Rochester City Council scrutinized the budgets of several city departments today, including the budgets for the city administration and the Rochester Police Department. Council’s second review session is next week. The sessions are part of the regular review process of Mayor Lovely Warren’s proposed overall budget for the city.
Some quick takeaways from today’s session:
• “Strategic” changes will be made to the city’s Office of Public Integrity. No word on what those are. The OPI investigates allegations of fraud, corruption, and abuse in city government;
• Despite heavy lobbying from elected officials and business leaders, Albany remains unmoved to pleas for state-aid parity for Rochester;
• Sounds like there might be layoffs at 911;
• Revamp of FOIL system coming;
• Rochester is only Upstate city to give direct cash support to events such as Jazz Fest. Other cities do in-kind services or form LDC-type bodies to fund;
• Seems like the city is catching up in terms of demolitions;
• Concerns about police overtime and staffing given downsizing of dept. over last few years;
• First evaluation of police reorganization starts July 20. Report due September 2016.
• Evaluating need, etc. for new police buildings related to reorg now. Plan in place this fiscal year.
• Opening of new police buildings may be staggered. Could they co-locate with Neighborhood Service centers?
• Income from red-light tickets is up because city is booting cars now;
• Council member Adam McFadden says booting is unfair because their credit suffers as a result of unpaid tickets, and they have to pay to get boot off. Overly punitive.
• Transit center has been calm for about a month — since number of students there has been reduced.