This most recent budget was a moral outrage. We raised taxes for the second time in two years, and during a pandemic at that. Moreover, we did so to close a half-million dollar hole in the city’s wallet.

Northwestern owed six figures more than that just for back dues on fire services, and that choice is the entire problem in a nutshell. We need to stop penalizing ourselves on behalf of Northwestern.

It goes beyond that, of course. We need to stop the practice of SRO’s in our schools. We need to stop acting like it’s fiscally responsible to price folks out of town to make up for the losses from frankly fiscally irresponsible policy. I have called for a full audit of the EPD budget to locate and illuminate the highly complex financials that fold in under the Police. Specifically, I’ve been disappointed with the transparency of the public-facing budget that makes sure to show us that shoe reimbursement is not too small an item to include, but firearms, tasers, drones, and rubber bullets, certainly are. This needs to stop.

Moreover we need to be finding costs savings in this budget to redirect funding towards social workers and public safety officials that do not respond to incidents with a weapon by default.