Community Comment

TUESDAY, OCT. 13, 2009, 8:21 P.M.

Mayor states Budget will result in cutbacks.

Good evening, Netizens...

It seems quite typical that anytime you have the Prosecutors, Fire Department and Police Guild involved in any public issue, you nearly always end up with facts that do not match. Mayor Mary Verner doesn't seem to get her figures quite right, either.

Verner and the City Council agreed earlier this year that they would push for half the $7 million deficit to come through union concessions and that if unions didn’t choose to participate, unions that didn’t agree to cuts would face job loses equal to the amount demanded through concessions.

In her speech made before the City Council Monday, she stated that 22 police jobs would be eliminated from the City Budget in 2010 due to budgetary constraints. The multi-million dollar budget shortfall has been discussed both in and out of public meetings for several months, but to date, no one from the Guild has negotiated a solution that would avert personnel cutbacks.

When you begin looking closely at the figure of 22 police officers being laid off due to the budget cutbacks, Police Guild President Ernie Wuthrich says 19 of the 22 positions on the chopping block are already empty because most were left open after retirements. Therefore, only three current officers could be laid off. Why would Mary Verner omit that important detail, of 22 versus 3 officers laid off?

After the meeting Verner stated to various members of the news media that she was not ruling out a last-minute concession by the union, before she presents her budget to the City Council November 2.

That doesn't sound very optimistic to me. In fact, I have a fairly difficult time being optimistic about the Police Guild. They seem like part of the problem, not part of the cure, regardless of the issues involved.

Portions from KREM-TV


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.