May 8, 2013 1:36 AM by Rebecca Taylor

Tucson tentatively adopts 2014 city budget

TUCSON - Tucson's mayor and council adopted its 2014 budget Tuesday night.

Although final approval isn't expected for two weeks.

Community members had the opportunity to weigh in on how the city should handle its money during Tuesday's public hearing, but not a single person got up to speak.

That doesn't mean council members didn't get things done.

Under the proposed 2014 budget there will be no cuts to services for police, fire, and parks.

Most city workers would receive a 55-cent hourly wage increase and some employees will see a reduction in their pension contribution.

City staff is recommending closing a $15 million dollar gap in the budget through debt refinancing, land sales and other measures including a motion that asks the transit authority to search for a $2 million internal savings.

Council member Shirley Scott represents ward four, "The people who use the bus are the ones that are paying extra or losing service in order to accommodate the needs of the transit system."

"We need to be cautious when looking at this because I don't want to put this on the backs of the most vulnerable in our community," said ward five council member Richard Fimbres.

Five council members including Scott and Fimbres voted to adopt the budget, with a final vote set for May 21st. Until then, the maximum limit can still be reduced.

Steve Kozachik and Paul Cunningham voted against adopting the budget.

"There's way too many unknowns right now with this budget," said Cunningham who represents ward two, "We are taking on some expenses that we're going to have to carry from year to year and we don't even know if we have the funding for them."

Another public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for May 21, 2013.


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