Columbus FOP to present budget recommendations to City Council - WRBL

Text Description

Columbus FOP to present budget recommendations to City Council

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBUS, Ga. -

A report from the Fraternal Order of Police outlining recommendations for budget cuts will be presented at the Columbus City Council meeting Tuesday.

Columbus City Council has some hard decisions to make this year. Cutting workers comp, amending overtime and the gap time policy, and increasing healthcare costs for city workers are all on the table, but now the council is getting feedback from someone else.

Over the past few months, the Columbus Fraternal Order of Police has been collecting recommendations from citizens and city employees about resolving the city's $2 million deficit.

The result is a report with 43 suggestions. FOP President Maj. Randy Robertson says now it's time for the community to decide what to do next.

He says, "They should be looked at by the citizens who receive the services, and not necessarily by the city employees who provide the services or by the elected officials, who at times can be swayed by those city employees."

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says she's happy to get the report, but there's a reason some of the ideas aren't in place. "We don't just make this stuff up," says the mayor. "There is a very rigorous and full process behind our budget, and we actually do cost savings analysis all the time."

Colin Martin is running for mayor against Tomlinson this year. He says there's a problem when an outside organization like the FOP has to collect feedback.

"I think the issue is that city employees took it upon themselves to find those," says Martin, "and yet they didn't feel comfortable enough to take them to the leadership of the city because the leadership of the city threatened them with job cuts, so they had to have an outside organization be the intermediary to make this happen."

More than 100 people called and emailed with suggestions. Maj. Robertson says previously many of them had not spoken up for fear of losing their jobs, but a whistle-blower disclaimer within the report prevents that from happening.

The mayor responded, "I can understand that people might be concerned, but I think we actually have a long history of really getting some robust feedback from our employees and there being no ramification or retaliation whatsoever."

The 43 recommendations in the report include eliminating the D.A.R.E. program and consolidating duplicate crime prevention programs, not tinting windows on patrol cars, and eliminating government-issued cell phones.

While City Council will start talking about some of the ideas at tomorrow's meeting, there will not be any decisions made immediately.

Zeph Baker, who has said he will also run for mayor, could not be reached for comment.

Nominate a story idea to be investigated

  • It's Your Money: Story Idea Submission

    Submit your story ideas for our next "It's Your Money" segment.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thank you for your submission. WRBL News 3 will review your idea and may get back to your with additional questions.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Video of deadly Columbus gas station shootout

    Video of deadly Columbus gas station shootout

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:14 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:14:23 GMT
    News 3 has obtained surveillance video showing the deadly shootout at a south Columbus gas station a few weeks ago.Police say on July 31st, Chandler Saxton, 35, fired several shots at John Jones, 31, at the Big Cat Gas Station on Buena Vista Road. The video captures the entire incident, from the initial shooting - to the victim returning fire.In court testimony, police say the shooting stemmed from an argument over a woman. Authoritie...
    News 3 has obtained surveillance video showing the deadly shootout at a south Columbus gas station a few weeks ago.Police say on July 31st, Chandler Saxton, 35, fired several shots at John Jones, 31, at the Big Cat Gas Station on Buena Vista Road. The video captures the entire incident, from the initial shooting - to the victim returning fire.In court testimony, police say the shooting stemmed from an argument over a woman. Authoritie...
  • Chattahoochee Valley “Purge” is an urban legend, police say

    Chattahoochee Valley “Purge” is an urban legend, police say

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 2:28 PM EDT2014-08-20 18:28:17 GMT
    Several police departments across the Chattahoochee Valley are reassuring concerned citizens that there will be no real-life "purge" after a social media campaign spread across Facebook on Tuesday.
    Several police departments across the Chattahoochee Valley are reassuring concerned citizens that there will be no real-life "purge" after a social media campaign spread across Facebook on Tuesday.
  • 2 arrested after teen killed in South Columbus shooting

    2 arrested after teen killed in South Columbus shooting

    Aug 22, 2014 12:16 PM2014-08-22 23:29:41 GMT
    The Columbus Police Department is investigating a death at the intersection of Winston Road and Head Street in South Columbus.
    The Columbus Police Department is investigating a death at the intersection of Winston Road and Head Street in South Columbus.
  • It's Your MoneyMore>>

  • Georgia Transportation group learns from Columbus TSPLOST

    Georgia Transportation group learns from Columbus TSPLOST

    Monday, August 18 2014 6:30 PM EDT2014-08-18 22:30:55 GMT
    List of all eight TSPLOST projectsList of all eight TSPLOST projects
    The Georgia Joint Study Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding came to Columbus Monday to learnhow local tax dollars are being used. The group is made up of 13 state legislators and transportation gurus, and their main goal is to find out how best to save the state money while also improving mobility. Columbus is the second stop on the committee's tour of the state.The focus of the meeting was how the TSPLOSTpenny-tax is funneling $300 million intothe city's infrastructur...
    The Georgia Joint Study Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding came to Columbus Monday to learnhow local tax dollars are being used. The group is made up of 13 state legislators and transportation gurus, and their main goal is to find out how best to save the state money while also improving mobility. Columbus is the second stop on the committee's tour of the state.The focus of the meeting was how the TSPLOSTpenny-tax is funneling $300 million intothe city's infrastructur...
  • Crude prices fall

    Crude prices fall

    Tuesday, December 10 2013 7:22 AM EST2013-12-10 12:22:00 GMT
    The cost for a barrel of oil fell last week for the sixth week in a row and remains below $95 a barrel. Although crude prices moved lower, retail gas prices remained relatively flat from the week prior.
    The cost for a barrel of oil fell last week for the sixth week in a row.
  • Social Security benefits to go up next year

    Social Security benefits to go up next year

    Thursday, November 21 2013 9:15 AM EST2013-11-21 14:15:00 GMT
    Social Security benefits for nearly 58 million people will increase by 1.5 percent next year. The annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, is based on a government measure of inflation that was released
    Social Security benefits for nearly 58 million people will increase by 1.5 percent next year. The annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, is based on a government measure of inflation that was released
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.