What Difference Could $460,000 Make?

Speaking to Cranston Herald reporter Laura Lee Costello, Cranston City Council Finance Chairman Emilio Navarro had this to say about the projected savings in the police union contract negotiated by Mayor Allan Fung…

Navarro said the mayor’s contentions regarding the police agreement were baseless. He argued that the savings of $460,000 were not substantial enough to affect the budget and said one union’s agreements shouldn’t affect another.
“One thing that was very clear was that the savings of about $400,000 doesn’t make a dent in the budget having almost an $8 million deficit,” he said Tuesday.
The police department accounts for approximately $20 million out of a $230 million dollar city budget. Back out about $30 million in debt payments, and you’re talking about 10% of the operating budget.
Earlier in the article, Ms. Costello sets Cranston’s deficit at $7.4 million. Put $2.1 million back into the budget from the restored revenue sharing approved by the RI House last night and — if you could get all departments to accept the same level of savings the police department has (or maybe had) — you’d be $4.6 million of the way to closing a $5.3 million dollar deficit.
I don’t think that that falls under the category of “insubstantial” savings. Or are there people out there who want the entire city deficit to be made up within the police department?

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