As a 6-year member of the City Council, I was the Budget Expert. You have to be able to project 2 to 3 years out the ramifications to the expenses of a budget and what an increase in labor contracts will mean, how they are funded and what might not might be able to be funded if you do not plan wisely.
The Police who serve the City of Fairbanks are incredible people. We have too many people now leaving and stating management issues. I will always have the Police Officers service to Fairbanks first and foremost. I will review the exit interview of every police officer over the past 5 years to see where the issues lye for the problems that are besetting such a fine institution. This must change.
One year as a City Council Member, I witnessed the City of Fairbanks completely fail in its snow plowing obligations. I conveined a Snow Plowing Summit in June! Made sure monies were appropriated to cover the remainder of the year so it would not happen again. Over the course of the next two years The City of Fairbanks bought additional snow plow sites and upgraded our equipment to remove snow quicker and more efficiently.
We must transition into a new era where we realize that building structures are built with better safety construction standards that lessen fire hazard and place more emphasis on having more paramedics on ambulances serve the Citizens of Fairbanks.
This is not a sexy item, but it speaks volumes where we are and where we have gone! For the past two years, there has either been no Capital Budget or a minimal one. No updated fire or police equipment. During COVID, the City of Fairbanks gave out large employee contract increases and had to have no Capital Budget to cover this increase. At the same time, not one employment position was lost! We should have held the budget natural, kept the amount of employees and funded the Capital Budget.