Revised 2014 budget for Mobile unveiled

The City of Mobile’s finance committee met on Tuesday, February 11, to talk about a revised budget for 2014.

As expected, many folks turned out in the anticipation of finding out how the finance committee plans to address the more than $4 million deficit the city is facing.

Mayor Sandy Stimpson has already said city workers will not get a pay raise this year. He has also asked the city’s departments to find ways to cut costs.

Members of the city council spoke about that with the department heads.

Police Chief James Barber spoke about it and says it is an unprecedented move allowing the departments to make adjustments and cut what they deem is unnecessary.

He says no jobs have been cut but they have had to eliminate empty positions that were previously funded.

“As we restructured the budget moving forward, we kept in mind that the mission is to be able to deliver safety at the street level,” said Barber, “Whatever we saw that was critical to that, we kept in place. We got rid of some of the less critical positions,”

Paul Wesch, Mobile Finance Director, says it was an effort to have accountable departments.

“To manage a budget and stay within the budget, you have to own it. You have to have been part of the process of building it,” Wesch said, “However, in times like these we want to make sure we’re addressing the real needs,”

Wesch says the don’t have a finalized list of budgets for each department but they expect to submit a proposed amended budget by next week.

He says it’s too early to speculate on a 2015 budget.

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