Layoffs loom in Sandusky

On the table: Twenty-seven positions and $2.2 million in cuts over two years.
Andy Ouriel
Mar 10, 2013

Sandusky officials know this much for certain: Deep cuts in the city's payroll and city services are coming.

Exactly how much gets axed, however, and which jobs are at stake remains a mystery.

Get the e*Paper or buy Monday's Register at a newsstand near you to learn what some commissioners say plus a rundown of the May ballot measures and candidates.

The city faces up to a $500,000 deficit in its nearly $16 million general fund budget this year, finance director Hank Solowiej said recently. City manager Nicole Ard recently provided the seven city commissioners a list of jobs and services that could be cut from today through 2014.

The cuts — totaling $2.2 million and 27 positions — would impact just about every city department, including police and fire. Ard did not make any recommendations, however, as to which cuts she recommends or how cuts could be implemented. 

How much the new union contracts will add to the expense column also looms as a huge unknown.  

Representatives from the city and the city's three collective bargaining units — police, fire and general service workers — are in negotiations on separate contracts that all expired last year. A conservative estimate — say, a 1 percent raise for each unit over a three-year period — could add about an extra $250,000 in payroll costs. 

Get the e*Paper or buy Monday's Register at a newsstand near you to learn what some commissioners say plus a rundown of the May ballot measures and candidates.

Note: The deficit figure was provided by the city's finance director several weeks ago. 



Trickle up. Gotta love it.


Sandusky is looking more like Washington ~~~ NO LEADERSHIP !

John Harville

Larry... yup, commission about as effective as Congress.



Teeter's picture

From: Diedre Cole Sunday - March 10, 2013 7:36 AM
Subject: Budget

Just read the online snipit regarding the budget and I hate to say it, but your numbers are totally wrong. You probably used a budget sheet from January. If someone had attended the Budget Workshop on March 6, you would have gotten accurate numbers. As a matter of fact, only THREE residents attended!

The budget Nicole presented was approximately $216,746 off. She presented a list of projects AND a list of possible staffing cuts. Commissioners were asked to chose and Keith Grohe and I submitted our choices. I eliminated VACANT positions such as the Assistant Chief and a Sgt. Position, and a vacant Reserve position, the vacant General Services Director position and a other PT position. My suggested eliminations got us down $195k, leaving a $24,000 gap. I am still reviewing the budget line-by-line and will have additional comments at the final public meeting, yet to be scheduled.

What is most important is that everyone realize that we will lose the Estate Tax next year and face a 25% decrease in Local Governmet Funds as well. These loses total approximately $600k and I believe we must begin to compensate for that loss this year to minimize the impact moving forward.
On second thought, thanks for getting it wrong! WE will balance the budget without the drastic cuts you seem to suggest. Unnecessarily panicking the public and employees based on inaccurate information is really what has happened and a disservice to the community, especially our seniors! -I even heard this story on 13 ABC News this morning! You could have called me and you know I would have provideed correct information.

Yes, I'm just a tad upset. When Matt called me about the workshop I told him I had a recording of the meeting and that Kelly could provide a copy. Jason picked up MY copy from Kelly which was a misunderstanding but I got another copy for my review. All that to say...someone over there had the entire debate on where in that debate did someone say, "Hey folks, we're $500,000 in the hole!" I hope you correct the story to reflect the actual information. You are welcome to review my notes and my marked up detailed budget if that helps. Thanks!


Diedre Y. Cole, Vice President
Sandusky City Commission
City of Sandusky
419-975-2793 (cell)
"If a project or idea cannot stand public scrutiny, it is probably something we shouldn't be doing!"

Please consider our environment before printing this email!

I sent the above email to Andy this morning. I did add the last sentence to the first paragraph. It is truly disappointing that only 3 residents came!



Thank you for your post. That is an interesting read and makes more sense.


Both Andy and Cole are correct in their facts. Cole is going by the figure in the here and now and not counting what the union is going to ask for in raises of which Andy has already figured into the equation. What is hanging out there right now is what the unions are going to ask for in a raise. The raises will coincide with how many more cuts need to be made. Cole did not figure the union raises into her figures. One percent can make a huge difference in how much the deficit will grow. If the city would have started the union talks months ago before the contract expired, we would have a signed contract by now but the city waited until the contract expired and now we are in this situation and have to get the contract settled before you proceed with balancing a budget.


You have made 2 of the most stupid comments I have ever read.
Hire in minimum wage labor, and contract EMS. You have 'NO' clue to what it takes to be a 'ELITE' Firefighter today.
The Firefighters of today are highly trained and most are college graduates with Masters degrees.
They charge into the worst situations when everyone is running out screaming for help. They evaluate these conditions, and effect the rescue of human life and extinguishment of fires that look like all of 'HELL'. And they ask very little in return.
So 'VOTENO', until you want to step up, and stand the line, I'd rececommend that you re adjust your comments to something that makes sense.
Good day to you!


Are you threatening me? I'll say what I want regardless what you or anyone else thinks. Elite firefighters? How many fires does sandusky have in a year? Oh, but just in case. Contract the EMS out. Huge savings.


I can tell you from experience that is not a fact. While contracting EMS out could save money, the BS calls would not stop. These people are already billed because Sandusky charges for EMS runs. The problem is, they don't/won't pay. Taking them to collections is an effort in futility. You can't squeeze blood from a turnip, and try getting a judge in erie county to force someone on entitlements to pay their ambulance bill. It isn't gonna happen, and by the way you cannot garnish a social security, welfare, or disability check. Even a contract EMS service would be forced to eat those losses.


Your narrow mindedness isn't worth getting worked about, as you seemed to be. Your making your comments totally off the cuff with NO knowledge of the subject, and NO documentation to back it up.
So what the Sandusky Firefighters aren't as hard as the Toledo or Cleveland Firefighters are. They are just asking what's due for them. They still risk their lives everyday. Hoping they'll go home at the end of their shift.
What do you do for a living? Any chance that you may not come home because of the work you do. Firefighters do that every day. Close to 100 Firefighters lose their life a year On The Job nationwide in the United States. A good number of Firefighters still Volunteer. So, think first before you speak.
Oh, and you say you were in the Military. So was I. Plus, I was a career Firefighter. Makes me wonder.
Have a good day.


"Hoping they'll go home at the end of their shift"- you're joking, right? That means getting out of bed and going home, or leaving the recliner and heading to the bar. Firefighters deserve some respect, but they're not GOD. Waitresses, housekeepers, teachers, store clerks- they ALL hope they will go home at the end of their shift- geesh!


VOTENO- you upset a firefighter. "Elite" firefighters? You gotta be kidding. They may start out at little Sandusky, but if they are 'elite', they leave here for bigger and better things.


So what your story? Do you know the risks a member of the Fire/EMS service put up with everyday? Does a office clerk, a Store Mrg., a stock trader have a risk of not going home? NO! And what do you do? Ever put your life on the line for someone else. Non Military? Nope! My opinion, first responders deserve all that they ask for and more!
Have you ever lost '343' fellow brothers at one time? What would you know what goes on inside the life at a fire station?
You and your friend need to have your facts right before you speak.
Have a good day.


The risks they put up with 'everyday'? What, the recliners won't go back? Everyone has a risk of not going home at the end of the day. Just ask the Newton teachers, the janitors at the World Trade Center on 9/11, or the students at Virginia Tech. There's risks wherever you go- they knew what the job entailed when the signed up for it. "...know what goes on inside the life at a fire station"? You've got to be kidding. From 8-5 they wear their dress shirts, do a little training, or go to their bedrooms and read. After that, and on week-ends-it's a free-for-all. They can sleep off their hangovers, prank the new guys, and wait for visits from their 'girlfriends'.


Stand the line? What line do they stand? I did my time in the military. Nothing these ladies do impresses me.


While I agree that voteno doesn't know what they are talking about, you are way overstating the qualifications of most firefighters. While they may be highly trained, it is a huge stretch to say most have college degrees or a masters degree. According to the IAFF, only about 20% of firefighters have a college degree and less than 1% possess a Master'd Degree. Now if what you are talking about is that most possess a certificate from a community college then I might be inclined to believe you, sort of. In this area, most firefighters are volunteers and the ones that are full time possess a Firefighter II cert and EMT or Paramedic Cert that they obtained from EHOVE or another vocational school, not a college. However, I do agree with you VOTENO knows nothing, and likely wouldn't be able to handle the rigours of fighting fires or providing EMS.


You know so much. You really must be man enough so "stand in line" with the captn. I bet you two would make a great couple.


Captn n Tenile. How cute.


There you go. Your true colors just came through. It's obivious you never made NCO.
And my 'Capn' handle comes from my Firefighter days. E-6 comes from Military days.
I think were done here.


Glad to see you have the maturity to debate an issue without trying to put someone down. Typical of someone who soesn't have any facts to refute what was said. To answer your question, yes, I am man enough and have done it, in addition to serving 21 yrs in the military and during 3 armed conflicts.


I reaf your comments and you put VOTENO down first.


You reaf my comments? LOL. Nonetheless, I reread my posts, other than saying VOTENO doesn't know what they are talking about, I don't see where I put them down. Maybe I should have lied and said their statement was fact? I've spent nearly 30 yrs in EMS both volunteer and paid, with a good portion of that in management. From my experience VOTENO is wrong.


I believe we're at a brickwall with VNO. VNO has shown his hand, and it's filled with dung. You never put him down first, last or anyway. You just spoke it as it is. Just as I, but with the background I have.
Good luck with that.
Have a good day.


NOBODY should get raises right now. NOBODY. It's not a question of what an employee does or doesn't deserve. It's a simple fact of economics. These "automatic" raises based on nothing but union membership and/or longevity have got to stop. Merit raises? Yes, if affordable, and ONLY if affordable.

It's past time government stopped running itself from what it's considered a "bottomless pocket" and started running itself more like a responsible business operated by grown-ups. I won't hold my breath...


You mean like all those businesses that lost money and cut workers wages but gave CEO's big raises?


You mean those rotten CEOs that paid more in taxes last year than you likely have paid in your entire lifetime? You must lead a miserable life with your envy eating you from the inside out.



Executive Pay and the Great Tax Dodge
Katrina vanden Heuvel on August 31, 2011 - 4:47 PM ET

Before the deficit reduction “super-committee” embarks on a $1–2 trillion course of human slashonomics, it should take a hard look at the Institute for Policy Studies’ (IPS) eighteenth annual executive compensation report, which details how corporations are rewarding CEOs for aggressive tax avoidance—to the tune of at least $100 billion in lost tax revenues every year.
But these twenty-five companies shielded their profits in 556 tax haven subsidiaries in places like the Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, and Singapore, which proved to be a lucrative tax dodging strategy for the CEOs themselves: the twenty-five CEOs averaged $16.7 million in compensation, compared to $10.8 million for their peers in the S&P 500.


This is unquestionably the kind of "loophole" that ought to be closed before taxes are raised on anybody, including businesses. The problem? What they're doing is perfectly legal. And yes, if they save the company that kind of money, why SHOULDN'T they be rewarded in kind?

Do I think what they're doing is RIGHT? Not exactly. But it's not illegal, which is the key here. You can legislate morality and ethics all you like, but we will always have the greedy and the spendthrifts with us (the vast majority of whom are politicians rather than businessmen), and they will always seek out ways to get what they want. So let's start eliminating some of those ways! Instead of talking about levies locally, and talking about still more tax increases on every level, start talking about legitimate tax reform. Call it what you like: Fair tax, flat tax, whatever. But the bottom line is we'd ALL pay less taxes if we'd all actually PAY taxes!


That loophole will never be closed, because the same rich politicians that loathe it in public are also utilizing it to sheild their assets in private.