2020 Proposed Budget
Prioritizing our First Responders
City Council has lost track of Orem residents’ priorities. Residents want Orem to be safe and family friendly. In order to maintain a safe city, we need to have a properly funded police and fire departments. City Council has recognized the need for more police, but are unwilling to make them a priority in the budget unless the residents pay more taxes. The tables below illustrate the priorities of city council vs my priorities.
Here is a little background of the charts below. After accounting for additional revenue and budget cuts made by city council, there is $2,324,327 above and beyond last years budget to be distributed to the departments that need it. The charts show what percentage of increase each department will receive over the previous year's budget. Under city council's current proposal, police would see a 3.7% increase, and fire would see a 3.68% increase. In order of priority, that puts police at 5th and fire at 6th on the budget. At 14.52%, the city manager’s office would receive almost 4 times the increase. Its no wonder the police department has become overburdened, as this level of misprioritizations has been going on for years. It is not enough to give the police lip service, we need to put our money where our mouth is when is comes to Orem's first responders.
City Council Priorities
I believe in spending within current city budgets and prioritizing our most critical services, police and fire. Without raising taxes, my proposal gives the police more than the $450,000 needed to hire the four additional police officers. This proposal also increases the fire budget by more than $125,000. Additionally the recreation, library, public works, legal Services, etc. will still all receive increases over last year.
Don’t take the Police hostage
When I read the proposed budget, I was shocked to see the police being used has hostages to persuade residents to favor the tax increase. The line that stood out to me reads “If the Mayor and City Council fail to approve the property tax increase, the four additional officer positions will not be included in the final adopted budget.” Whether the tax increase is approved or rejected, we still need the four officers. We need to make police a priority in the budget, not a political bargaining chip.
Before a tax increase can even be considered, we need to get city council’s priorities straight. If elected, I will make sure police, fire, and our cities most important services are prioritized.
Spencer Rands' Proposal for '19-'20 General Fund
|Department||Proposed Budget FY '19-'20|
|Mayor and City Council||$608,405.00|