Friday marks the first day of the new fiscal year for the City of Sacramento – and the last day of work for more than 200 city employees, including 42 sworn police officers. The final city budget, which passed on June 21, included deep cuts to parks, libraries and public safety agencies and filled a $39 million budget gap. The budget did not pass without contention, however. Council members Angelique Ashby and Steve Cohn and Mayor Kevin Johnson each went against the budget, calling the cuts to public safety “drastic” and creating a 6-3 split vote. “These cuts to public safety are too big. They’re way too big,” Ashby said. “Why would we cut more than we have to?” During the proceedings
Sacramento Police and union officials warned Thursday a spike in crime is expected if 81 cops are laid off when the City Council approves a budget. Police officers – angered over the likelihood that dozens of them are about to lose their jobs – are vowing to take action come election time, said detective Mark Tyndale, vice president of the local police union, the Sacramento Police Officers Association. On Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council tentatively voted to make deep budget cuts that would include slashing $12.2 million from the police department's budget and laying off 81 sworn officers and 68 civilian police employees. If the council approves the 2011/2012 budget with a final vote
The Sacramento City Council’s tentative decision Tuesday night to make severe budget cuts to public safety is not final, but it made a big statement. Council members voted 6-3 to say they intend to make budget cuts later this month that include layoffs of 82 sworn cops and increases in brownouts or alternating closures for fire services. A big caveat to the tentative decision is the council’s statement that it is still open to further negotiations with the city’s public safety unions. Tuesday’s hearing drew intense public interest. Many people arrived more than an hour early to the 6 p.m. meeting. Shortly before 5 p.m., about 70 people waited in line for the doors at City Hall to open.
The Sacramento City Council members made it clear Tuesday night that they do not want to make the $12 million in cuts to the Police Department recommended in the proposed budget. But it’s unclear at this point how the council will lessen the cuts to the department. A crowd of police staffers and supporters, which swelled to about 400 at its high point early Tuesday evening, turned out for the City Council’s budget hearing. The city is grappling with a $39 million budget gap for the 2011/2012 fiscal year. A total of 149 department staffers, including 80 sworn cops, would be laid off in the proposed budget, according to police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong. The city currently has 701 sworn co
A dramatic scene unfolded at Sacramento City Hall on Tuesday evening as more than 160 employees gathered for a press conference to protest proposed layoffs in the Police Department. The staffers held numbers up, signifying that they could be among the numbers of people laid off. They were part of a crowd of more than 400 people that gathered at City Hall around 6 p.m. for a Sacramento City Council hearing on proposed layoffs at the Police Department. About 80 sworn officers could be laid off if the City Council follows recommendations from Interim City Manager Bill Edgar and Interim Deputy City Manager Betty Masuoka’s proposed budget. An additional 38 community service police staffers c
Sacramento City Council members began discussions Tuesday on the city manager’s recommendation to cut as many as 366 jobs in the budget for the 2011/2012 fiscal year. One city union protested the proposed layoffs at City Hall before the City Council meeting, and representatives from two other unions expressed their opposition to the cuts during the meeting. City officials presented the budget recommendations from the city manager’s office at Tuesday’s meeting and summarized the budget document. As part of the meeting, Interim Deputy City Manager Betty Masuoka explained a chart on the job cuts recommended by the city manager’s office. The city would need to slice 250 full-time positions
More than 350 jobs, including those of 80 sworn police officers, could be cut to balance the city’s budget, Interim City Manager Bill Edgar said Friday. The city manager’s office released recommendations Friday on how to resolve a $39 million budget gap. The proposal released by the city is not set in stone: The City Council is responsible for making final budget decisions. “This is the budget that everyone has dreaded,” Edgar said. “(This is) the budget where the chickens come home to roost.” The city manager’s office proposes cutting 294 positions. In addition, Edgar said he is recommending that the City Council cut about 60 more positions to privatize maintenance of city golf courses
The clock is ticking for the Sacramento City Council. Sacramento Interim City Manager Gus Vina’s resignation on Friday morning means that the City Council must take immediate actions that will impact the city budget and labor negotiations with municipal unions. Council members must find a new top city official one month before the city’s proposed budget is due. Vina’s resignation also means that the city’s labor unions will take up budget negotiations with a new city leader. “We don’t have time to grieve,” City Councilman Steve Cohn said in an interview Friday. Cohn was one of four council members who supported Vina’s earlier effort to become Sacramento’s next permanent city manager.
City Councilman Ray Tretheway has claimed that opponents of his re-election campaign have stolen his online identity. In a May 21 letter addressed to several local agencies, including the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office, Tretheway alleged that the Sacramento Police Officers Association illegally registered the website domain name raytretheway.com. The police officers’ union acknowledged that it has registered raytretheway.com but said it has not violated any laws. Campaign statements show that SPOA provides financial support to Angelique Ashby, one of Tretheway’s competitors in the District 1 City Council race. “It’s identity theft, clear and simple,” Tretheway said in an
The accusations are flying at City Hall. Councilman Ray Tretheway is accusing Mayor Kevin Johnson of quid pro quo in his endorsement process, while Johnson’s Special Assistant R.E. Graswich said that Tretheway’s allegations are lies. Tretheway held a press conference Wednesday to announce that some of Johnson’s most influential supporters told him that if he voted to place a strong mayor proposal on the November ballot, then Johnson would endorse him. Johnson has endorsed Tretheway’s opponent Angelique Ashby. “Threats and quid pro quo offers may be commonplace these days,” Tretheway said, “but I want no part of it.” Tretheway named names at the press conference. He said the following
Mark Tyndale, vice president of the Sacramento Police Officers Association, sent the following statement to media outlets Tuesday: My concerns regarding the ethics of Dan Roth from Councilmember Tretheway’s Office continue grow as it seems he is weaving a series of dishonest explanations to justify his behavior on the morning of Friday, April 9th. On the YouTube video, he is with Tretheway’s campaign manager from Capitol Campaigns, Corin Choppin, as he pulls Angelique Ashby’s political signs out of the ground and throws them behind the bushes. Apparently, Corin is not only Tretheway’s campaign manager, but is also married to Tretheway’s Chief of Staff, Randi Kay Stevens. It seems that R
Angelique Ashby is a Natomas neighborhood activist who views public safety as the city's top priority. Ashby, who is running for Sacramento City Council, has the support of two major local public safety unions: the Sacramento Police Officers Association and Sacramento Area Fire Fighters Local 522. The Sacramento Press is interviewing City Council candidates in advance of the June election. Ashby is running for City Council in District 1, which is now represented by Councilman Ray Tretheway. The district includes the neighborhoods of North and South Natomas and Alkali Flat. The 20-year Sacramento resident is a partner in a consulting firm that contracts with businesses and government age
City officials are supporting a proposed ballot initiative that aims to ban the state from taking or borrowing local government monies. Mayor Kevin Johnson stood with three city councilmembers and local public safety officials outside City Hall to publicize the initiative in a press conference Tuesday morning. California is in the process of borrowing $12 million of the city’s tax funds as part of last year’s state budget crisis, according to city finance director Leyne Milstein. By the end of the month, the city will have given that total amount to the state, she said. Don Cavier, finance director for the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, said that the state plans to take $19
The union that represents Sacramento police officers is supporting Mayor Kevin Johnson’s “strong mayor” initiative, saying it would give the mayor the power to guarantee sufficient public safety funding. Meanwhile, Bill Camp, the plaintiff who challenged the initiative in a Dec. 1 lawsuit, said a strong mayor form of government could lead to job insecurity for police department employees who are not represented by unions. Camp is the executive secretary of the Sacramento Central Labor Council. He filed the lawsuit as a private citizen. Sacramento residents will vote on the initiative on June 10. The initiative would give the mayor many new powers and would change the city’s existing coun