Redding City Councilman Patrick Jones’ proposal for a citywide belt-tightening to help fund police failed to gain adequate traction Tuesday night with two of the four council members opting to wait and see how the Nov. 4 elections changes the landscape.
Jones, a two-term councilor who is seeking re-election, said he’d like the council to formally discuss a proposal calling on every department head to cut his or her budget by 5 to 7 percent.
The resulting savings would be funneled to the police department. The idea was first floated by Michael Dacquisto, one of the six candidates seeking three seats on the Redding council.
While conceding “that everything should be discussed,” Councilwoman Missy McArthur said she couldn’t support Jones’ proposal with only two meetings left with the current council composition. “We should wait to see who’s here.”
Mayor Rick Bosetti, who was absent Tuesday, is not seeking another term. Councilwoman Francie Sullivan is joining Jones in seeking re-election.
Councilman Gary Cadd, who often sides with Jones, offered his support for the budget-trimming idea. “Granted, we are going to have a new council, but if we start now, we’ll have the information at our fingertips. I think it would be a really good idea to start the ball rolling now,” Cadd said.
Sullivan, who was in charge of the meeting in Bosetti’s absence, also declined to support Jones’ proposal. She said she was reluctant to tie up city staff time until voters decide on Measure F, a proposed quarter-cent sales tax hike to bolster Redding’s public safety budget.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about it,” Sullivan said of the measure. “People are willing to spend a quarter on every $100 of purchases” to hire more officers and increase jail capacity.
“Our staff has plenty to do. For now, I do not support proceeding.”
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.