Reaction coming in to proposed city budget

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA)- Plenty of people are talking about the new budget proposed by Mayor Sandy Stimpson, and how much money they will, or won’t, be getting from the city.

RAISE AND INSURANCE COSTS

City employees would get a 2 and a half percent cost of living raise, and a two and a half percent merit raise.

But, combine that with an increase in health insurance premiums and Dwayne Patrick, the president of Local 1349 of the International Association of Firefighters, has concerns.

Patrick said, “We’re grateful for the raise because we haven’t had one in several years, but, as far as being generous and competitive, I don’t see it.”

BAYFEST MONEY PROPOSED TO BE CUT

Bayfest is slated to get $100,000, a cut of more than half.

Bayfest President Bobby Bostwick said, “All we want to do is be sure we have a partner because, again, the event is for the city. That’s why it was created, and that sounds good.”

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS

But, the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Alabama would get no direct city money, having to get money from the United Way.

Executive Director Mary Zoghby said, “I think everybody is aware of the fact that we can’t operate because of the neighborhoods we are located and the income level of the people that we do serve, so, we’re going to have to have some assistance.”

COUNCIL MEMBERS REACT

Council members talked about the proposed raise.

Fred Richardson said, “I do like it that he’s going to give the employees the raise that was put in the budget last year.”

But, as for the cuts to non-profit groups, Council President Gina Gregory said, “I haven’t had a chance to look through to see what the mayor is recommending for those.”

PUBLIC HEARING SCHEDULED

Soon, you will have a chance to give your thoughts.

The city council will hold a public hearing on the budget September 2nd at 5:30 pm.

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