By Robert Haugh
The Santa Clara City budget totals about $1.2 billion between all funds. It was the third budget hearing in the last couple months as part of the budget process.
Even with a lot of previous discussion, it took hours of discussion and debate before the budget was passed. But that’s what the public expects from this new Council.
Most of the budget shortfall of $29 million was filled with federal Coronavirus funds of almost $23 million.
Debate about Public Safety
The most heated debate was about public safety. Some Councilmembers wanted to restore cuts from earlier in the year.
Mayor Lisa Gillmor was passionate about restoring police cuts. “We can keep more money in reserves or have crime on the streets,” Gillmor said.
“I don’t see this is the time to cut public safety, between police and fire,” said Councilman Anthony Becker. That’s just an opinion and what I hear from the residents in my district.
Kathy Watanabe, Raj Chahal and Kevin Park joined them to restore public safety cuts to the Fire Department and the Police Department. The votes were 5-2.
Councilmembers Karen Hardy and Suds Jain voted against both Fire Department and Police Department motions to restore funding.
Editor’s Note: Tomorrow, we’ll report on water rates and data center items on Tuesday’s night agenda.