Youngstown budget shortfall among Mayor Tito Browns first order - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown budget shortfall among Mayor Tito Browns first order of business

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Youngstown's new Mayor Tito Brown started his administration by overturning four promotions that came with, what he called "significant" raises in the final months of the McNally Administration.

The new mayor said the change is just one way he plans to address a $2.5 - 3 million projected deficit.

Brown attended his first council meeting as Mayor on Wednesday.

The agenda was short, but council had several questions for the mayor's interim finance director, Kyle Miasek, who presented a plan that would amend the 2018 temporary budget.

"If we don't move those dollars into that fund immediately those savings will not materialize," said Miasek.

The plan presented would save the general fund about $300-thousand by paying for police car supplies, like tires, and the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence program from traffic camera money instead of from the general fund.

Mayor Brown said the legislation originated from the previous administration, but he's backing it.

"It's not like we're losing the money, it's just which line item are you going to take it out of?" said Brown. "In the end, if we have to revert back or things don't seem like they're going to continue on the upswing, then we can go back to the general fund, but the general fund is where we are hurting the most. So we have to find the most resources to relieve in the general fund."

Police Chief Robin Lees said his department was caught off guard and asked council to place the legislation into committee for more discussion. 

That won't happen though since only one council member felt that was necessary. The legislation passed 5-1.

"I felt that was a decision that did not have to be made tonight, we are looking at a $2.5 million possible deficit or more in the City of Youngstown and I felt that should have been apart of the bigger package as we put together the 2018 budget together," said Councilman Nathaniel Pinkard.

The new administration has until April 1st to finalize their budget for 2018. Mayor Brown sad as a former councilman, he knows the importance of giving council time to review proposals. Moving forward he said open communication will be a priority.

Meanwhile, the search for a permanent Finance Director continues.

Miasek told council he believes he has the ability to do the job, but said "I chose not to step up and run for the position because I have reservation about the climate in this community given what is happening in Columbus and how certain people are being targeted, I believe, here, who have done their best for the good of the community. I believe in that."

Miasek went on to tell council that he would consider taking on the position if Brown was unable to find another candidate.
 

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