Mayor Malik Introduces Amendment to Proposed 2024 Operating Budget

Akron, Ohio, March 22, 2024  — Today, Akron Mayor Shammas Malik has introduced an amendment to his proposed 2024 operating budget. The amendment removes three positions from the Mayor’s Office budget: Data Transparency Strategist, Public Engagement Strategist, and Environmental Policy Specialist. These positions are currently vacant. It also adds some new expenditures that came out of conversations with City Council and Akron residents. Those expenditures include a grant writer for Akron Municipal Court and another inspector for the city’s Housing Compliance department. There is no net change in the overall cost of the budget.

“I feel strongly that we are offering a budget to City Council that we can all agree on,” said Mayor Malik. “I appreciate the feedback we have received over the last several weeks, both from our councilmembers and our residents. Whether it was at our town hall, on our social media pages, our Zencity engage page, or at Council committee, the engagement we’ve done has led to really productive conversations about the best ways to budget taxpayer funds. We will be releasing a one-pager on Monday detailing the feedback we’ve received during this process.

I am confident the team we have in place will make considerable progress on our Together For Akron vision in this first year. We will not be backing away from our commitments to public engagement, environmental policy, or data transparency. In fact, I believe we have already demonstrated that commitment in our efforts just in the first three months of this administration with the amount of public outreach we have done, the ways in which we are using data (like with our new snowplow tracker), and our recent announcements with Power a Clean Future Ohio and Bloomberg Sustainable Cities. We will continue to prioritize these areas with our existing team and look forward to boosting that capacity with the new roles in the future. During my time in public office both as Mayor and as Councilman, I have learned how important it is to listen as well as the strength of collaboration and the ability to compromise. I believe that’s led to a very strong proposal for this year’s operating budget.”

Changes to 2024 Proposed Operating Budget

  • Removing
    • Data Transparency Strategist ($97,505)
    • Public Engagement Strategist ($97,505)
    • Environmental Policy Specialist ($48,752)
  • Reducing
    • Mayor's Office Service Contracts ($50,000)
    • Finance contract for Word Church Demolition ($125,000)
    • Finance for General Fund Property Taxes ($131,238)
  • Adding
    • $90,000 for a Grant Writer for Municipal Court
    • $10,000 for baby surrender box program at a local hospital
    • $100,000 for Police overtime to deal with vice issues
    • $50,000 for a Neighborhood Partnership Program for City Council
    • $100,000 for Animal Control
    • $100,000 for Housing Compliance
    • $100,000 for Nuisance Compliance

In total, the amendment evens out so there is no net change to the overall cost of the proposed budget. The addition of $550,000 is offset by the elimination/reduction of $550,000.

“Each year, approving the city’s budget is one of the most important and impactful actions taken for the benefit of our citizens,” said City Council President Margo Sommerville.  “My goal is to pass a responsible budget that will support our city services — including public safety, road maintenance, water/sewer utilities, and many others — while keeping costs in line. With this amendment, I believe we have a strong operating budget for 2024. I want to thank Mayor Malik for working with City Council and our residents on a budget that we can all agree on.”

City Council is expected to vote on the budget at the next council meeting on Monday, March 25.

Mayor Malik presented his initial operating budget proposal to Council on March 11. The budget outlines $815 million in investments with a focus on public safety. This budget allocates for the highest number of uniformed police officers and firefighters in over 20 years. Learn more here.

Stephanie Marsh, Director of Communications or 330-256-1191