It has been 17 years and 174 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.
Andre Anderson, a Glendale police department commander, may soon be heading to Ferguson, Missouri to join Ferguson’s new Interim City Manager Ed Beasley. He would become Interim Police Chief at the request of Beasley.
This is not the first time Anderson has sought the job of Police Chief. In February of 2013 he was one of two finalists for the position in Casa Grande, Arizona. Here is the link: http://www.trivalleycentral.com/casa_grande_dispatch/area_news/city-cuts-police-chief-fieldto/article_d157e5ea-80f1-11e2-8cda-001a4bcf887a.html .
To say that both face challenges would be an understatement. While the racial makeup of the town is 67% black only 3 police officers (6%) serving the city are black. The racial imbalance is stark. Here is the link: http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/aug/17/andrea-mitchell/ferguson-police-department-has-50-white-officers-t/ . If Anderson joins his pal, Beasley, both will have to exhibit a level of sensitivity and maturity that neither may possess. Are they up to the task of restoring confidence among the officers who serve and protect that community?
Ferguson’s police department has been investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice that resulted in a long list of changes to be made. These changes will be costly. There are also a plethora of lawsuits to be settled. Ferguson’s 2015 annual budget issued in July, 2014 is $20,238,000 with a General Fund budget of $13,518,250. Here is the link: http://www.fergusoncity.com/DocumentCenter/View/1701 .
In the past Fiscal Year of 2014-15 the city’s Fund Balance dropped by $4,086,700 from approximately $15M to $11M. What will their Fiscal Year 2015-16 budget look like (beginning in July of 2015) in the light of the riots that occurred earlier this year? I suspect the city is insured to a certain extent. Some costs will be covered but it appears that new revenue streams will be needed. Let’s hope Beasley has learned his lesson and will not “rob Peter to pay Paul” as he did in Glendale to cover the annual $25M in extortion required by the NHL to keep the Coyotes in Glendale.
© Joyce Clark, 2015
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