3 Reasons why Louisville’s FY16 budget is UNACCEPTABLE!

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Flickr Photos by Official U.S. Navy Page, Robert Moranelli, and looking4poetry

1. Children and Women lose major resources!

Mayor Fischer’s recommended budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year will be making some major cuts to funding for non-profits.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana faces 60 percent cut in its funding from Metro government, Brenda Bankston, director of grants and development, told Metro Council's budget committee. ‘This is something we just found out about yesterday,’ Bankston said. ‘That would be a cut of serving 100 kids (currently) down to only 13. It's a really drastic cut.’” Fisher also “plan[s] to shut down three of the city's six centers for Women, Infants, and Children” (Wave3, “Nonprofits say Fisher’s budget makes victims of children, needy”).

2. Over funding of Policing!

Last year as a result of the “Wave of Mayhem” at the waterfront an estimated 4.8 million additional dollars was poured into policing to:

- hire 96 police officers

- create a Real Time Crime Center (RTCC)

- hire nine RTCC professionals

- and to hire 5 additional crime analysts

This was all done despite the fact that in the Courier Journal interview with Police Chief Steve Conrad he said “looking at numbers and the drop in crime,” “current staffing levels and funding are adequate.”

This year the Mayor wants to:

- hire 72 more police officers

- spend $3.5M on police vehicles, equipment, and the RTCC

- hire 5 more crime intelligence analysts

- fund the Downtown Area Patrol

- spend $500,000 to upgrade the in-car mobile data terminals (MDT’s)

- and finally he wants to spend $2.8M to implement the much needed officer body cameras

(see FY16 Budget Recommendations, page 11-12 of the PDF)

Is it just me or are we spending too much on policing and not enough on efforts to combat root causes of disparities and unrest?

3. Not enough community input!

There needs to be more effort put towards informing citizens about their opportunities to participate in government decision making. We are all affected by these fiscal decisions. How much effort is put into informing the public about hearings and forums? Especially populations that are affected the most by issues of amplified policing and the cutting of youth and family services?

Why is this acceptable?!: “Representatives from 19 groups signed up to speak Wednesday at the only scheduled public hearing on the budget. The signup sheet was half as long as it was in 2014, puzzling some Metro Council members. ‘It is down from years past, and we're not sure whether word didn't get out, or if needs are being met better,’ said Kelly Downard, a Republican who's the budget committee vice-chairman (Wave 3).”

It's not too late to voice your comments and concerns by emailing all Metro Council members. Please Click Here to do so! The FY16 Budget goes into affect on July 1st 2015.

#budget #louisville #metrocouncil #civicengagement #thepeoplesbudget

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