For the third consecutive meeting the Timpson City Council has taken no action to reduce the city’s five-officer police force.
After a heated debate between Mayor Debra Smith and Councilman Ronnie Wolfe in regards to the city affording all the officers, and operating with what Wolfe said was a “deficit budget,” no motion was made in support of a reduction-in-force.
Wolfe told Center Broadcasting after the meeting there was so much public sentiment against doing what he felt was the right thing (to balance a budget with a RIF), he was “just going to let it go and not worry about it.”
He added it came down to money, and being able to afford all five officers without having to go up on city utilities and taxes.
In speaking to keep the police force fully staffed, Councilman Kyle Allen felt the opposite, saying “we (the council) came to the right conclusion (no RIF), we’re not seeing a real deficit budget when you add everything together.”
He said he was happy with the outcome and feels the citizens are as well.
Just like he did originally in November, Allen made a motion to keep the five-man PD as is last night, but could not muster a second.
Police Chief Kent Graham said after the meeting he felt the issue was not dead, “This is what happened last month, and I don’t feel like my guy’s jobs are safe. It starts to wear on you.”
He added, “Until we get this resolved, guys are going to be curious as to what their longevity is here at this office.”
The council members were in a closed phone conference with the city attorney concering a possible RIF and the legality of such a move prior to the regular meeting Tuesday.
In other business, Timpson City Council awarded a bid on the trimming/cutting of trees in the electric line right-of-way to Barry Webb of Diamond W Tree Service for $17,900.