The council discussed 29 different amendments to thecurrent budget proposal. One council member says these amendments were allabout making cuts to keep taxes down. Among the amendments is a proposal toslash employee overtime across the board. Another is a plan to increase garbagecollection fees. The council says residents buy and go through a million city garbagebags a year so that could generate $100,000. Councilman Ed Bucciero proposedsetting aside $650,000 in case the city loses an arbitration case against thepolice department. Something the mayor did not budget for. But the council isalso proposing cutting funds for new police cars next year. That could savenearly $140,000. One councilman says this year budget process was one ofthe toughest he could recall.
Councilman Joseph Marino says, “Last year youwere in a deep, deep hole with big decisions to make and you either pulled thetrigger so to speak or the City would flounder. And the Council made somepretty big decision; we cut 50 people off the payroll.”
Tonight was only a time to discuss those amendments. But tomorrow,the council will be faced with the reality of actually voting on the changesand — cuts.