Augusta mayor wants no Sheriff’s Office cut

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – Augusta city leaders looking at new recommendations calling for spending   cuts, and still raiding some city reserves to get next year’s budget in balance, but when it comes to cuts some saying they should not be across the board, especially for policing.   

Many Augusta city departments would see their budgets cut next year under proposals from city budget writers, they’re calling for more than one point two million dollars in cuts, but with mayor Davis warning against.  

“At the end of the day when you make austerity cuts like this it slows economic growth it does nothing in terms helping us from a debt perspective,” said Mayor Hardie Davis.  

 City administrators saying departments were told to show how they would cut two percent from their budgets; however, some departments did not respond, commissioners saying they wanted to hear about all potential cuts.  

“I would hope we there would be a list of every department and their response because if they haven’t responded I don’t think that’s respectful to this governing body. that they don’t think they have to answer,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Sean Frantom.  

 The Sheriff being asked to answer about a proposed 500 thousand dollars cut, but the mayor saying this sends a bad message.  

“I don’t want to do anything from a government standpoint that gives the appearance that this government authority is in the business of defunding law enforcement IE, defunding the police that is not where we want to be,” said Mayor Davis.  

The budget balancing proposals still calls for raiding reserves, the mayor saying 4 million, the administrator three million commissioners saying they could support using some reserves.  

“I could live with two possibly even three, I don’t want to take all of it out I could live with two maybe three,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.  

 City leaders did not find out the exact budget impact of suspending fire department ambulances from running, so that still needs to be worked out, that’s why another budget session has been called for next Friday.

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