Lorain City Council debates controversial cuts

Posted at 5:03 PM, Mar 23, 2016
A temporary reduction in the income tax credit for residents who work outside the city and two weeks of city council furloughs could help alleviate a fiscal crisis in the City of Lorain. That's according to Mayor Chase Ritenauer, who spoke to on his way into a Wednesday evening city council committee meeting.
Another ordinance called for enacting a mandatory retirement age of 57 for police officers and firefighters.
Kyle Gelenius, President of the Fraternal Order of Police Lorain Lodge #3, said the city’s most experienced cops and firefighters would be forced to retire and a 13 percent cut to the police budget could mean twenty officers in total losing their jobs under a previous budget proposal.
Here are several tweets from the lodge's Twitter account @LorainFOPPrez:
"It’s going to decimate all specialized units, no SWAT officers, no narcotics officers, less detectives, no response to property crimes and quality of life crimes,” Gelenius said. "Pretty much the only thing we’re going to be able to do is respond to priority one violent crimes in progress.”
The city has faced declining revenues in the last year, with both Republic and U.S. Steel laying off more than 900 workers combined. City documents also stated Lorain's share of the state’s local government fund declined by $2.5 million in the last year.
Other city services are also facing cuts, but Gelenius said police are being hit the hardest. Gelenius would not rule out legal action to stop the changes.
“If these cuts go through,” Gelenius said, “They can expect a response from the FOP like they’ve never seen before.”

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