Cincinnati, like every union-plagued city in the country is having huge budget problems over untenable union wages and pension benefits. Big problems call for big actions. I am pleased to report that several thinking members on the Cincinnati City Council proposed to outsource the entire police department to the local sheriff’s association. Unfortunately, the mayor nixed the idea.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports City-county police merger proposed
Three Cincinnati City Council members floated a proposal Wednesday to shift city police patrols to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office as a way to help plug a $60 million deficit in the city budget and avoid 275 police and firefighters layoffs.
But just as quickly as council members Roxanne Qualls, Wendell Young and Jeff Berding pitched the plan – which Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis supports – it seemingly died.
Council currently does not have enough votes to override a threatened veto by Mayor Mark Mallory, who in a letter to Leis said he sees the proposal as “a brazen and shameless attempt at union-busting” that he will never support.
Council members Cecil Thomas, Charlie Winburn and Leslie Ghiz are definite no votes.
Ghiz, who practices labor law, said the plan sounds to her like union-busting since council members just this week asked the police and fire unions for $20 million in concessions.
Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Bortz, who joined Leis, Qualls, Young and Berding at the Enquirer to talk about the idea, said merging services is worth exploring, but he wasn’t willing to commit.
The proposed plan calls for the city to lay off its 790 patrol officers. The city would then pay the sheriff’s department for patrols, who would hire many of the city officers to do those patrols. The rest of the police department would remain under the chief’s supervision.
By doing the switch through layoffs and re-hiring, Qualls said the process does not violate the union contract.
Brazen and Shameless
What’s brazen and shameless is the arrogance of the police union and Mayor Mark Mallory’s willingness to hold citizens of Cincinnati hostage to untenable union demands. Clearly Mallory is beholden to the unions, not to the taxpayers of Cincinnati whom he is supposed to represent.
Here is the Proposal from Simon Leis Jr. Sheriff Hamilton County, Ohio. Check yourself to see if appears to be a “brazen, shameless” proposal.
Mallory has his priorities wrong and is unfit for office. The same can be said for Cecil Thomas, Charlie Winburn and Leslie Ghiz.
Your priority, should you live in Cincinnati, should be to get rid of Mayor Mark Mallory, and all of his pro-union cronies. They have destroyed your city and will continue to do so.
I commend Roxanne Qualls, Wendell Young and Jeff Berding for having the courage to make a proposal of outstanding merit.
Cincinnati residents may wish to let the mayor know you are tired of seeing your taxes raised to support public unions who get far more benefits and wages than taxpayers can afford and that it is high time for mayors and council members to be beholden to taxpayers, not unions.
Thanks to “Machiavellian” at the Virtuous Republic for his email that led to this post.
About the author: Mike “Mish” Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for Sitka Pacific Capital Management. His top-rated global economics blog Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis offers insightful commentary every day of the week. He is also a contributing “professor” on Minyanville, a community site focused on economic and financial education. Every Thursday he does a podcast on HoweStreet and on an ad hoc basis he contributes to many other websites, including UnionWatch.