Ald. Zielinski: Mayor diverts additional funding for streetcar that could go to more cops
City Hall news conference set for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday
Alderman Tony Zielinski has found additional city funding in the 2018 proposed budget that Mayor Barrett has quietly directed to be used to fund streetcar operations – badly needed funding that the alderman said could instead be used to hire police officers to help bolster public safety.
Alderman Zielinski, who has scheduled a news conference for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday (October 24) in the third floor Council Chamber anteroom at City Hall to discuss the matter, said the total amount of city budget funding for the streetcar that is being kept quiet by the mayor now totals more than $500,000.
Alderman Zielinski said the $315,000 is a “Local Transit” line in the Parking Fund 2018 Budget and is the local match for the Federal Transit Administration grant for the streetcar.
“The mayor deliberately chose to use city funds for this purpose,” the alderman said. “It’s time for Mayor Barrett to come clean with the public about where else he’s directing city funds for the streetcar and what that total amount comes to.”
Alderman Zielinski sponsored an amendment (to the mayor’s proposed 2018 executive budget) that would take the $208,000 for two streetcar management positions and instead direct that money to pay for police officers. “The $208,000 funding would allow us to pay for 2.5 police officers to help keep our citizens safe,” he said.
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