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Cleveland budget hearings focus on public safety, city vacancies | Reporters Roundtable

A photo of Cleveland City Hall.
A photo of Cleveland City Hall.

Cleveland Council began hearings this week on Mayor Justin Bibb’s budget proposal. A main focus in this week’s hearing has been on public safety and how the mayor plans to recruit more officers into the Cleveland Police Department ranks. The city has a police force today that numbers several hundred fewer officers than in 2020.

The hearings this week also focused on how the city will address the other vacancies or unfilled positions in city government. Mayor Bibb has proposed bundling the vacancies into a pool rather than assigning them to various departments. The proposed vacancy pool would not include open public safety positions.

The mayor says by creating the vacancy pool the city would have greater flexibility in hiring.

Attorney General Dave Yost this week announced recommendations from a task for police training that leans hard on communication and decision making. Officers currently must complete a minimum of 740 hours of instruction.

Akron's Citizen's Police Oversight Board says it has the power to issue subpoenas. But when it developed its rules this week, in hopes that council will approve them, the board noted that if a union officer doesn't want to be subpoenaed, he or she doesn't have to comply.

Changes to Ohio's new recreational marijuana statute are likely to come in the form of administrative rules rather than legislation passed by lawmakers.
Voters approved the statute in November that allows for those over 21 to use and possess marijuana, but lawmakers aren't likely to take up the issue.

Remember back in 2020 when so many workers were doing their jobs from home due to the coronavirus? Many still are, in fact, but at the time it was almost everyone. Cities continued to collect income taxes from workers even if the worker stayed at home, in another town. Workers filed suit, saying the employer city wasn't entitled to their taxes. This week the Ohio Supreme Court sided with cities, denying workers refunds for those collected taxes.

We will discuss these stories and the rest of the week’s news on Friday’s Reporters Roundtable.

Abbey Marshall, Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
Josh Boose, Associate Producer for Newscasts
Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV


Leigh Barr is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and the "Sound of Ideas Reporters Roundtable."