“I would like to share my opinion since it appears Statesboro got had,” Councilman Travis Chance said at the end of Tuesday’s meeting.
Chance took the opportunity to apologize for his absence during the millage rate increase hearings and for missing the vote. Chance said a family member was placed in hospice during the time of the hearings, ultimately passing away, and he, too, suffered illness from the stress of the situation.
He went on to say, “I have no bones about saying this: I will not support any spending of those dollars for anything other than public safety. Period. End of story. These guys risk their lives every day, that was the initial intent of what we did, and that’s the only way I will support any of this money being spent. For those in the cheap seats and for those on video who will watch this later, I will not support anything but public safety in that millage rate increase. So that’s my official position.”
Councilman Phil Boyum immediately chimed in to say, “To be clear, we directed the city manager to put 50% toward the pay increase for entry level employees, so half a mill is dedicated just to that specific line item, but again, the City Manager will still have to bring all that before us as a budget amendment. So it’s not like we just earmark these things.”
He then asked Chance if he was okay if it was used for other things in the police
department, to which Chance said, “As long as it is earmarked for public safety and I did say the word earmarked, we did that, and that’s what our public approved or gave their approval of us using those funds for, that is the only way I will vote for any of those funds to be spent.”
Mayor Jan Moore was quick to refute Boyum’s claim that the money was dedicated to police.
“I just want to clarify, I don’t feel that Phil’s exactly…that’s not what we ended up saying. What we ended up saying was, and I think this was actually your suggested wording (Phil), which was, a millage rate increase of one mill for the city manager to determine and between Mike Broadhead (police chief) what was needed to effectuate the appropriate change to make the police entry salaries competitive. We did not specifically say that half a mill was going toward that. If you recall, you had an issue with using that language. It was “Here’s a mill, take what you need out of this mill to do what we’re asking you to do” which is have competitive police salary. I don’t want people looking and saying there’s half a mill because I’m being honest. That’s where the conversation went.”
Boyum: “Well, we directed him to work on a proposal, with the chief, where at least half a
mill increase went to entry level police salaries and then other issues like compression…”
Moore: “Well, don’t say we said exactly anything…”
Boyum interrupted: “We told them to come up with a proposal.”
Moore: “The wording when we passed, it was just that. I just want to be clear.”
Chance wrapped up the conversation saying, “I just want to make my position clear. And I think it’s crystal.”
You can read the resolution passed by council for a millage rate increase. It makes no mention of dedicating funds to the police department. [See page 67] If you’re reading on a mobile device and cannot view the pdf, click here.
See the video of the clip below. Go to the 2:42:00 mark to begin the video at this discussion point.
Statesboro Council Meeting – Full agenda with alcohol ordinances and zoning requests
Posted by All On Georgia – Bulloch on Tuesday, September 19, 2017