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Mayor proposes cuts to balance budget

Fresno Mayor, Ashley Swearengin looks at new ways to make up for the nearly $3 million dollar shortfall.
The long battle over Measure G is finally winding down. Now that the measure appears it is going to fail, the mayor is looking for other ways to make up for the $2.85 million shortfall.
"My recommendation was that it was in the better interest of our community to see Measure G pass, but ultimately we'll carry out the wishes of the voters," said Fresno Mayor, Ashley Swearengin.
The mayor presented two options before city council. One option would cut 25 police officers over the next year.
This comes after the city's police force has already lost more than 130 officers within the last four years.
"It is becoming increasingly difficult to be able to provide the service that we need," said Fresno Police Chief, Jerry Dyer.
The second option involves laying off 49 civilian positions in Fresno City offices along with positions in the fire department.  Fresno Fire said any layoffs would be felt throughout the entire department.
"All those people are needed to make sure that we're moving forward and right now we're barely holding on," said Fresno Fire Chief, Robert Brown.
The mayor recommends the civilian layoff plan to keep police staffing levels up.  She said she regrets the city is in this position, but plans to move forward.

"We know that's in the best interest of our community and what everyone wants to see for Fresno, so obviously we're committed to doing just that," said Mayor Swearengin.

The Mayor will meet with the city council again on Friday to further discuss options for balancing the budget.

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