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Cleveland not planning layoffs — yet

Mayor keeps door open to job cuts
Cleveland City Hall
Posted at 6:44 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 19:04:00-04

CLEVELAND — Mayor Frank Jackson said despite the city having lost "several million" in revenue, there are no plans to layoff or furlough any of Cleveland's more than 8,000 employees during the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I don't know exactly the amount we lost, but it's several million," said Jackson during a teleconference with reporters.

Stay at home orders mean the city has lost out on hotel and admissions taxes as well as parking revenue, and expects to lose income tax revenue as well.

Council President Kevin Kelley, who also chairs council's Finance Committee, said the city carried forward more than $40 million in unspent funds last year and has $37 million in its rainy day fund.

The mayor said this year's budget was designed with a possible recession in mind, but Jackson said it may not be enough.

"So that means whatever we had in reserves to deal with that is being eaten into currently because we have not laid anybody off," said Jackson. "We have the same costs of running our operation."

Both Jackson and Kelley believe the city will have a better idea of the economic hit to the city once income tax revenue from April is received in the next few weeks.

Jackson said while there are no immediate plans for layoffs, the city continues to monitor the situation.

"Right now, we're okay," said Jackson, "but that does not mean later on this year we won't entertain that or have to do it."

He said the city has stopped hiring for unfilled positions. City Hall remains closed to the public three days a week, and the city's rec centers are closed.

5 On Your Side Investigators asked the mayor how many "non-essential employees" remain on the payroll and asked what those workers are doing now.

Jackson said while some are working from home, he wasn't sure about others.

"I don't know if there's anybody just sitting around, which is a great question by the way," said Jackson. "I will actually follow-up on that and see, but I would say in that category, I would predict it would minimal (workers) who are getting paid, considered non-essential, and have no responsibility at all during the day."