Less than one week after Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Public Safety Ron Kim said that proposed mid-year budget cuts to his department would mean firing 14 firefighters and 19 police officers, Commissioner of Finance Ken Ivins pitched a less drastic scenario for making up the city's $3 million shortfall at the City Council's Tuesday, June 2, meeting.
Not a single firefighter, not a single policeman is losing their position with these proposed cuts, said Ivins.
Ivins had originally proposed cutting $1.3 million from the public safety budget, but after working over the weekend he identified nearly $800,000 in line items that could be trimmed.
Other departments would suffer cuts, as well: public works, over $360,000; finance, almost $70,000; accounts, over $40,000; mayor, nearly $100,000; and recreation, nearly $80,000. Altogether, they would make up less than half of the $3 million gap, requiring that over $1.5 million in one time money be raised.
A public hearing on the budget amendments is scheduled before the City Council's next meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16. Ivins said he will call for a vote that night.
Among the proposed personnel cuts are the elimination of the director of public works and city engineer positions, an executive assistant in the public safety office, several dispatchers, a part time recreation department typist and several workers in the mayor's department, including not filling a building inspector position.
Recreation, public works and public safety would also suffer various reductions to equipment, training and sick leave budgets.
Ivins tossed out ideas that he said had been presented to him by the public in the preceding days, including mandating single side street parking during snow emergencies, picking up lawn debris less often and soliciting volunteers for flower planting and crossing guard duties. He also raised the topic of using Saratoga County dispatch services.