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Motion to Eliminate Fire Layoffs, Reduce Police Layoffs to 25

By German Lopez · May 22nd, 2013 · City Desk

A budget plan proposed May 16 by two council members would eliminate layoffs at the fire department and reduce the amount of police layoffs from 49 to 25 by making cuts elsewhere, particularly by forcing city employees to take 10 furlough days in fiscal year 2014.

Council members Roxanne Qualls and Chris Seelbach are co-sponsoring the motion. If it’s approved by City Council, the amount of city employee layoffs in the fiscal year 2014 budget would drop to 84, down from the original “Plan B” estimate of 344, by amending Mayor Mark Mallory’s budget proposal, which was announced yesterday.

Avoiding the layoffs comes with large cuts and shifted priorities elsewhere: Furlough days for supervisory and leadership personnel would be bumped up from five to 10 ($250,000 in savings), all council members would be asked to take 10 furlough days ($22,700), City Council’s office budgets would be reduced ($18,000), the clerk of council’s office budget would also be reduced ($46,000), the departments of community development and economic development would be merged ($171,000) and the account for firefighter’s protective gear would be reduced ($100,000).

In total, the cuts in the motion add up to $607,000.

The cuts would be in addition to larger cuts proposed by the city manager and mayor, which include reduced funding to parks, human services, parades and outside agencies.

The city must enact a budget by May 31, which will give city officials the required 30 days to implement the plan by fiscal year 2014, which begins July 1. 



05.22.2013 at 04:01 Reply

The one thing that has been missing from this entire discussion is a review of exactly how many firefighters and police officers we need.  With the population decline in the city and the lowering of crime rates, do we actually need the amount of fire fighters and police officers we have?  I know in the past we have had a lot more officers than cities around our size and crime rate.  If that is still true, we should be laying off police officers (especially since they have been basically untouched in the budgets cuts in the last decade). But we can't decide what we should do without an actual look at what we have and what we think we need.  We need to get away from the knee jerk "we can't cut police" reaction and look at it fairly and honestly.