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Mayor Brown to present $953M city budget Monday

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Updated: 7/15/2013 12:29 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mayor Alvin Brown will appear before a special session of City Council Monday morning to present his proposed budget.

The $953 million budget is slightly up from last year.

The city's deficit depends on one item of unfinished business:  Police and Fire pension reform.

If the plan is approved by City Council, the city would find itself in an approximately $18 million budget hole.  If not, the deficit would be more of a $64 million mountain to climb over, and that's the budget the mayor's bringing to council on Monday.

[Related story: Budget presented in two versions]

If reform does not pass, the mayor is asking all department heads to submit budgets with 14-percent in cuts.

For JSO, that's a $29 million chop, and that's led to a heated debate between the mayor and the sheriff for the second-straight year.

Sheriff Rutherford said he's not laying off any officers and the mayor will have to cut elsewhere.  Rutherford has suggested a tax hike and urged city council to approve the pension reform to help fill the huge budget hole.

The president of City Council told Action News last week that JSO is different when it comes to the budget.

"You prioritize," said City Council president Bill Gulliford. "What's the most important? My idea is public safety, public works and then you go down right on the list according to the importance to the communities."

Four fire stations could also be closed, including one where crews just broke ground in the Bartram Park area.

But Mayor Brown is standing firm on a campaign promise to not raise taxes.  More than a hundred city jobs could be cut, and there could be furloughs.

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