Cortland Mayor Cuts Deputy Fire Chief From Budget, City Council Adopts Tentative Spending Plan
Cortland City Mayor Brian Tobin has amended his proposed 2014 city budget, Tobin has slashed $125 thousand dollars from the tentative spending plan by cutting a Deputy Fire Chief position.
Tobin back tracked on his proposed spending plan last night; Tobin informed the City Council that due to uncertainty about whether or not the City would receive a grant that he planned to use to fund the Deputy Chief’s position next year, he could not forward the tentative budget to the City Council for review and consideration.
The move took Cortland City Fire Chief Chuck Glover by surprise; Glover said he received little to no warning of the proposed amendment. Glover said he would like to be given the opportunity to find money in his budget to maintain the position.
Glover went on to say that he is concerned about the impact the cut would have on his department which has come to provide more services to city residents since he started their as a volunteer in the late 70’s.
Tobin said despite his recommendation the City Council still has the ability to restore the cut. Tobin was confident that even if the position is not restored no one in the Fire Department would actually lose their job. There is a vacant Captains Position that the current Deputy Chief could move to if it remains unfilled, otherwise the Deputy Chief could drop to a firefighter position and plans to hire and train another firefighter in March could be scrapped.
Cortland’s draft 2014 budget calls for nearly 19 million in spending next year, it includes nearly 3% tax increase. It would also increase water and sewer fees. The City Council has scheduled public hearings on the budget Nov. 19th and December 3rd.