Cops vs. Councilors: Will Jacksonville budget night vote get wild? – Florida Politics (blog)
Jacksonville television viewers spent Friday evening watching footage of Jacksonville City Councilmenbers accusing local cops of racial profiling.
On Tuesday evening, those Councilors — Reggie Gaffney, who was pulled over for driving with a tag he’d reported stolen; and Katrina Brown, driving behind Gaffney, who accused the officers of racially-profiling her Council colleague — will be two of 19 votes on the new budget.
The budget’s highlight: a vote on authorizing 100 new police positions, one which led to a fractious discussion in the Finance Committee budget hearing — with Councilwoman Brown saying that she felt “targeted” by a poll commissioned by the Sheriff’s political committee, a poll that contended people wanted more cops on the street.
The head of the local Fraternal Order of Police wants the Councilors to apologize to the police they had maligned, or resign.
So far, it is unknown what they will do. But this pitched drama will inform an exciting Jacksonville City Council meeting Tuesday night, one in which a budget will be voted up … if drama doesn’t preclude the “push the green button” moment.
Budget night will be enlivened by floor amendments as well, such as pension debt hawk Danny Becton calling to move almost $23 million: $8,638,343 from Pension Reserve for an extra pension payment for 2017-2018, and an additional $14,078,555 from Pension Reserve to contribute the greater of % or $ method.
Becton has sought to increase the city’s pension contribution, saying that pension reform has done little more than pass a bigger bill to Jacksonville residents of the 2030s and beyond, who will be responsible for the deferred obligation that now amounts to $3.2T in unfunded liability.
Becton described pension reform as “kind of almost like going through a Chapter 11” that “got the creditors off our back” – an “extra contribution” like