Following more than two weeks of scrutiny, which included three open public hearings and hours of questions by the City Council and answers provided by city department heads, the City Council voted 11-0 on Monday night to approve a $162,563,399 budget for the 2016 fiscal year.
The vote reduced Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s initial budget request of $162,794,099 by $230,700.
The vast majority of cuts were made in proposed raises to city employee salaries, as the council looked to toe the line on pay hikes, ensuring that no employee received a raise of more than $10,000 from the previous year, despite the fact that several departments and employees had not received any raises for several years.
The Council also included several other sending cuts, including a reduction in its own line item for expenses of $22,000.
The line item for Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s office received the deepest cuts, as $159,971 was eliminated from the Mayor’s line item. The cuts essentially eliminated funding for the position of Policy Director in the Mayor’s Office, as well as some money for raises in the Constituent Services positions, for project development and for recognition and awards.
Other line items to fall under the Council’s budget knife included $5,575 for the assistant budget director, $1,231 from the purchasing department, $4,000 from the City Clerk’s office, $7,918 from the Registrar’s office, $30,000 from Inspectional Services and $10,000 from City Services.