You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 6:02 a.m.

Ypsilanti mayor says city is close to budget goals, but with job cuts

By David Wak

Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber says the city is closer to reaching its overall budget goals through 2014, but it will mean layoffs in the police and fire departments.

The number of layoffs isn't yet clear. City staff is expected to present more details at the next council meeting Dec. 15 and also during a goal-setting meeting on Jan. 11.

Schreiber said the city needs to make $1.4 million in cuts to reach its goals, and the council decided $1.1 million will come out of the police and fire funds.

Fire and police account for $6.9 million of the city's $8.7 million in discretionary expenditures. Ypsilanti City Council members said they saw it as the most logical place to make cuts.

Schreiber said he's glad the City Council is taking decisive action to address the budget.

"I'm also very pleased that city council has given specific direction to city staff to continue progress on balancing the budget until 2014," Schreiber said.

Council Member Bill Nickels said the salaries for some police officers will be paid using drug forfeiture money, lessening the impact of the $1.1 million in cuts. No specifics were provided.

"The balance of the $1 million will necessarily come from laying off some public safety employees," Nickels said. "At this time, it is uncertain what we will do to cut the remaining $.4 million."

City Manager Ed Koryzno said the city will hold several budget meetings over the next few months to finalize the cuts.

At a November meeting, Koryzno said the city would see a $5.2 million shortfall by 2015 unless cuts were made. The council was presented with two budget options: cut 17-24 jobs but save more in the long run, or hold off on making cuts until after 2012, but potentially lay off as many as 54 employees to offset the deficit.

Council members said they favor the first option because it would be less painful in the long run.


David Wak is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.



Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 1:34 p.m.

It's amazing how myopic some of you folks are. Are you really so dense that you think cutting Council "stipends" (they make $5 grand per year or about $5 per hour) or cutting Koryzno's salary, or any other of you knee-jerk solutions are more that a drop in the bucket of the financial dilema Ypsi faces? Mowing and maintaining the parks can be paid by fees charged the users too. Police is $5,000,000 and Fire about $3m. To come up with $1.4 M in cuts it takes more than the peanuts you're spouting off about. Good thing you're not making these decisions!


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 5:10 p.m.

Dading, I understand the concerns of commuter-students. Nobody wants to pay more. I no longer live in Ypsi because I couldn't afford it. (I can't afford to live in Washtrenaw County for that matter.) However to expect the city to suck up all the costs of fire services for the whole campus as well as the police services consumed by off-campus students is no longer viable. It wasn't that long ago the police scheduled extra officers on Thursdays because of the parties thrown by off campus students. If I recall correctly this was done on an overtime basis. I would rather have to suck up a 1% increase in my kids tuition than have to bury one of them because there wern't enough firefighters to save them in case of fire. I would rather have to pay money now than pay with the safety or life of one of them because the city can't afford to staff police/fire depts. EMU pays no property taxes to the city, they do not pay the city for fire protection, however the City does not withhold services because of this. Every taxpayer in the city covers the cost. Just seems fair to me that those who use the services could at least contribute a small amount to cover the costs involved.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:35 p.m.

nekkidfish, that wouldn't be bad if it could be approved as a direct credit on state income tax. The state has shirked their responsibility to college towns for the past 25 years. At least they could offer this proposal as a tax credit...directly to be subtracted from any tax liability.

dading dont delete me bro

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 11:59 a.m.

@nekkidfish, i am an emu student. my family and i own a home in ypsilanti township. i don't want to pay for pd and fd services for other emu students...we're having our own tax and wcsd issues down here.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 6:29 a.m.

It seems to me that a good number of the people requiring police/fire services are EMU students who live off campus and EMU campus itself uses the city's fire services. The state no longer contributes to the city coffers for fire services on campus and the students never have paid for the services they use (except roundabout through rent,etc). Why not put a 1% tax on tuition to go to the city for the use of the services? I know tuition is expensive, I have 2 kids at EMU. Both live off campus. I haven't looked at any numbers but judging by my kids' tuition the city could generate enough income to avoid layoffs and maybe even save a bit for the future.


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 5:22 p.m.

Guess I should have gone to this meeting, because the first cut I would make would be the City Council stipends, followed by Mayor Schriber's, until the budget crisis eases. This isn't intended to be a dig at any of them, but if the stipend is a "token" for the time council puts in, shouldn't we cut it? Could cutting the stipend save an officer or fire fighter? This is money that could be used in other places, right? One thing I will say was wrong, stupid, and unforgivable considering Ypsi's dire economic state was council's vote to take back maintenance costs of Riverside and Frog Island parks from the Depot Town CDC over use of the word Ypsitucky. The agreement between the city and the CDC took over $20,000 a year out of city expenses just in maintenance, not to mention insurance and operational costs. But hey, now the grass is back to being cut by good, union, city employees. Not that we can afford to pay these employees. This is a prime example of fiscal irresponsibility and poor governance, and the council members responsible should be held accountable. This was an example a petty political fight hurting our already crippled budget. Every penny counts, and this was a blatant and idiotic waste. The CDC was giving a service to the city at no charge, and were treated like dirt for it.

Martin Church

Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 12:23 p.m.

Better yet, Lets cut the City Manager job 25% and the entire City hall payment 10% before we hack the fire fighters. It use to be the Fire Department had a revenue stream of tax milleage and service fees (Ambulance runs) Those have all been cut. We need the Fire Services more than we need the high payed city hall staff.

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 9:58 a.m.

@ladybug, just google it, you'll see. it amazes me that the first on the chopping blocks are OUR municiple services. police and fire really don't make a lot. these are typical scare tactics from politicians.


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 9:27 a.m.

What fiasco on water street are you talking about?


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 7:20 a.m.

Yes, let's definitly follow the advice about laying off firefighters and cops from the guy who thought Water Street was a GREAT idea! Why does Ed still have a job? Firefighters and Cops paying for the sins of Water Street, JUST GREAT! Isn't anyone held reponsible for that fiasco?