Officer Brandon Mather is chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police in Chillicothe. He spoke on behalf of officers filling seats in the audience, saying the union has been against it all along and that it's never been shown where there were enough funds.
He said eliminating the position would not create enough savings to bring in a new officer - only about $20,000, when about $90,000 would be needed.
Mather also said the department is 11 officers short of what is allowed by law, matching 1970s or 1980s levels.
Council unanimously voted down the ordinance. It's sponsor, Alicia Gray, said members still had too many questions unanswered. The action could still be reintroduced in any form at any time, though.
City Auditor Luke Feeney says to take advantage of the city income tax amnesty before it's too late. He said the natural follow-up to the amnesty is collections.
He said the collections service through the City of Cleveland charges only five percent, instead of the typical 20 to 40 percent by collections companies.
This is a one-year contract to try to find tax avoiders.
Feeney says it does not replace local services, but adds to them. The city is still collecting taxes, but Cleveland is using IRS data to assist in finding those who are not on Chillicothe's "radar."
Kevin Coleman regularly reports on Chillicothe & Circleville councils