KCUR News
3:19 am
Fri March 27, 2009

Council Spurns Funkhouser Police Pitch, Passes Budget

Kansas City, MO – On the deadline day, Kansas City, Missouri has a budget designed to meet an $87 million shortfall... basically the same one the finance committee endorsed a week earlier.

Mayor Mark Funkhouser tried twice to persuade the council to restore some funding to youth and violence prevention programs and especially to the police department despite Councilwoman Jan Marcason's assurances that the number of officers on the street will not be reduced.

"Stimulus funds will be actively pursued to fund police officers and budget adjustments will be made if necessary if there is any indication that our police department will suffer for lack of adequate staffing," said Marcason.

There was no second for the mayor's motion to restore the funds. The council's budget passed 12 to 1, and the Mayor said: "I cannot accept a budget that makes this level of cuts to our police department."

The mayor did not, however, indicate that he would veto the budget.

The plan cuts police funding by $12 million. 220 city employees will be laid off. Budget chair Deb Herman said the mayor is not the only council member who is disappointed. "Absolutely no one can be happy about the cuts that we've had to make," she said.

The council did resolve to continue to look for ways to restore most of the cuts that were in the mayor's failed amendment.