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Parma City Council passes 2012 budget

3/20/2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2012

Contact: Jeannie Roberts (440) 885-8181 (216) 346-9935

PARMA, Ohio – Mayor Tim DeGeeter’s first budget was passed Monday night by Parma City Council, a budget the mayor said reflects his administration’s stated goal of maintaining fiscal responsibility. The vote of the Council was 9-0.

To ensure fiscal responsibility, DeGeeter said that he wants to review the budget with Council on a quarterly basis to see how the city is doing at regular points in time. “This administration adheres to fiscal responsibility, and this budget shows that we have attempted to maintain the line on spending,” he said. “Further, we will continue to do so.”

The 2012 budget of $47.2 million represents an increase of $2.9 million over last year’s budget of $44.3 million. The increase is accounted for by several factors, among them fuel costs, which are at historic highs, health care cost increases, more than $100,000 in election expenses, $400,000 of patrolmen expenses absorbed from the police levy, and higher costs for safety forces – a 1% raise retroactive for 2011 and a 1% raise for all of 2012 for police and a 1% raise beginning on July 1, 2012 for fire forces. Additionally, the building department budget shows an increase due to regular full-time positions being fully staffed with inspectors and property maintenance workers, which reflects the administration’s value and commitment to maintaining Parma’s strong housing base.

Although not reflected in this budget, DeGeeter said, “I am optimistic that several priorities of our administration could reflect additional cost savings by the end of the year.” Some of those priorities are the merging of administrative functions for the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Purchasing and Personnel; partnering with Cuyahoga County for IT services to save money and bolster City Hall’s technological capabilities; and looking for more partnerships with adjoining communities, such as the recently announced summer band concert series with Parma Heights.

“Our administration remains committed to continuing to look for cost-cutting measures,” DeGeeter said. “We spent over two months on this budget process, and it wasn’t easy. Council was very involved and asked tough questions along the way. I appreciate the efforts of the Council and of the department heads. The end result of everybody’s efforts is a solid budget in challenging times.”