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    LB Police Officers Ass'n OK's $1.8 Million in Give-Backs (Taxpayer Savings) In Eight-Month Agreeement To Help City Get Thru 1st Yr of Deficit Reduction Plan; After June 30, 2004, Katie Bar the Door

    (Oct. 23, 2003) -- The LB Police Officers Association's membership has voted roughly 65%-35% to swallow a bitter pill -- $1.8 million in "give backs" (taxpayer savings) -- to do its part to help the city get through the first year of a three year Financial Strategic Plan to deal with a massive Council-created deficit.

    The agreement -- which runs only through June 30, 2004 -- helps City Hall reach a deficit reduction goal that calls for cutting a total of $3.4 million from employee spending in FY 04.

    But after that, there's no more to give said LB POA president Steve James.

    "We did our part and gave what we could to help this year, but city management knows the big problem comes in FY 05 when they're supposed to save $15 million," James said...and he added that "next year, it's going to be impossible for police officers to give more and still keep the Police Dept. intact."

    With over a third of the POA membership voting against the agreement with relatively small cuts, POA president James said, "It's clear they're not happy with two years of no pay raises and this year's take aways that will mean tough times ahead for LB Police Officers."

    Asked by about the eight month term of the agreement, James said, "That's all the city [city management] would do."

    [ comment: The agreement's short term, on which City Hall appears to have insisted, effectively avoids police labor friction until after the April and possibly June 2004 City Council elections.]

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