Mayor responds to police/fire retirements

By Rob Wiercinski - bio | email

Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - Toledo's mayor is responding to several retirements this week within the police and fire departments on the heels of the controversy over how the mayor wants to balance the city budget.


At last check with Toledo's police and fire chiefs, seven police officers and one firefighter have filed for retirement this week. Those veteran workers have accumulated a hefty amount of unused sick time, vacation time, as well as comp time, and the mayor says those pay-outs are being studied at the moment.

Although, he's not saying what action the city might take on that issue, he is urging council to act on his proposals to save an estimated $10 million by voting to put temporary budget saving measures in place.

"We're not asking for a forever reduction in pay, I think you know that we're asking for 12 months of a rollback," said Finkbeiner.


The City of Toledo continues to stare at a 2009 operating budget hole, estimated at over $27 million, and the mayor's hoping his plan to balance the books will be approved by council next week.

"I haven't picked up any hint of any mass exodus," said Toledo Fire Chief Mike Wolever.

However Council's Mike Collins says many workers are concerned the city may run out of money to pay out comp time, unused vacation and sick time and other money owed to them through their contracts. "There's a run on the bank if you will. They're saying, 'I want my money now. I don't want you to hold any of my comp time. I want to be paid,' and understandably so," said Collins.

The mayor says the issue of retirement pay-outs is being studied, and he's asking council to temporarily lower wages and suspend pension pick-ups. "We haven't asked to eliminate that. We've only asked that for 1 year -- 12 months be put aside to help us balance our budget."

Collins opposes the route the mayor wants council to take. "The failure to manage this city does not create, for me, the right to breach contracts," he said.

What won't be breached as a result of the budget controversy is public safety, according to Chief Wolever. "They have a venue to complain if they need to. When they're on the street they're pros."

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