The mayor maintained all public safety positions, but there are five and a half city positions that the mayor proposed cutting. The mayor proposed eliminating one of four property assessors, one of two electrical inspectors, a half-time parks and recreation mechanic and hours equaling that of three full-time library assistants.Part of the mayor's plan is to cutback on property assessments to every-other year, which is interesting timing because property values are reportedly falling around the state and country. Becker may be buying the city time by putting off a new assessment next year.
It's also worth noting that an unglamorous job like an electrical inspector seems like an easy target for a budget cut. But I'd be interested to learn more about the inspector's job - and their job in preventing shoddy or dangerous electrical work in homes and apartments.
As for the library, NorthStar Economics, Inc., a respected private economics firm in Wisconsin, completed a study that showed every dollar spent on public libraries led to a $4.06 return on investment. But so goes the city trend: the mayor cuts the library to spend more on police in the hopes of preventing crimes that are basically unpreventable. (Don't forget about the $400,000 police OT referendum in two weeks.)
Brien quotes Becker in her story saying it's the fewest number of jobs he's cut since becoming mayor, and notes salary costs in the police department will be reduced by senior department members retiring. Then there's odd detail:
The police department’s budget includes increased expenses for ammunition, mobile computer wireless costs, fuel and additional equipment.Ammunition? Let's hope the increase comes from rising material costs, and not forecasts of an increase in need for more bullets.