Mayor Sam Adams came out with his final budget today, after his initial budget released a couple weeks ago touched off unexpected protests from the police department and an angry Facebook group committed to saving the mounted patrol units Adams planned to cut.
- Jon Sperry
- This amazing illustration is no longer relevant.
Well, the final budget puts the mounted patrol back in action. Part of what will save the mounted patrol is a $100,000 private donation from Friends of Mounted Patrol, a group with the backing of downtown developer/former Adams-challenger and Breedlove scandalmonger Bob Ball.
Instead of cutting the 25 uniformed officers ex-Chief Sizer threatened to hack, Adams' and Chief Reese's new budget will cut 35 "non-sworn" officers, like desk clerks and records specialists. Also getting the cut, sadly, is $300,000 Adams originally directed toward homeless and housing funding in his first budget.
"You don't cut budgets and not have an impact," says Adams. "The money for housing and homeless, we're able to stay within the ballpark of what we had last year, while having to make deep cuts citywide."
Though the housing bureau is still getting $1 million in one-time funding they weren't guaranteed and the mayor did not cut any money from the plans to rebuild Hooper Detox and a new mental health crisis center, the housing bureau will be getting $800,000 less overall this coming year than it did last year. Housing Commissioner Nick Fish's Chief of Staff Betsy Ames was just glad the cuts weren't deeper. "We don't see it as a cut. The overall balancing of the budget has been a challenge for the mayor," says Ames.
But to me it looks like the mayor is prioritizing horsies over homeless people. The city could save $150,000 by switching the mounted patrol to bikes, says Adams. Added bonus: bikes don't shit on the streets.