Recently, there have been questions raised about budgeting decisions and law enforcement planning in our city. I believe it's crucial to provide clarity and transparency on these matters.
Budgeting Matters: First and foremost, budgeting is a critical aspect of responsible governance. Jason did not adequately plan for the cost of new police officers, leading to unforeseen budget challenges. These unauthorized costs may now need to be covered by tapping into capital projects and emergency reserves. This approach, I must emphasize, is not in line with conservative budget management principles. It is reckless, irresponsible, and inefficient.
Law Enforcement Planning: I want to address the matter of law enforcement planning. While there may be claims that the intent was always to hire more police officers, or that Jason was in negotiations, we must question why this was not reflected in the budget. The annexation was before the budget was adopted. There should have been contingencies for services in such scenarios.
Questions with the Mayor's intentions regarding police officers:
Did he always intend to hire more officers?
Why wasn't this reflected in the budget?
The Truth: Mayor Pierce finally decided to hire for 2 additional officers (AFTER I have been advocating nonstop on how insufficient we lacked in public safety) but didn't budget for them, leading to unexpected financial challenges. It's vital to ensure budgets align with intentions for transparent governance.
The Bigger Picture: Mayor Pierce is now advocating for more officers and pointed out the challenges of the county's approach to policing. However, it's important to maintain a balanced perspective. I believe in responsible, law-abiding governance. If there are concerns about compliance with state law (Title 31), it would be appropriate to engage in open communications and transparency. Jason claims that Sheriff Clifford and Commissioner Beck do not understand and follow state law.
My Stance: Ultimately, my stance is clear: Budgeting should be transparent, and plans should be properly reflected in budgets. I believe in responsible fiscal management and in finding solutions that serve the best interests of our community.