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Fresno city budget appears to be in trouble

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The mayor's plan to balance the Fresno city budget appears to be in trouble.

The Fresno city budget remains about $16 million in the hole, and the city is still hoping for help from the police.

Lee Brand said, "They are 2/3rds of our budget so you really can't do a lot without getting some concessions from the biggest part of your budget."

The city is counting on the Fresno Police Officers Association to make enough concessions to help balance the budget, but they don't have a deal yet.

Clint Olivier added, "It's gonna take work on both sides to get to where we want to be but I still think there's plenty of time to hammer out a deal so I remain optimistic."

City council president Clint Olivier may be optimistic, but police union president Jacky Parks isn't so sure. He said, "I don't know how optimistic they were, I don't know if I'm that optimistic."

The city wants police officers to take more than $4 million in cuts, without anything in return. Since the union contract isn't' up for three more years, the officers don't have to deal. Parks isn't convinced the city has made every effort to find other savings.

"After they came out and the sky was falling, type press conferences we saw the city make it through the year without the sky falling," Parks said. "Here we are again with the sky is falling."

Despite that, Parks has tentatively offered to give the city more than $4 million in cuts this year in exchange for a one year extension of the union contract. Something the mayor says she won't do. But Parks says no extension, no deal.

Parks will put it to a vote at the end of the month.

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Tags:
budget cuts, ashley swearengin, fresno, fresno county, local, gene haagenson
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