Requests to amend 2010 Spa City budget shot down

The vote did not pass.

Kim made a motion to move about $266,000 between various lines so that the jobs of three police officers, two firefighters and one traffic control maintainer could be saved. He said personnel cuts were made without consulting his department and had been done so in an ineffective way.

"The cuts of seven firefighters and seven police officers gets down to a very specific budget line for each of them. No two are alike because they may have a different health plan, veterans benefits, educational benefits that change their salary," said Kim. "So essentially, when you go and do cuts you've got to look at the specific people you're laying off. Not being consulted, the cuts being made were the wrong people."

Commissioner of Finance Ken Ivins said he would be willing to consider Kim's request on Jan. 1 but not before because he needed to confirm that the numbers were accurate. He also said that the retirement of the police and fire chiefs was still an uncertain variable because they could technically still retract their request for retirement.

The City Council also adopted amendments that would outline stricter and more specific guidelines for the use of city vehicles under the city's fleet safety policy.

"We've been having problems with noncompliance with city vehicles; employees refusing to wear seatbelts, using cell phones while driving and smoking in vehicles. We're basically having problems managing the fact that driving a city vehicle is a privilege and not a right," said Marilyn Rivers, director of Risk and Safety for the city. "According to supervisors, people have been arrested and picked up for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and they find out weeks after, which puts the city at risk. We're continuing to have insurance accidents and most frequently we're having accidents with the same individuals three or four times."

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