The Sacramento City Council’s tentative decision Tuesday night to make severe budget cuts to public safety is not final, but it made a big statement. Council members voted 6-3 to say they intend to make budget cuts later this month that include layoffs of 82 sworn cops and increases in brownouts or alternating closures for fire services. A big caveat to the tentative decision is the council’s statement that it is still open to further negotiations with the city’s public safety unions. Tuesday’s hearing drew intense public interest. Many people arrived more than an hour early to the 6 p.m. meeting. Shortly before 5 p.m., about 70 people waited in line for the doors at City Hall to open.
The city’s Neighborhood Services Division is on the chopping block again this year after it lost its status as a department in last year’s budget cuts. In June, the City Council is expected to make major cuts to close out the city’s $39 million budget gap for the 2011/2012 fiscal year. The Neighborhood Services Division, which links neighborhoods to city issues and events and works with residents on local concerns, could lose two full-time employee positions to budget cuts. While two positions may seem like a low number, the division has only seven employees, according to Vincene Jones, Neighborhood Services manager. In last year’s budget process, the Neighborhood Services Department be
Layoffs of about 100 police officers and nearly 50 Fire Department staffers are listed as possible budget cuts in the city’s proposed 2011/2012 budget, scheduled to be released Friday. The city released a summary of the budget recommendations from Interim City Manager Bill Edgar and Interim Deputy City Manager Betty Masuoka late Thursday afternoon. The budget was largely put together by previous Interim City Manager Gus Vina, who resigned last month. The city manager’s office recommends that police officer cuts should be made in the department’s special units. The summary said that 167 full-time employees would be cut in the police department. Of the 167 employees, 98 are sworn police o
Fremont Park will become greener, but its upkeep will also be more difficult. That’s the trade-off that volunteers and local anti-pesticide activists are accepting in order to turn the Midtown park, at 16th and Q streets, into the city’s first pesticide-free park. City Councilman Rob Fong, the Pesticide-Free Sacramento group and the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation organized the new 2-year pilot program at Fremont Park to use green techniques, instead of pesticides, to destroy weeds. The organizers promoted the program at a press conference Tuesday. If the pesticide-free program is successful, the city hopes to expand it to other parks, Fong said. The Fremont Park program shows
The past week saw several major developments in Sacramento’s budget crisis, from the city’s forecasts of major deficits in 2010 to a campaign by residents against proposed budget cuts to local parks. Here’s a roundup of the past week’s budget news: Huge deficit predicted for 2010 The Sacramento City Council is studying a slew of proposed cuts to resolve its $50 million deficit. But once the city deals with the current $50 million deficit, it will face a projected $30 million deficit for the 2010/2011 fiscal year, according to Leyne Milstein, the city’s finance director. “Gap will grow to $30 million as revenues continue to decline and expenses increase in FY 2010/2011,” Milstein wrote i