Flint Police, Fire Chief Present New Budget Options to Avoid Cuts [Video]
During a five-and-a-half hour meeting on Tuesday night, Flint Police Chief James Tolbert and Fire Chief Dave Cox Jr presented options to the Flint City Council finance committee that would help avoid cuts and layoffs to their departments.
According to ABC 12, Flint Fire Chief Dave Cox Jr made his pitch first and said even with the recent loss of a SAFER grant, he thinks reorganizing the department could mean losing no jobs. A big part of his presentation included having only three firefighters on each truck which would allow keeping more stations open. The federally funded SAFER grant mandated having four on each truck.
Police Chief James Tolbert followed with his presentation which included lowering the supervisor to employee ratio. In emergency manager Darnell Earley's proposed budget, up to 36 jobs at the police department could be cut. The city says those cuts would save $2.6 million which is directly tied to rising retiree health care costs which must be paid. City Council President Scott Kincaid suggested re-allocating some of the $2 million grant for the city lockup as a way to help fund the department and avoid cuts.
The two-year budget is still being worked on but time is running short. Emergency Manager Darnell Earley wants the budget - which would start July 1st - finalized by next month.