2010 Budget Priorites
As the Council considers the 2010 budget, there are some changes to the Mayor’s proposed budget that I will be seeking to make, and some principles that will guide how I respond to other Council Members’ proposals:
- Recertify TIF Districts at the highest possible level. Neighborhood groups depend on and deserve a reliable, long-term funding source. I will fight to increase the recertification from the Mayor’s proposed 50% to something higher, and better balance neighborhoods with Target Center debt relief.
- Continue supporting restorative justice. I believe that the City’s investment of $75,000 in restorative justice programs in the past several budgets has been very wise, both reducing repeat livability crime and ultimately saving the City money. The Mayor’s budget cuts this support. I will fight to put it back in.
- No loss of Crime Prevention Specialists. I do not agree with the Police Chief’s proposal to balance the MPD budget by laying off our successful and necessary CPS staff. The neighborhood policing plans the Department has been working on will simply not work without CPS support. I will fight to retain these jobs and offset them with cuts elsewhere.
- Save the Arts Coordinator. I believe that this staff person does a great job bringing film, video, recording and new media to the city. We need more of this sort of economic activity, not less. I will be working with my colleagues to find another position within the Community Planning and Economic Development department to cut instead.
- Increase Civilian Review Authority (CRA) Investigators. The CRA handles significantly more cases than the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit, but has about a third of the staff. This contributes to unnecessary delays that undermine the purpose of the CRA. I will be working to move a full time position from the Police budget to Civil Rights, for an additional CRA Investigator.
- Protect the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. While I understand that some money may have to be moved out of the AHTF into the general fund, I will be working to hold it as harmless as possible. Affordable housing is increasingly necessary during this time of economic turmoil, and is some of the only development moving forward given the credit situation.