WICHITA, Kansas – After hours of debate over cutting jobs in the police department, Wichita’s budget finally passed but not on the first vote.
The council was forced to come up with a compromise over a proposal to reduce the number of police officers on the street before it finally passed 7-0.
The council decided to not cut jobs. Instead, they decided on keeping 10 positions open that won’t be filled next year.
Mayor Carl Brewer says public safety concerns caused a stalemate that would not have ended without the give and take.
“I don’t think it would have passed because we’ve heard from, I mean we talked to thousands of citizens throughout the entire year, and they always come back and tell us, their police and fire and public safety and the quality of life they have is the number one priority.”
The $577 million budget did include some staff reductions in other city offices but no additional property taxes.
The budget also includes more money for street maintenance but fewer city dollars to improve parks.