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Updated: Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012, 5:34 PM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012, 11:26 AM CDT
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Mobile's Office of Strategic Initiatives takes a hit in funding, as city council members slash the budget by more than $ 30,000
Mayor Sam Jones worries it will hinder the impact the office has on fighting crime.
Jones said the Office of Strategic Initiatives is an important tool used for fighting crime in the city and it's made up of two people.
Mayor Jones proposed funding the office with more than $102 ,000 of city money.
But, that didn't sit well with some city council members.
There was some concern over employee contracts and who approves them.
"I am pleased that we will be the final group to be able to look at contract employees," said Bess Rich.
With that out of the way, council members agreed on $ 70,000 of funding.
"This is a compromise. It will hopefully keep programs running such as the Explorers and provide the city with the ability to continue applying for grants," said council member Gina Gregory.
Jones said the $32,000 cut in funding is going to cripple the impact this office has with the weed and seed program, administering grants that help purchase police equipment and working with community groups to curb crime.
"This limits what we can do. When you can leverage possibility of $2 million with $100,000 of administration costs seems to be a good deal to me," said Jones. "We felt like it would be better for us to adopt some of their models and expand to other areas of the city providing some funding ourselves, that was our while intent. And that is why it is not called Weed and Seed program."
Jones said the majority of city funding for this office goes to funding salaries. He said he isn't sure if someone will lose their job or just take a pay cut.
Jones said the office needs $80,000 to cover salaries and the city council only approved $70,000.
Council member Rich said as more grants are secured maybe more people could be hired.
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