Shaker Heights kow tows to unions (is this a surprise?)


Shaker Heights cutting back on residents’ perks

Posted by Gabriel Baird/Plain Dealer Reporter June 24, 2009 00:52AM

Updated at 11:12 a.m. on Wednesday

SHAKER HEIGHTS — One of the perks residents of this city enjoy is being taken away.

Starting July 1, they will have to haul their yard waste to the curb like most everyone else.

Hard economic times have hit the city.

For decades, refuse collectors have picked up garbage and wastes behind houses, leaving the tree lawns impeccable even on trash day.

But a series of hits to the city’s budget are forcing cutbacks. City officials had expected to collect about $2.7 million less in taxes this year than last. But it could be even worse, said Mayor Earl M. Leiken.

“I don’t know how much more yet,” he said.

Councilwoman Nancy Moore said it could top $4 million.

A few residents in their yard Tuesday said that with the high taxes they pay they deserve the yard-waste perk.

One woman, who was trimming her shrubs, called fellow Shaker Heights residents spoiled, saying placing lawn clippings at the curb was hardly a hardship. She declined to give her name for fear of being ostracized by her neighbors.

Sharon Griswold, who was finishing a new stone path, said that having grown up outside Shaker, she is used to tasks like taking the lawn clippings to the curb.

“It’s not a big deal,” she said.

Other cost saving measures are also coming in July:

• City Hall and the community building will be closed every other Friday, beginning July 10.

Nonunion city employees will take off one day each two-week pay period for a salary cut of 10 percent.

• The pool will close a week before Labor Day.

“These changes will present just a minor inconvenience to residents,” Leiken said.

This is bullshit. The union employees should make the same concessions to help the city. Thanks a lot, Shaker.

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