City of Fountains Mayor Quinton Lucas said his offered budget would cut close to $12 million from the city’s police department.
This is a decision he blames on Congress’s negligence last year to pass aid to help local governments cope with revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inaction by Congress
“This is very closely tied to the inaction of Congress,” Lucas told The Star. It was in a phone call a few hours before the budget proposal was released. “To back the people in blue, I ask why they aren’t helping the state to get millions of dollars?”
City of Fountains Budget Proposal
Released on Thursday afternoon, Lucas’ budget proposal contains deep cuts. It was as opposed to the spending plan the City Council adopted last year. It was boosted by funding in several areas. In fact, it made bus transit fare free right at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. To shrink spending, the city has worked all year to match the decline in revenue. This was brought on by the pandemic and economic fallout.
City of Fountains Police Department and City Hall Cuts
On Wednesday evening, during his State of the City address, Lucas did acknowledge there would be cuts to the Kansas City Police Department and across departments at City Hall. However, he assured residents the city wouldn’t lay off any employees, which would include police officers.
Mayor Lucas Wants to Ease Police Officer Fears
“In fact, no officer will need to lose their jobs due to budget cuts. Therefore, no stations will need to be closed,” he said.
Moreover, City Manager Brian Platt basically said the same.
“Currently on the street, every officer and every position that is presently filled will stay filled,” Platt said. “We are just not budgeting for additional positions.”
Personnel Costs are a Big Part of the Budget
Therefore, personnel costs are a major proportion of the agency’s budget.
The KCPD is controlled by a board appointed by the Missouri governor. The board, meaning the City Council, has control over how it can give to the KCPD yet not its operations. The savings should come from leaving all currently vacant staff positions open.