Madison Mayor Paul Soglin released his proposed executive operating budget that is focused on upward economic mobility while fighting rising violence in the city.
In what is Soglin’s last operating budget proposal, after he announced he will not run for re-election, Madison’s mayor wants the City Council to pass a $332 million spending budget that would increase spending by 5.5 percent.
A majority of the budget spending would go towards the Madison Police Department and would be used in a variety of ways:
- Provides $1.1 million for a pre-service training academy to meet increased turnover as the rate of retirement among the force increases
- Expands the Special Victims Unit by adding a new detective position ($100,000) and upgrading an officer to a detective sergeant role. The added staff would put the unit’s focus on investigating human trafficking and crimes against children.
- Fully funds police overtime costs of $299,000
- Pays for smartphones for entire police field officers, costing $25,000
- Provides $128,600 to pay operating costs for the new Midtown Police District station
The operating budget also addressed and funded ways to combat violence in the city. Mayor Soglin wants to increase funding for peer support programs that help those impacted by violence by $300,000. In the operating budget for 2017, those programs received $400,000.
Other spending includes:
- $103,600 for Theresa Terrace, Bayview, Elver and Kennedy neighborhood center operations
- $100,000 for transitional funding for Kajsiab House as Dane County evaluates and addresses the decision by Journey Mental Health to close the facility
- Expands neighborhood resource team and community garden by $20,000
- To improve economic development, increases support of MADREP/THRIVE to $50,000 and provides $150,000 over the next three years to jump start a KIVA City program to find loans for small business startups
The budget will also focus on enhancing tourism in Madison:
- $2 million subsidy for the Overture Center
- $5,000 increase in funding for Make Music Madison
- $20,000 for a new temporary downtown art installation
Mayor Soglin’s proposed spending budget would also increase pay for all non-transit general municipal employees by 3.25 percent. It would also give a 2 percent increase in pay for transit workers. Both pay increases would be worked out through the collective bargaining agreements of the employees.
Consolidation would also take part of the budget. Mayor Soglin wants to consolidate the Treasurer Office into the Finance Department in 2019. The position would be called a Treasury and Revenue Manager, according to Soglin.
For the average homeowner in Madison, property taxes would rise by 2.9 percent.
Mayor Soglin said his operation budget proposal will help the city continue to build the foundation laid down by progress made in years prior.
For more go to WKOW: https://wkow.com/news/top-stories/2018/10/03/mayor-soglin-reveals-his-last-operating-budget-worth-332-million/