To help balance the city s budget, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is offering to take a 10 percent pay cut, and has called for a reduction in the number of city councilmen from 12 to eight.
The proposal was written in a letter to John Irish, chairman of the city s Charter Review Committee, on Monday but came to light today, a day after city council voted to trim some of the mayor s flexibility in submitting a budget.
Under the proposal, the mayor s pay would drop from $136,700 to $123,030, effective "upon appropriate action."
The reduction in the number of city council members would take effect in 2009, the next scheduled round of municipal elections after this fall.
The mayor said in his letter that he chose eight as the optimum number of council members after reviewing the number of councilmen serving in the eight largest cities in Ohio.
The proposal drew a tart reply from Councilman Joe McNamara who called a news conference to publicly offer the mayor a crown made out of red construction paper. The mayor is out of town on vacation.
"This proposal is not about saving money. It s about consolidating power and silencing opposition voices," Mr. McNamara said. "If the Mayor is going to govern as a tyrant, he might as well look like one."
He said if the mayor was serious about reforming city government he should form a nonpartisan commission rather than turn it over to his "disgraced crony" John Irish. Mr. Irish recently was forced to step down as chairman of the Lucas County Democratic Party when it learned that at least one stripper exposed herself at a county party golf fund-raiser last month.
Yesterday, city council voted 8-4 to let city residents vote on a proposed change in the city charter to require the mayor to submit a balanced budget on Nov. 15.
The mayor is considering vetoing council s proposed balanced budget charter change, according to spokesman Brian Schwartz. But Councilman Frank Szollosi, who authored the balanced budget charter amendment, said the mayor doesn t have the right to veto the legislation.
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