"There's not much left on this eraser" reminds Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange during the 2012 budget discussions.
There's not a gun or a badge that can scare Strange away from a serious budget battle. Case in point: the Public Safety Department.
The department's spending will increase 3% percent in 2012. Here's how the numbers add up: the Montgomery Police Department will work with a $45 million dollar budget. Communications or E-911 will have a $5.1 million dollar budget in 2012. As for the Fire Department's budget: $31.6 million dollars. A department once slowed with retirements and outdated equipment, now making a turnaround.
Strange explains, "We've spent $3 million dollars on equipment, we were 30 short. Now we've got about 24 in a class right now. That will graduate about 18 or 17 fire fighters. We're in better shape than we've been in a long time."
While the safety of the city is at stake - few survive these budget discussions unscathed. The best idea Monday, adopting the term "level living", a tougher task than level funding.
"Whoo doogie. That's really good, now how are you going to do it?" Strange questions.