Cleveland's city council agreed last night to sell city property worth $5.2 million in an attempt to save 400 city jobs and Mayor Dennis J. Kucinich said the move would avert any large-scale layoffs.
"Based on income from the land sales, the massive layoffs will be rescinded," the mayor said."There will be no police layoffs."
Among the 400 municipal workers threatened with layoffs were 275 policemen.
The five parcels approved for sale to provide an infusion of cash to the city's depleted treasury include two areas to be transferred to the city Water Department for a total of $2.28 million.
Also up for sale are a downtown parcel valued at $850,000; railroad right-of-way in Cleveland's industrial Flats area valued at $1.5 million and Navy Park in suburban Brooklyn.
Council President George Forbes had proposed a smaller land sale, which he said would give a $3 million infusion of cash to Cleveland's depleted treasury. But Mayor Dennis J. Kucinich said some layoffs would still be necessary under Forbes' land sale proposal.
Earlier yesterday, the mayor lashed out at state officials who reportedly are considering a state takeover of city finances.
"It is close to euthanasia, but we are not that sick," Kucinich said of his city's precarious finances. "It is the ultimate act against the city. It is the theft of a city."
Kucinich, a Democrat, said the idea was inspired by Republicans and "big business."