A week ago the Assembly tacked the additional $200,000 to the police department budget by a vote of 6-5 after the police chief tried to persuade the assembly not to grant him the extra money in tough economic times.
"I just don't feel I'm in a position to advocate for more. I think I need to do my part, and I think I can get us through this year with what I've been given," APD Chief Mark Mew told the Assembly at the meeting.
Defending his decision Tuesday, Sullivan pointed to Mew.
"The chief is the best person to determine when we need to add staffing," Sullivan said. "He's the guy that manages his department, and I think it's best to let him make those decisions."
"The mayor of course will say he left it to the chief to make those decisions, but ultimately he's saying, ‘Make the cuts, make the adjustments.' He's got to be responsible, he's got to step up and own these decisions. The buck stops with him," Honeman said.
Sullivan says the plan is to start a police academy in the late part of 2011 and that the $200,000 for advance costs like ammunition and other preparations can wait until that year, when the mayor says the city will face more budget shortfalls.
"Literally many millions of dollars short in revenue versus expenditures, so we're going to be very cautious about adding personnel," Sullivan said.
Honeman says he sees what Sullivan is trying to do: reduce the cost of government no matter what the expense to city services.
"That's what the tale is to me, following and connecting the dots; it is to bring down the cost of government by bringing down the size of government," Honeman said.
"No, that's not it in this case at all, because this particular amount of money doesn't change the mill levy and it's more a matter of just timing and letting the chief manage his department," Sullivan responded.
The Assembly has three weeks to try and override the mayor's veto if it can get the votes.
Honeman says he's going to try to override Sullivan's veto and that he has seven votes including himself. He would need just one more for it to be successful.
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