Homeless in Arizona

Why aren't they going to fire more cops & firemen???

  My question is why aren't they going to fire more cops & firemen???

In most city budgets, police labor costs account about 40% of the budget and firemen account for 20%.

Closing libraries and parks isn't going to save that much money when about 60% of a cities budget is for cops and firemen!!


Glendale could face hefty cuts to budget

City officials propose $20.1 mil trim, loss of 249 workers if tax hike is undone

by Sonu Munshi - Sept. 24, 2012 10:00 PM

The Republic | azcentral.com

Glendale administrators propose cutting nearly a quarter of the city's employees, or 249 positions, if voters approve a ballot measure in November to repeal a sales-tax hike.

Repeal of the 0.7 percentage-point tax hike that took effect last month would mean the loss of $11 million this year and $25 million annually through 2017, according to city estimates.

The City Council had approved the temporary increase to shore up its deficit-ridden general fund after laying off 49 employees and cutting $10 million from departments at the start of this fiscal year.

A group of business owners and residents criticized the tax increase and obtained signatures to put it before voters on Nov. 6.

Ahead of the election, the city on Monday laid out $20.1 million in possible cuts. The City Council will review the options in a workshop at 1:30 this afternoon in the City Council Chambers.

Proposed cuts include shuttering two of the three city libraries, one of its two aquatic centers, the TV station and all city festivals, including Glendale Glitters.

City officials met with downtown Glendale business owners early Monday to inform them about the possible cuts, particularly to the city festivals, which draw crowds to shops and restaurants.

The city will hold a series of meetings in coming weeks to allow residents to weigh in on the potential cuts.

It's not immediately clear how soon the city would make any cuts, but city spokeswoman Julie Frisoni said some could come this year, depending on voters' decision.

"It's safe to say that should that money go away immediately, some of these cuts could be implemented this fiscal year. Others could be over the course of that five-year period," she said.

Already, Glendale has trimmed about 25 percent from department budgets since the 2008-09 budget year.

But the general fund faces new expenses to manage the city-owned Jobing .com Arena, home of the Phoenix Coyotes, and to pay the debt on Camelback Ranch-Glendale, the spring-training ballpark for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox that opened three years ago. City leaders say they have to prepare for the worst.

But Rod Williams, one of the residents who pushed for the ballot initiative, called it a scare tactic. He was putting up signs around the city on Monday, calling on voters to approve the initiative to repeal the tax increase.

"It's like how teachers' groups always ask for more money for schools -- threatening that without the money, they would have to double up the number of kids in classrooms," Williams said.

He proposed the city reach elsewhere for cuts, such as mileage allowances to administrators.

Public-safety union officials have already raised a hue and cry, with thousands of calls and e-mail blasts to residents about the proposed cuts.

Julie Reed, president of the Glendale Fraternal Order of Police, said budget reductions would hurt officers' ability to keep residents safe in a city that already has seen crime increase.

"This will take cops off the street, and every officer we lose makes Glendale less safe," Reed said.

The Police Department's staffing already has shrunk by 11 percent, or 58 full-time-equivalent positions, from the 2008-09 budget year to this year. Proposed cuts could further shrink the 452-strong department by 66 positions, which includes 20 sworn officers, Reed said. However, nine of those officer positions are currently vacant.

Non-sworn officer positions on the chopping block include a 911 operator and a crime-statistical analyst.

The Fire Department's staffing was cut by 7 percent, or 17 positions, in that same time frame. The current proposal is to slash another 36 positions from the department's current 220.

Joe Hester, president of Glendale's firefighters union, said the proposal could add another two to four minutes to response times, which he said currently average six minutes.

Parks, Recreation and Library Services, which is the third-largest department in the general fund, faces more-drastic cuts. The department, already down 39 percent in the past five years, could lose another 71 of its 111 positions.

The Velma Teague and Foothills Branch libraries could be closed, and operations at the Main library could be privately contracted.

Rose Lane Aquatics Facility in southern Glendale could close, and Foothills Recreation and Aquatics Center could see reduced hours and higher fees as the northern Glendale facility would be required to be self-sustaining.

The city could also cut after-school programs and reduce hours of operation at Glendale Community Center. Programs there would be offered through private providers.

The city could also shut down Glendale 11, the city's cable station. A staff report mentions that would reduce transparency, as recordings of the council meetings would no longer be available.

Councilman Manny Martinez has said the city is not trying to scare residents to discourage them from repealing the tax hike.

"Things are bad," he said. "This is the reality of what could happen if the tax goes away."

Reporter Lisa Halverstadt contributed to this article.

Homeless in Arizona

stinking title