With the city facing a $14 million budget deficit accepting the concessions offered by FPOA President Jackie Parks seemed like to be a no brainer to council member Lee Brand. "At this point I don't see any other viable option." He said.
The FPOA repeated its offer to forego the allowance for uniforms, $1200 a year per officer, and would give up taking cash buyouts for holidays.
The estimates on savings to the city range from $3 to $4 million for the coming fiscal year. But City Council Member Larry Westerlund noted there is a tradeoff. "It's not like we just get concessions, understand what's on the other side of the ledger. What's on the other side is that the FPOA gets another extension of the no furlough and no demotions clause."
Council members Blong Xiong and Andres Borgeas thought that tied the city's hands. A majority of the council felt that way a few months ago, but the city's declining financial situation prompted the five other council members to accept the offer. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer is pleased with the agreement. "Not only will it save $3 to $4 million if will lead to other discussions to save money so we can avoid any layoff's of police officers."
Dyer says his department is already losing 65 officers this year, many are retiring, others are moving on. The agreement is good for one year. The council was a little under the gun. As of October 1st officers can claim pay for holidays they didn't get to take, the bill could have been well over $1 million.