Tough decisions for Houston city council

June 10, 2009 10:31:43 AM PDT
There's a balancing act going on at city hall today. In these tough economic times, leaders are trying to cut costs without cutting the quality of city services. One of the main concerns for many Houston city council members are proposed cuts for the city's police overtime budget, which could lead to the equivalent of 150 fewer officers on the street.

A lot of city council members would like to make cuts in other departments, including an across-the-board two-percent cut to the city council's budget, which could add more money into HPD.

"I think it's important to indicate that if something happens with ad valorem taxes or there's some change in the environment, if we could re-evaluate adding incentives, adding cadet classes and restoring overtime to the police department, it would be helpful," said Houston city Councilwoman Melissa Noriega.

One suggestion that came up during Wednesday's meeting is that maybe a department other than police or fire should go through a hiring freeze. Another suggestion was to either shut down or sell city golf courses that aren't making money.

A final vote on the budget isn't expected until next week.

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