By: Christine Souders
Tightening up Galesburg's city budget could cost some city employee's their jobs, and that includes firefighters and police officers.
Monday night was the first opportunity for residents to raise concerns about possible cuts, before the upcoming budget meeting.
"Don't cut the two police officers. Don't cut our fire department," said a Galesburg Resident at the podium.
"This is a difficult budget process, and we'll be looking at everything very carefully," said Mayor John Pritchard.
We're told the city needs to slash $2 million dollars to balance the budget.
Local AFSCME leaders said last Wednesday they got a letter from the city which included a possible reduction of four firefighters, two police officers, and about 10 other city employees.
The union met face to face with city leaders, asking them to look at other avenues to reduce the budget, like taxes, levy's or fee's.
"You start laying off and putting more pressure on the community, that's less tax money coming in, that's less revenue coming in," said Randy Lynch, AFSCME Council 31 Representative.
"Reducing our manpower from 11 to ten at a minimum would drastically effect our operations on the fire ground, and logistically how we would operate," Jeff Maher, a Galesburg Firefighter.
We're told by union leaders if the cuts go through, the city would let go the four most recent hires at the fire department by the first of the year.
A work session is now scheduled for Friday, October 11th, starting at 8:30am in council chambers. The session is open to the public.