All seven members of the Mobile City Council were present at Tuesday's meeting. Also present, a piece of cardboard, that's starting to make a weekly appearance.
"Last week we had 553, today we have 551. I'll be back next week to let you know what the count is," Councilman Fred Richardson said holding up the board that displayed the two numbers.
That count is the current number of police officers in the City of Mobile.
City Council Member Fred Richardson started using the board after the council did not pass the renewal of the one-cent sales tax. He said with the city facing a multi-million dollar deficit, and he believes the number of officers will continue to drop.
"Any decline in our police force would pose a safety hazard for our citizens, and I want them to know what it is. It doesn't matter the reason for the decline," Richardson said.
Others disagree, such as Councilman John Williams, who said we should know why those officers are leaving.
"I also asked Mr. Richardson to enhance his briefing if the administration be so kind as to provide reasons for these officers for the officers leaving. If we don't know the reasons that all these officers are leaving, we can't address it. If they're leaving because of money, then let's address it or be honest that we can't address it," Williams said.
Richardson also nominated himself for the newly formed citizen's finance board. Each council member is supposed to nominate one person to sit on the board to look at the city's finances.
Richardson said he's never been on a finance board, and he looks forward to digging into the city's money issues.
Several council members have already made their nominations for the citizen's board. We're still waiting to hear from council members Reggie Copeland and Jermaine Burrell.
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