Covered by Documenters Carolyn CooperTina Scott and Nick Ventura

What happened: Committee members reviewed changes to the proposed 2023 Cleveland budget with Chief Financial Officer Ahmed Abonamah. The budget calls for spending nearly $711 million from the General Fund. Some agreed-upon changes include: 

  • Addition of $200,000 to the Office of Equal Opportunity
  • Removal of $224,000 from the Community Police Commission
  • Removal of $750,000 from the Division of Corrections
  • Addition of $600,000 to the Department of Building and Housing
  • Addition of $1.275 million for council’s discretionary Capital Repair Fund

The committee approved the amended budget ordinance, and it was read a second time at the council meeting later that night. Learn more about Cleveland’s process for passing a budget.

Rec center security: The committee also advanced legislation allowing the city to spend an estimated $1 million on additional security at rec centers. The full council passed this proposal that evening as well. Sam Gissentaner, commissioner of the Division of Recreation, said the city wants off-duty officers who are good role models. Council President Blaine Griffin requested information about the officers’ background and training. The city sometimes looks to the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office for assistance, Gissentaner said. The Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance also collaborates with rec center staff.

Union negotiations: The Ohio Nurses Association and Teamsters Local 507 unions have new agreements with the city. The committee approved the proposals, called collective bargaining agreements. Full council later approved them. Council Member Mike Polensek asked how many unions partner with the city and how many agreements the city was still negotiating. The city expects to complete negotiations with 11 of 33 unions by this week, said Chief Human Resources Officer Paul Patton. 

Cleveland recently hurried a contract renewal with the Peacemakers Alliance. The city had left the group working without a contract for months. Signal Cleveland’s Nick Castele has more.

Cleveland Documenters pays and trains people to cover public meetings where government officials discuss important issues and decide how to spend taxpayer money.