The fiscal year 2019 budget was presented to the City Council on Monday night by Mayor Brian Arrigo.
His request for the budget for FY19 is $206,992,903, up from $204,064,961, an increase of 1.43 percent.
Arrigo said highlights of this year’s budget include the addition of five Department of Public Works laborers, and the addition of three new police officers and four new firefighters.
“We have to create a smarter more efficient government for the people of our city,” Arrigo said.
Included in the overall budget is the school department budget request that is up 6.8 percent, from $80,213,216 in FY18 to $85,628,634 for FY19, which begins on July 1.
Councillors also noticed in this year’s budget the lack of employee names next to any salary figures, a practice that was done in the past. The city auditor told the Ways and Means Subcommittee last week that they were taking the “politics” out of the city budget. Now salaries are shown as a grouping within a department.
Councillor George Rotondo told Arrigo and the rest of the council that he has asked for an audit of the city budget as far back as February 2016. Arrigo said they are working on it, and he’ll release it once it is complete.
“Unfortunately, you’ve let politics seep into what we’re here doing tonight.” Arrigo said. “We have some great things that are happening.”