Akron, Ohio, January 17, 2017 — Today Mayor Dan Horrigan presented City Council with his 2017 Budget Plan. Highlights of the plan include a smaller general fund budget, 35 new firefighters, 7 new police officers, and a prediction for limited growth in income tax revenue. Budget hearings begin this afternoon (1/17) and will continue through Thursday (1/19).
Statement of Mayor Dan Horrigan
"I am proud to say that we ended 2016 leaner and more efficient than when we started. Staffing levels and expenditures have been reduced, and we continue to take great strides forward in setting the stage for economic growth and neighborhood reinvestment in Akron. Today, I am pleased to continue this work by presenting Council with a responsible, comprehensive strategy for spending in 2017.
My primary goal this year was to develop a plan to maintain our excellent City services—including street paving and maintenance, parks and recreation, public safety, housing enforcement, and so many others—while still reducing costs wherever possible. I am pleased to say that, through tough decision-making and a focus on productivity, we were able to accomplish that goal.
As we pursued the budgeting process this year, we were faced with some challenging realities. First, while our needs as a community continue to grow, unrelenting funding cuts from the state have forced us to make difficult decisions about where to prioritize spending. Those cuts, in addition to our obligations with respect to existing debt, limit our ability to invest in new community initiatives.
Despite these challenges, we remain more committed than ever to serving and protecting our residents and investing in the future of our City. Positive highlights of the 2017 budget include positions for 7 new police officers, 6 new 9-1-1 dispatchers, and 35 new firefighters—raising staffing levels in the Akron Fire Department to their highest level in recent years. I am confident that these additions will contribute greatly to the health, safety, and welfare of our wonderful community.
In the absence of fair revenue-sharing from the state, efficiency and innovation are the keys to our future success as an organization. And I extend my appreciation to all of our City workers as they continue to do more with less."