Mayor Hodges’ 2017 Budget Invests in Fundamentals of Public Safety, Managing Growth, and Good Government
Dollars for public safety and public trust equal 70 percent of new ongoing investments
Budget builds on landmark parks and streets package, prior years’ equity investments
Tax policy reflects lack of anticipated State LGA increase
August 10, 2016 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Mayor Betsy Hodges today delivered a 2017 budget for the City of Minneapolis that is rooted in the fundamentals of public safety, managing growth, and good government, all of which have equity built into them. More than 70 percent of the dollars for new ongoing investments in the Mayor’s budget are for public safety.
“[I]n the 21st century, rising to the imperatives of good government, growth, and public safety is increasingly one and the same,” Mayor Hodges said.
Video of the Budget Address || Text of the Budget Address
Top highlights of Mayor Hodges’ 2017 budget proposal include:
Tax policy
The Mayor and City Council already anticipated a property-tax increase of 4.9 percent in 2017 when they passed a landmark, 20-year agreement to fund the infrastructure and operations of neighborhood parks and City streets earlier this year.
The Mayor’s budget proposes a 5.5 percent increase in the levy for 2017. Most, if not all, of the difference between the anticipated 4.9 percent increase and the proposed 5.5 percent increase could be made up by an additional $1.7 million in Local Government Aid that was anticipated but did not materialize when the State’s tax bill was not enacted into law earlier this year. If the Legislature passes a corrected tax bill that Governor Dayton can sign later this year, the Mayor recommended using that money to reduce the 2017 levy.
The Mayor’s budget also includes $2.7 million in significant, strategic cuts.
The entire 0.6 increase in the property-tax levy over the anticipated 4.9 percent pays for a portion of the Mayor’s new investments in public safety.
Public Safety
Mayor Hodges emphasized the need to invest in the community to improve public safety, and the need to invest in the Police Department to improve public trust. She highlighted several investments, including:
These investments build on those of the past several years — not only for body cameras, but for accelerated procedural-justice and crisis-intervention training for all officers; an Early Intervention System; implicit-bias training; more positions for community policing; more pipelines to bring people of color into public-safety careers; an innovative municipal criminal-justice agenda to divert low-level and first-time offenders when possible; restorative justice; youth violence prevention; and more,” Mayor Hodges said.
Mayor Hodges added, “We need a police department. We are going to have a police department. What we get to have, however, is a 21st-century police department that is rooted in 21st-century policing, built on a foundation of trust and dedicated to transforming police–community relations. This investment in more officers for community policing goes hand in hand with the investments that I propose in enhancing public safety through community collaboration. Indeed, in order to be effective, these strategies require collaboration and true partnership with law enforcement.”
Mayor Hodges acknowledged that the Minneapolis Police Department has not always policed in accordance with the principles of 21st-century policing. “I acknowledge that our policing has sometimes done harm and sown mistrust, particularly in communities of color. To acknowledge this is not to single out individual police officers. It is to say that for too long, we allowed a culture of policing to persist that sometimes caused harm. This culture hurt everyone, including police officers.”
Mayor Hodges also pointed out that “Minneapolis is leading the way” in the national conversation about police-community relations, trust, and race: “no other city in America is putting more resources on the line, changing more policy, and transforming itself more fundamentally than we are. … Yes, change is hard and yes, there is more to do. We are sticking with it, for the good and the humanity of all of us. There is no going back.”
After appealing to residents to apply to serve as Minneapolis police officers, she spoke directly police officers, saying, “I believe in you. I deeply appreciate the work that you do. … With this budget, I am investing in you, too: I am investing in the resources, collaboration, and support that you need to do your jobs more effectively, more safely, and with more fulfillment. Thank you for your service and for all that you do to guard our city and keep us safe.”
Mayor Hodges noted that investments in equity were woven throughout the entire budget, and said, We are building equity into the DNA of our work as a city.” She provided details on some specific new equity investments, including:
Managing Growth
Mayor Hodges explained that some of our challenges are the result of Minneapolis’ rapid population and business growth. She stressed the need to manage that growth with smart investments, including:
Mayor Hodges also characterized the $400,000 investment in five new fighters, to raise the authorized strength of the Fire Department, as an investment in managing our growth, as well as an investment in public safety and in managing overtime.
Overall, Mayor Hodges pointed out, We have worked very hard for the problems that accompany growth in our city, and we should take them as a sign of success.” As a measure of that success, she compared Minneapolis’ growth today with worry people felt during the deep 2009-10 recession. “If I got in a time machine today, traveled back to those years, and explained to people that in 2016, some of the challenges we’re most vocal about now are the traffic delays caused by so much construction in downtown Minneapolis, they would be ecstatic. If I told them that we need to accelerate the pace of restaurant inspections, not because we have too few inspectors but because we’re experiencing a nationally-recognized restaurant and hospitality boom, they would be thrilled.”
Good Government
Mayor Hodges highlighted investments in some of the fundamentals of city government that when done well can be transformative for the efficiency and effectiveness of the city, including:



Published Aug 10, 2016



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