From raises for police officers and firefighters to no tax increase, Mayor Jim Strickland has big plans for the Bluff City. City Council members Worth Morgan and Martavius Jones talked about the discussions on Live at 9.
“Overall I’m disappointed with the budget because I look at public safety as the No. 1 priority,” Morgan said. “We talked about the need for more police officers and I don’t see the resources in this budget allocated to increase recruiting and driving up the police compliment to where it should be.”
Jones said he didn’t see enough investment in neighborhoods, transportation and solid waste pickup.
The mayor’s budget proposes 2% pay increases plus bonuses for police and fire, Morgan said. But the numbers are based on having fewer officers this year.
Would the city see a tax increase? Jones said it’s premature to say that he’d be looking at an increase, because the city will have a windfall from federal funds coming in. However, he wouldn’t be opposed to it if it improved solid waste service.
Morgan said that, thanks in part to those federal dollars, the city’s reserve funds will be around $80 million to $100 million, “which puts us in healthy shape.”