Parma Nixes Tax Boost, Critics Assail Police Chief

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Irate voters in the Cleveland suburb of Parma rejected a $1.8 million tax for their beleaguered police forces, leading to turmoil at City Hall, the Cleveland Plain Dealer says. Mayor Gerald Boldt ordered the layoffs of five police officers, idled a motorcycle unit and imposed a city-wide ban on non-emergency overtime. The ban might force the closing of a fire station.

Stung by the depth of voter dissatisfaction, four City Council members called for the ouster or resignation of Police Chief Mark Manning for failing to rein in his troubled department.

Voters on Tuesday rejected the tax renewal for police by a 2-to-1 ratio. The tax, which expires at the end of the year, pays for police equipment and pensions.

Boldt blamed the defeat on voter anger over police overtime and sick-leave abuse detailed in a Plain Dealer series in March.

Link: http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/105238674222290.xml

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