More controversy surrounding the Saint John Police force and accountability. A number of Common Councillors aren’t happy no one from the Police Commission attended last night’s council meeting to answer questions about the the Commission’s 2021 budget. A presentation was included in Council’s package but no representatives were present at the meeting.
The 24-million dollar budget was approved during a virtual meeting of the Commission earlier this month. It contains a just under one million dollar cut that includes elimination of some civilian positions. Common Council had ordered a 1.3-million dollar cut as part of its effort to get control of municipal finances. City Manager John Collin says the Commission is following the current governance structure in place. A review is underway of the city’s public safety agencies and their reporting responsibilities to Council.
Council did approve staff’s recommendation to receive the budget for information – Councillor Greg Norton was the lone vote agains the motion. Council also approved a motion by Councillor David Hickey to “invite” representatives of the Commission to appear before Council to answer questions about the budget.