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BRAD MALAMUD, San Clemente
Our safety requires swift action by Councilmembers Hamm, Ward, Bane and Ferguson. Crime is increasing to unacceptable levels. The city refuses to prioritize safety. Ms. Ferguson has fought for us, but cannot do it alone. Sadly, the council added only two sheriff’s deputies, rather than at least eight (two 24/7 shifts). Council will consider increases next year.
Council refused to cut 1) lobbying, 2) legal fees and 3) staff. We were told there is nowhere to cut. The city spent $18 million from savings, over three years, that could have funded eight additional deputies for nine-plus years. Nobody disagreed during discussions that eight additional sheriff’s deputies are required. Funding can be accomplished through eliminating: Asst. City Manager and assistant, newly created analyst, two Code Enforcement, two City Clerk staff, and lobbying ($180,000). The city manager should be directed to find $1,068,000 in additional cuts from the $66,000,000-plus budget through efficiencies, additional staff reduction and reducing legal expenditures.
It is time for everyone who agrees to take action. Please, immediately, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating: “I demand the council approve funding for six additional sheriff’s deputies.”