Friday, July 10, 2009

First budget hearing

With the release on Monday of the Mayor’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2009-2010, individual City agencies have begun their budget hearings with the City Council.

The police department was first out of the chute, at 1:00 PM Wednesday. With 30 minutes to hit the highlights of our $35 million budget (the largest general tax funded agency), I had to scoot right along.

In preparation, I gathered a few simple handouts, and wrote our a short outline for my own use. I couldn’t monopolize the entire half hour for a presentation, so I timed this to be only ten minutes. I think I went a couple minutes over. Here’s my notes, in case you’re interested:

Bottom dollar: despite the toughest economy in recent memory, and the only time I can ever recall that the City’s two tax streams (sales and property) have both declined, we fared pretty doggone well. Our cuts are small, and we are not the only providers of the two services that are reduced. We will do just fine, and keep our powder dry until the economic picture is brighter. When the sun eventually shines, the City's got to get moving on increasing the size of this department if citizens want the services.


Anonymous said...

As a Lincolnite, I am lamenting that the City Council will act only after a large event that draws attention on how understaffed the city really is with its police force. Only then will you hear the campaign slogans of "I'm gonna do something about the crime we have in this city."

It is utterly baffling as to how they arrive at the agendas they do. I am just glad that I can exercise my right to vote to encourage change for those who are stagnant on the council.

Steve said...

Instead of a presentation, you should have just had the council members read some of your posts over the last few weeks.

I'm glad you didn't lose too much. Those newspaper thieves are still out there you know.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering where you mention in your handout that citizens vote everyday 350 times; what are you referring to?

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that what it will take to get more cops is an officer getting injured or killed and the resulting mega million dollar lawsuit because there are only a couple of other cops nearby. Or a civilian gets killed because there were no cops available to send.

Tom Casady said...

11:11 -

They vote with their index finger, by diaing 911 or (if we are lucky) the non-emergency dispatch number (441-6000) and tell us exactly what they want us to do: make these people stop blowing their leaves in the street, catch the thief who stole my newspaper, make those loud steros stop, get to this traffic crash--and fast, get those cars slowed down, stop those kids blowing off black cats, get rid of that upholstered furniture, take this 7 year-old away, tow this car away, make them take this sign down,and so forth. They call us about a lot of important things, too, but in general we don't have to guess about what the public wants from the police.

Anonymous said...

Looks great, I hope the city budget will allow for the city to acquire more officers to better serve the residents and people in the City of Lincoln in the future. Do you think you could upload handout 1 and 6 for viewing on the blog?

Anonymous said...

I know the police dept will not be getting a raise this year. Or they will geta minimal raise but I can't wait to hear about the fire department ie. basement savers get their 4% again.

Anonymous said...

"...used to have a seasoned, experienced police desk sergeant who handled a lot of these calls with tact, diplomacy, and when necessary "tough love."

The above probably saved much time and energy as well as financial resources for the police force. Reporting the theft of a $.40 newspaper which will be replaced is too baffling for me..

Maybe more "tough love" is needed.

Anonymous said...

Police pursuit ends with crash on Nebraska 2
Tax payers get the money out.

Anonymous said...

If 2:13 is saying that LB 156 should have made it out of committee and passed - after a couple of fine-tuning amendments - I agree. In my quite reasonable and totally civilian opinion, LE doesn't initiate pursuits; the suspect does that, every single time.

In that particular case, I believe that the suspect took off like a rocket, trying to get out of sight of the officer who pulled him over, and crashed out at the first controlled intersection he encountered, blowing through the red light and t-boning a woman that was just on her way home.

The blame for any injuries and damages are 100% the moral fault of the suspect, and they should be 100% his legal fault as well. If he was drunk-driving and trying to avoid a 2nd offense DUI (jail, fine, interlock, etc), not even 4 years following his 1st offense DUI, that just makes his blame even worse.