GALVESTON -- The seawall parking plan cleared its final hurdle Thursday, as the city council voted to expand the size of city’s police force and to fund those new officers out of the convention center surplus fund.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Beeton was the only dissenting vote on both items.
Originally, the city’s plan was to fund the police officers directly out of the revenues from the parking program. A new plan was created on Wednesday night during a meeting of the Finance and Fiscal Affairs Committee. That plan involved moving the funding for the four new officers, their vehicles and the license plate scanning equipment needed for the program to the hotel surplus fund.
“I don’t believe we should use police officers to administer the program,” Beeton said. “I think we should use civilian employees because they are less expensive to employ.”
The four new officers will be paid an estimated total of $265,213, according to the proposal handed out by the city.
Beeton said she’d like the city to explore paying for current city budget items that could be funded out of the convention center surplus before adding a new program, but other council members disagreed.
“If we’re looking for efficiencies, in my mind, the safety of our citizens should be the last place we should start,” Councilman Norman Pappous said.
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