Tucson starts talking budget cuts

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Those who don't live in the Tucson city limits could stilldepend on its services when they visit. Cuts to overtime for the employees whoprovide those services are part of the budget options right now . Cityemployees such as police received a pay raise just a few months ago. It was thefirst raise that police had received in six years. But now, as part of the wayto fill a more than $30 million budget shortfall, police and fire could have toavoid overtime. The idea is that they would not receive overtime before theyworked 40 hours that week. Vacation time could not count toward overtime. Forexample, if a police officer has to attend court on a day off, that might onlymake 35 hours of work that week. The vacation would not push the officer'shours into overtime.

"We would oppose it. I don't think that it's going togenerate the savings that the city thinks it's going to generate. Obviously, ifan employee's can schedule their leaves in accordance with any court appearanceand things of that nature, I think it's going to be hard to see any savings onthat level. I think they're trying to find savings in areas that we are notgoing to find savings," said Bill Bonanno, president of Tucson PoliceOfficers Association.

That's just one part of the list of cuts, 92 positions,permanent and temporary, that are also on the chopping block. The positions aremostly in Parks and Recreation. The list of cuts discussed Tuesday still leavesTucson short of its target by $2 million. Some council members said that someof the cuts are too severe, such as funding cuts to services for the poor inworkforce development.

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