As with any budget year, public safety is a big issue for city employees and the community.
Last year both the Utica Police Department and Fire Department faced big cuts. This year, so far, there aren’t any proposed cuts. Eyewitness News spoke with Fire Chief Russell Brooks who says he’s in favor of the Mayor’s current budget proposal, which again, doesn’t cut public safety positions.
“I’m a city resident and I view that as a modest tax increase. Vital services will still be provided to the citizens of Utica which is so important because without police, fire, and DPW, this city would be in shambles,” says Chief Russell Brooks, Utica Fire Department.
Chief Brooks says when he was first appointed to the fire department there were 250 firefighters. Today, there are 110.. and he says there’s nothing left to cut.