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Mayor to decide on recruiter

Ironton City Finance Committee members have given Mayor Bob Cleary 30 days to reassess the need for – and the city’s ability to pay for – an industrial recruiter.

Friday, December 10, 1999

Ironton City Finance Committee members have given Mayor Bob Cleary 30 days to reassess the need for – and the city’s ability to pay for – an industrial recruiter.

"With Intermet closing, this will be a difficult decision for me," Cleary said at Thursday’s committee meeting. "We might have to have layoffs and to hire somebody else … Without that person, though, we could lose another business."

City officials began discussing the need for an industrial recruiter in June after the announcement of Cabletron’s closure.

And that need is still there, especially after Intermet Ironton Iron’s announcement earlier this week that it will close its doors in the year 2000, said council and finance committee chairperson Jim Tordiff.

"My personal view is we probably need it more than ever, but I know there’s another way of looking at it," Tordiff said.

Budgetary concerns could make the city hold off on hiring someone for the position. The final figures are not in yet, but the city is looking at a possible half million dollar problem at the start of the year with the loss of income taxes and public services fees, Tordiff said.

The mayor and finance director, Cindy Anderson, will continue to work on the budget, and see what corners could possibly be cut within the next few weeks, Cleary said.

"We’ve been looking at a lot of different options," he said. "We may end up with some temporary layoffs. But we won’t know what impact this will have until after the end of 1999."

After 1999 accounts are closed out, and an Ironton Iron impact assessment is completed, Cleary will reappear before the Finance Committee to make a recommendation, which members will then take back to council.

City officials are looking at more than the industrial recruiter position and how it would help Ironton.

Mayor Cleary has been in contact with state and federal officials concerning the loss of a major employer, and will continue to work with these officials in the upcoming weeks.

"We’ve got the attention of the government," Cleary said. "Strickland’s office was here yesterday. And there is a meeting set up at 1 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Riffe building in Columbus. They are going to have all the players there – representatives from the Ohio Department of Development, governor’s office, senators. Things are happening and no one is sitting back idle. I’ve been very busy between TV cameras and newspaper calls. We’ve got a good start on a bad situation."

City officials will dedicate the next week to finishing up 1999 financial reports, and 2000 budget estimates should be available by the second week of January, Cleary said.

Finance committee members will take turns meeting with the mayor to discuss his and Ms. Anderson’s progress once a week, Tordiff added.