The council discussed 29 different amendments to the current budget proposal. One council member says these amendments were all about making cuts to keep taxes down. Among the amendments is a proposal to slash employee overtime across the board. Another is a plan to increase garbage collection fees. The council says residents buy and go through a million city garbage bags a year so that could generate $100,000. Councilman Ed Bucciero proposed setting aside $650,000 in case the city loses an arbitration case against the police department. Something the mayor did not budget for. But the council is also proposing cutting funds for new police cars next year. That could save nearly $140,000. One councilman says this year budget process was one of the toughest he could recall.
Councilman Joseph Marino says, "Last year you were in a deep, deep hole with big decisions to make and you either pulled the trigger so to speak or the City would flounder. And the Council made some pretty 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 changes and -- cuts.