Union Talks On Fire Dept. Cuts
One controversial area of Kansas City's budget is not likely to be finalized by approval day next Thursday: the matter of how the Fire Department will cut $7.5 million from its budget.
City Manager Troy Schulte says the city is in discussions with the firefighters union on how to avoid the outright layoffs of more than a hundred of their members. Schulte told council members he believes both the city and the unions are supportive of pursuing retirement as a mechanism to reduce the size of the fire department.
Schulte is hoping for a consensus with the union by a few days after the budget is approved. Councilman John Sharp commented that he could not vote for cutting public safety employees while giving management raises and increasing the general fund reserve by more than a million dollars.
In other business, council committees postponed voting on a proposed daytime truancy curfew and whether to put an anti-nuclear-weapons involvement initiative to a public vote.