At the March 11 Finance Committee meeting it was explained that Belleville will receive $765,000 of unexpected revenue because last year we only received 11 payments from the state. At the next Finance meeting we saved $30,000 by changing our copier vendor. We also will see additional revenue from video gaming.
Because of these three facts, I requested an additional police officer be added to the budget. As a group, the other aldermen did not feel it was important enough. Some may have been satisfied with the mayor's newfound commitment to hiring an additional officer from a conversation he said he had that day; of course, the aldermen were not privy to this conversation.
Officially, the City Council missed an opportunity to hire an additional police officer with this budget. It likely will still get accomplished, but who knows? Therefore, I voted against accepting the budget as proposed. The proposed budget was passed anyway.
The budget gets changed virtually every month. By law Belleville must have a budget in place by May 1 or we run the risk of ceasing operations.
While I can give a compelling reason to not vote in favor of a proposed budget in the need for additional officers. I cannot in good conscience authorize my city to not have an operating budget in place. It would make more sense to change it next month.
So this new council is faced with a $765,000 windfall and a need for additional police officers.
What are they going to do?