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Bentley Police Chief Reluctantly Agrees To 2018 Budget Cuts

Posted 7/20/2017

By Jared Janzen

BENTLEY—City council continued discussion of the 2018 budget during their meeting last Thursday after having held a work session on it the evening before.

In between the meeting and work session, City Clerk Lisa Wright had run the numbers, made some adjustments and discovered they still needed to cut a few thousand dollars.

Wright told the council the only place she had been able to find to make cuts was in the police budget, which was $41,080. She suggested eliminating the $1,200 allocated for unexpected vehicle maintenance and reducing the $2,500 for equipment replacement and unexpected expenses.

However, Police Chief Kevin Dorritie—who was not at the meeting at that point—had told her that if the police budget was cut below $40,000 he would have to reduce coverage hours.

“We can’t cut hours,” Council President James Roberts said.

“We all know what we’re all after, and that’s to keep the mill levy down as much as possible,” Mayor Rex Satterthwaite said. Wright said right now it was at 59.6 for 2018.

Unable to take action without Dorritie present, the council called him to the meeting. Dorritie said his preference was to keep the police budget as it was.

“The bottom line is, we’re not comfortable cutting to 40,000, but if it’s that big of a thing we’ll do it,” Dorritie said.

He said the city should be paying $50,000-70,000 for the coverage they get.

“We’re giving you the best service we can for the biggest bang for our buck,” he said. “We’re using a lot of our own equipment and our own old things; we’re borrowing from Peter to pay Paul sometimes, and we scavenge like no other when we can.”

Dorritie said there wasn’t any fluff in his budget and that was the amount he needed to run the department, yet added he was willing to work toward a compromise.

“We’re also team players and we understand the situation of wanting to keep the city’s budget down,” he said. “We have no problems with that.”

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