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Retention of jobs and public safety are priority for Mayor Kevin Johnson

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Despite reports of the city’s proposals to lay off more than 350 jobs, including 80 sworn police officers, during Tuesday’s press conference, Mayor Kevin Johnson said that avoiding such layoffs will be a priority.

Throughout the conference, Johnson said he wanted Sacramento to remain a full-service city and that he hopes to alleviate any distrust between police officers and the city by playing a more active role in addressing the interests of both parties.

“We’re trying to preserve as many jobs as we can and keep public safety at the top of our priorities,” he added.

“We’re about to pass and adopt a budget in about three weeks or so, and we do not want to be in a position where our community, our constituents and the greater Sacramento area are impacted because we can’t create an environment where our streets are safe.”

The weekly press conference was supposed to address city business and the future of an entertainment and sports complex in Sacramento via the “Here We Build” arena campaign, but when the floor opened to questions, the discussion quickly became centered on the current budget situation and, consequently, what Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting might entail.

Tuesday’s council meeting agenda was set at the end of May to address all the controversial potential budget cuts to the Parks and Recreation, Police and Fire departments.

When asked about concerns and potential alternatives to the current budget proposals, the Mayor said that it depended on the discussion that would occur during the council meeting.

He provided three possible outcomes of the upcoming meeting: 1: Tentative decisions will be made on whether the current proposals for each department will occur, 2: Time will run out and the vote will carry on to Thursday or 3: Possibly vote on two of the three departments and keep one floating for discussion again later.

During the conference, Johnson also mentioned the city and state of California’s interest in a high-speed rail due to its long-term cost-effectiveness, decreased carbon footprint and its potential to be an “unbelievable job creator.”

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