Used Cars In Madison Wi – Madison City Council members sought a series of changes – including more money for public safety and proposals to reduce employee salary increases – to the budget proposed by Mayor Paul Soglin for $ 332 million for 2019.
The proposed amendments to public safety came amid ongoing gunfire incidents, youth stealing cars and committing other crimes, and focusing on human trafficking. They included $ 155,000 to add up to three police officers, $ 197,000 for two new positions at the Police Department’s Special Victims Unit, and up to $ 86,800 for a civilian human resource manager to free a lieutenant and increase the department’s human trafficking initiative.
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Board members also offer alternative amendments to add only one police officer or to initiate a human resource position in the middle of the year.
Other public safety proposals among a total of 33 amendments will provide $ 26,000 for overtime and maintenance of the video camera system for the pilot police body camera program in the capital budget, $ 20,500 to buy Narcan Nasal Spray for businesses in areas considered as hot spots for overdose, and $ 638,350 to create nine fire / paramedic positions for the ninth ambulance staff at Fire Station No. 14 on the Southeast Side.
All proposed public safety personnel positions will have higher annual costs in 2020 and beyond.
The proposed change with one of the biggest fiscal impacts, however, is one of Ald. David Ahrens, 15th District, will reduce the entire city salary increase for public city employees and sworn personnel from 3.25 percent to 2.5 percent, which will save $ 1.5 million.
In the past, Ahrens said that he proposed a wage increase greater than that offered by Soglin because the mayor was less than the inflation rate. But this year the inflation rate is below 2.5 percent and the amendment meets the inflation target and is fair, he said.
Other proposals will add funds to support the Beacon resource center, provide more money for legal services to evicting tenants, and improve the Metro Transit service on weekends for Routes 6 and 7.
Unlike a few years ago, Soglin did not seem to want to fight, isolating only three amendments which he felt would be “unwise for the long-term welfare of the city,” and called for collaborative decisions on others, including those related to the Police and Fire Department.
“I don’t bring us to the spending limit,” he said. “There is a difference between wants and needs. I want to hear arguments about these various problems. ”
Unwise amendments, said Soglin, are: salary increases are reduced because the proposal is based on bargaining and efforts to ensure fair treatment of employees; amendment to create a separate Communication Office in Information Technology because there is no need for a separate agency; and a proposal to cut $ 25,000 in funding to start a partnership with the Wisconsin Strategy Center.
The city’s Finance Committee will consider amendments on Monday.
Public security focus
Earlier this month, Soglin announced its operating budget of $ 332 million which increased spending by 5.5 percent and added $ 72.11 in city taxes to the average home bill next year.
Under the mayor’s proposal, the city tax collection of all properties will increase 4.7 percent to $ 241.8 million, with taxes on the average home rising 2.9 percent to $ 2,582.30.
Soglin’s budget includes several improvements to public safety, including $ 300,000 over 2018 with a total of $ 700,000 for peer support efforts to help those trapped in a cycle of violence. New funds are for additional peer support that will proactively reach the environment.
For the police, Soglin proposed $ 1.1 million for a training academy to deal with the increase in turnover in retirement; expand the Special Victim Unit by validating new detective positions and increasing officers to detective sergeants; an additional $ 299,000 for overtime police based on current trends; and $ 25,000 for smartphones for all police field staff.
In his budget request, Chief of Police Mike Koval called to strengthen Special Victim Units as “top priority.” But Koval also said the department was still short of staff and asked six more officers, costing $ 310,500, for 2019. Soglin did not fulfill the request.
All. Paul Skidmore and Mike Verveer offer amendments to add three officers who will start at the May academy, which will have an annual fee of $ 237,200. Verveer offers an alternative to adding only one officer with an annual fee of $ 76,600.
“This is less than six, but it is an acknowledgment that we need patrols,” Skidmore said, adding that funds for nine firefighters were recognition of inadequate services for the Southeast Side.
Board members are also trying to increase Soglin’s funding for Special Victim Units, with Ald. Amanda Hall, District 2, tried to add new detectives and investigators for an annual fee of $ 210,800. Meanwhile, Skidmore is looking to redefine the lieutenant position that oversees the human resource function of the department and creates a civilian manager to cover the task for an annual fee of $ 94,200.
Koval said that he was happy the Soglin executive’s operational budget recognized the desire to establish an investigative presence into human trafficking and was grateful that board members agreed. The tribal chief said he hoped councilors would support civilians to be lieutenants of personnel and “encouraged” to see support for more patrol officers.
“Our workload / employment index reflects the needs of at least 16 more police officers; but understanding that this is a very lean budget, my request is for six, “Koval said, adding,” I will continue to call for a loud call for more police on the streets. ”
Public safety amendments, Soglin voiced concern about firefighters / paramedics, saying the city added fire stations prematurely and now did the same in terms of equipment and staff.
Change in capital budget
The Finance Committee approved Skidmore’s changes to Soglin’s proposed capital budget that would provide a pilot program for police bodies’ cameras, a problem that had been fought for years.
In early September, Soglin offered a capital budget of $ 336.6 million. Later that month, the Finance Committee approved an amendment to purchase 47 body cameras and related equipment for use in a pilot program in the Northern District Police Department. It will not start until the City Council adopts a policy that regulates the use of cameras.
This amendment included 15 changes to Soglin’s proposed capital budget and a non-binding five-year Capital Increase Plan. The changes to the Finance Committee raised the proposed capital budget to $ 341.6 million.
The full board will make the final decision on operations and capital budget on the 12th of November.
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