Dayton residents, city employees urge commissioners to find common ground on budget

DAYTON — City leaders say the failure to pass a budget for 2023 is putting the City of Dayton in limbo.

The Dayton City Commission was set to vote on the budget at their meeting Wednesday night. The vote didn’t happen because Commissioners Shenise Turner-Sloss and Darryl Fairchild abstained from voting for the budget as an emergency ordinance.

>> RELATED: Special Commission Meeting set to discuss City of Dayton’s 2023 budget

The inability of the commission to pass a budget does have city workers and city unions worried about a shutdown.

News Center 7 was at a joint news conference held Friday by Turner-Sloss and Fairchild, where the commissioners said they refused to pass the budget as an emergency ordinance because it did not reflect community priorities.

They both spoke about demolition that leads to blight, spending on young people, the erosion of emergency services and affordable housing as some of their priorities. They also both listed the Human Relations Council as a priority.

City leaders say all of those items are addressed in the budget and claimed the two commissioners never gave any indications they wouldn’t pass the budget during a months-long process of informational meetings with city staff. They also claim that if the city doesn’t pass the budget as an emergency ordinance, they can’t spend money after January 1, including paying workers.

>> RELATED: Police, fire service in question as Dayton City Commission fails to pass 2023 budget

“It is pretty scary to thing about what could happen,” Joe Parlette, City of Dayton’s Assistant City Manager, said.

Residents said they are worried about losing their fire, police and trash services.

“That would be bad,” Debbie Bovenzi, of Dayton, said. “We really need that to be passed. We need those services very badly.”

Perdesta Calhoun, one of the many city employees who may be impacted by the shutdown, said he wants both sets of commissioners to find common ground because employees are caught in the middle.

“No one is going to show up and do it for free.,” he said. “It’s not only the money, it is the medical.”