Fresno City Council makes small cuts to personal budgets

FRESNO, Calif.

"This afternoon I'm sitting here and I'm hearing a lot of discussion and I'm not seeing the action."

Jacky Parks, President of the Fresno Police Officers Association says the council needs to pick up the pace. Council members were bogged down for much of the day over whether to give up some of their own personal pots of money. Called infrastructure funds.

District 7 Council Member Clint Olivier said, "The infrastructure money is the only way that we have to guarantee that our constituents receive attention from the City of Fresno."

Each of the 7 Council districts have different amounts of money piled up; from $25 thousand in District 3, to more than $100 thousand in District 4. The money can be used for everything from pothole repairs, to block parties.

Council President Lee Brand urged his fellow council members to give.

"Historically, these infrastructure funds have not always been spent well and I think based on this unprecedented crisis we need to as a whole come forward and do our share."

Five of the 7 council members, including Olivier agreed.

"I would be happy, more than happy to give this money back to the administration."

But Council Members Blong Xiong, and Sal Quintero decided to hold on to what they had.

Quintero said: "That's why we're elected by district where people, the constituents can talk to their council member about that and say: Well why did you give the money back when I needed my sidewalk fixed."

In the end the total giveback from the 5 of 7 council districts will be just over $2 hundred thousand. About $60 thousand less than the administration wanted. Among other budget balancing moves, the council will ask the city retirement board for a million dollars from employee retirement funds and is hoping to obtain nearly a million dollars in other cuts from each city department.

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