Burlington City Council approves city budget in unanimous vote

The Burlington City Council approved the city budget in an unanimous vote during Monday night’s city council meeting.The new budget will increase infrastructure, push the city to reach its net-zero goals and pledges to rebuild the city’s police department. Mayor Miro Weinberger says it comes at a time when public safety concerns are increasing. “This rebuilding plan is very important we have a real problem with respect to the number of officers we have we had almost 100 officers just, a little more than a couple of years ago and we’ve dropped all the way now to the point where we have just a few more than 50,” Weinberger. The Burlington Police Department needs to hire two dozen officers in order to reach their authorized cap of 87.The new budget includes sign-on bonuses, competitive contracts, and possible housing grants.Agreements on a pay increase are also in the works for current officers . Acting Chief Jon Murad says while the budget will help the department it will still take time to see the results. “It takes longer to rebuild things than it does to break them and right now this agency is not where we want it to be. for us to build it back to where we want it to be in fact improve it and build new capacities that’s something that this budget gives us the tools to do and I’m excited to begin on that road,” Murad said. City officials say the unanimous approval takes the city in the right direction despite the tension over the last couple of years. “It’s taken us some time to get there I know there’s been some debate and controversy but I do think we got to a good point last night,” said Ben Traverse, city councilor for Ward 5. “You saw it in unanimous support for this budget that again deals with recruitment and retention efforts of our police department while also transforming us with some of these new alternative public safety resources.”The budget also plans to expand resources for other public safety personnel bumping up the number of community service officers from 10 to 12.Along with the number of community service liaisons which is set to increase from three to six. Jeff Nick, commissioner at the Church Street Marketplace says the rebuilding efforts will bring safety back to the city. “We need and deserve public safety downtown and I think now we’re taking those steps to bring it back,” Nick said.Murad says rebuilding begins now and is hopeful the city will be able to bring more officers to the academy in the coming months.

The Burlington City Council approved the city budget in an unanimous vote during Monday night’s city council meeting.

The new budget will increase infrastructure, push the city to reach its net-zero goals and pledges to rebuild the city’s police department.

Mayor Miro Weinberger says it comes at a time when public safety concerns are increasing.

“This rebuilding plan is very important we have a real problem with respect to the number of officers we have we had almost 100 officers just, a little more than a couple of years ago and we’ve dropped all the way now to the point where we have just a few more than 50,” Weinberger.

The Burlington Police Department needs to hire two dozen officers in order to reach their authorized cap of 87.

The new budget includes sign-on bonuses, competitive contracts, and possible housing grants.

Agreements on a pay increase are also in the works for current officers.

Acting Chief Jon Murad says while the budget will help the department it will still take time to see the results.

“It takes longer to rebuild things than it does to break them and right now this agency is not where we want it to be. for us to build it back to where we want it to be in fact improve it and build new capacities that’s something that this budget gives us the tools to do and I’m excited to begin on that road,” Murad said.

City officials say the unanimous approval takes the city in the right direction despite the tension over the last couple of years.

“It’s taken us some time to get there I know there’s been some debate and controversy but I do think we got to a good point last night,” said Ben Traverse, city councilor for Ward 5.

“You saw it in unanimous support for this budget that again deals with recruitment and retention efforts of our police department while also transforming us with some of these new alternative public safety resources.”

The budget also plans to expand resources for other public safety personnel bumping up the number of community service officers from 10 to 12.

Along with the number of community service liaisons which is set to increase from three to six.

Jeff Nick, commissioner at the Church Street Marketplace says the rebuilding efforts will bring safety back to the city.

“We need and deserve public safety downtown and I think now we’re taking those steps to bring it back,” Nick said.

Murad says rebuilding begins now and is hopeful the city will be able to bring more officers to the academy in the coming months.

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