Councilman-elect Carl DeMaio on Monday made it clear how he would have voted (and probably will vote in the future) on Mayor Jerry Sanders’ proposed budget cuts.
He gave the current City Council an earful after they voted 6-1 (Jim Madaffer was the no vote) to save libraries, recreation centers and fire crews, which brought the total mid-year cut to $37.3 million — about $6 million less than Sanders had asked for.
“You have not really done a long-term solution,” DeMaio during the meeting’s public comment period. “You’ve handed it off to us (the new council), and that is unfortunate, but, given your record, not surprising.”
My recent conversations with the other three incoming council members — Sherri Lightner, Todd Gloria and Marti Emerald — indicate that had it been the new council voting, DeMaio would have replaced Madaffer as the lone dissenter.
“I think that fundamentally they made the right call,” said Emerald. “It is too easy to go to neighborhood services to find savings.”
Gloria had sentiments similar to Emerald’s, but acknowledged that council may have put off the inevitable, or, “kicked the can down the road,” in the words of Madaffer.
“People need to understand that this is a reprieve,” Gloria said. “Now the council owes it to the community to have the fuller discussion on the tough choices that need to be made.”
I have not been able to get in touch with Lightner this week, but she said during a recent conversation that she was partial to saving libraries and recreation centers.