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Mayor will veto budget due to fire and police personnel concerns

Nov. 23, 2011

Mayor Tom Taylor plans to veto the city budget because it reduces the budgets of the fire and police departments by $100,000 each.

The cuts to those departments mean the loss of personnel, Taylor said, and Fire Chief James Martins said he would likely lose two firefighters and would have to periodically close Fire Station No. 2 at 9911 S. 60th St.

Taylor said council members made the cuts believing that the unions representing city firefighters and police officers would make health insurance concessions voluntarily, even though their contracts are not up until the end of 2012. Martins, meanwhile, said there would be no guarantee.

"I think certainly they are very dedicated to the community," Martins said. "I'm sure they would consider that. But whether they would or not, I couldn't say."

Taylor said on Tuesday night council members could override his veto with four votes. If they do not, the city would have to deliberate a new budget or accept the one he presented to the city's Finance Committee. That spending plan kept the fire and police departments' budget intact but called for eliminating a city planner and building inspector position.

Taylor has called for special meeting of the Common Council to veto the budget. That meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 9229 W. Loomis Road.

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