City of Akron Passes 2024 Operating Budget Detailing $815 Million of Investments

Akron, Ohio, March 25, 2024  — Tonight, Akron City Council unanimously passed the 2024 Operating Budget detailing $815 million of investments. While the city’s capital budget, which was passed by City Council in February, outlines investments in the City’s physical infrastructure, the operating budget outlines spending on City services and operating expenses. This year’s budget focuses on Mayor Malik’s main priorities with an emphasis on public safety, realigning the Mayor’s office with strategic personnel decisions, and investing in community initiatives around education, economic development, and more. This budget allocates for the highest number of uniformed police officers in over 20 years and the highest number of firefighters/EMS staff in over 30 years. See the budget overview here.  


“I’m incredibly proud of the work my administration has done with City Council to pass a budget that I think we can all agree on,” said Akron Mayor Shammas Malik. “This budget accomplishes a lot for our city including some of the largest investments in public safety in several decades, realigning the Mayor's office to address longstanding issues like education, environmental sustainability, and more, and emphasizing large strategic investments surrounding topics like violence intervention, small business support, homelessness, and many other areas. 


While this final budget holds off on funding three proposed roles I believe are important – a Data Transparency strategist, a Public Engagement strategist, and an Environmental Policy specialist to support our Director of Sustainability and Resiliency - I think working with City Council and being willing to listen to their concerns is also important to moving our city forward. I plan to seek grant funding for those three positions and continue to prioritize these areas with our existing staff capacity. Passing this budget each year is one of the most important things we as a city do for our community and I look forward to the work ahead as we continue following through on our goals and priorities for the City of Akron.”  


On Monday, March 11, Mayor Malik introduced his proposed 2024 operating budget to City Council. Mayor Malik made it a priority to engage not only with city councilmembers on the budget, but also to get feedback from Akron residents. The day the budget was introduced, the city created a Zencity Engage page to allow members of the community to offer their comments online. A series of budget hearings was held for Akron City Council that week Monday - Thursday. Those meetings were livestreamed and open to the public. The city also regularly posted on social media channels to help educate residents on the budget process and offer highlights from this year’s proposed budget. On Wednesday, March 20, Finance Director Steve Fricker and the Mayor held a Facebook live to present details from the budget and answer questions and then later that same day, held a town hall at Firestone CLC where they presented the budget in more depth and had residents break into small groups with city representatives to ask questions.   


The items residents expressed caring most about were education and support for Akron’s youth, public safety, housing, access to food, and homelessness, and diversity and opportunity. The areas of concern that were expressed most often were spending for public safety, city debt and status of cash on hand, money unspent from last year’s budget, the city’s plans for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) expenditures after that funding is gone, how the sale of Summa might impact the budget, and the city’s efforts around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). To see a feedback summary click here 


On Friday, March 22 Mayor Malik and City Council leadership introduced an amendment to the budget which removes funding for the three aforementioned positions and invests in other areas across the city. Learn more here.   


The full operating budget will be available online here in the coming weeks.  

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