layoffs If Increase Fails
The city has established a schedule for layoffs and cuts if residents do not approve the income tax increase
As the Shaker Heights' vote on a 0.5 percent income tax increase nears, the city has released another statement.
The document set dates for when various program cuts and layoffs would occur if residents do not approve an Aug. 7 measure that would eventually bring in an additional $6 million. Last week, Mayor Earl Leiken issued a letter to residents that spelled out cuts that would occur if the event is voted down.
Leiken said both statements are intended to provide clarity on the city's future.
"We've had a lot of questions about it, and some have even asked us to give specific metrics," he said in a phone interview. "They want to know how much (the city would be affected) in police calls and fire responses. We can't provide that because clearly we don't know that until we see it, but we want to give people as much information as we can."
Leiken's statement set the following schedule for cuts if residents vote against the increase:
- Aug. 27: Elimination of School Crossing Guards on side streets – City crossing guards will be in place only at our major road intersections to escort children across streets.
- Aug. 31: Closing of the Shaker Family Center building effective August 31, 2013 – Meeting a one-year notice requirement, the City has alerted Family Connections that it will not have funds to provide operating support and maintenance to the Shaker Family Center and will close the building August 31, 2013.
- Sept. 7: Final Backyard Trash Pick-up – Residents will be required to bring their recycling in appropriate containers and trash in bags to tree lawns for collection by the Public Works Department beginning Monday, September 10. Scooter use will immediately cease. Route changes may follow.
- Nov. 10: Elimination of Senior Transportation Services – Senior residents have been notified of the need to find alternate means of transportation to manage medical appointments and shopping trips.
- Jan. 1: Layoffs in police, fire, public works and other departments after no-layoff provisions in existing labor contracts expire (see letter to residents at shakeronline.com as to numbers involved). The city would also eliminate support to the Shaker Youth Center on this date.
- April 1: Closing of Thornton Park Ice Rink – because many hockey and learn-to-skate participants already will have registered for the fall/winter season, the rink will remain open for the upcoming season only, through the end of March 2013.
"We're extremely hopeful that the tax will pass so that we won't have to get to these other issues," Leiken said. "I think the kinds of cuts that are being presented would be very damaging to the community.
"It's our hope that the tax will be successful and we'll have the revenue (to replace declining state aid)."
Read the full statement by clicking 'PDFs' to the right.