August 2, 2013
WATCH VIDEO OF THE MAYOR’S COMMENTS:
(West Palm Beach, FL) – As West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio’s budget team continues its work to close a multi-million dollar proposed budget gap, the Mayor has announced that eliminating police officers, code enforcement officers and firefighters is not an option.
Millions of dollars continues to be slashed from department budgets across the city, and the Mayor’s finance team is continuing to pressure all departments to be prepared to figure out how to make do with less next year.
But while there are cuts proposed for every department (including police, fire and code enforcement), Mayor Muoio said those reductions cannot include fewer police officers, firefighters or code enforcement officers actually on the streets.
“I can’t cut code officers. I need code officers out there addressing the issues in the city. I am certainly not going to cut police. We are doing a great job with the police department,” said Mayor Muoio. “I am certainly not going to cut fire.”
Mayor Muoio said her priority is to ensure the city’s ability to provide a high quality of life for its residents.
Both the police and fire departments have been asked to make behind-the-scenes budget cuts without sacrificing the number of public safety personnel on the streets. Meanwhile all other departments have been ordered to cut back.
“There will be cuts. We’ve cut travel expenses. We’ve cut supplies. Conferences, all of that has been cut.”
In addition to reducing costs, the Mayor repeated once again that even by cutting budgets to the bare bones, there may still be a need to find more revenue for the city.
“I don’t think we can cut our way out of this because we are already so understaffed in some departments.”