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Police Funding And Broadband Highlight Day Two Of The Flagstaff City Council Budget Retreat

Flagstaff City Council

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The Flagstaff City Council finished its budget retreat Friday. One major point of discussion was policing, and several public participants urged the council to lower police funding, alleging Flagstaff Police target Native Americans and other minority populations. However, the Council has no plans for defunding police and will discuss police more Monday at 5 p.m. Bond proposals were the other big issue, with broadband expansion being a top priority for Mayor Paul Deasy. However, other council members felt initiatives, such as rapid rehousing should get priority, along with a new “Alternative Response Model,” where the city would hire behavioral health professionals to help homeless and other vulnerable populations to get needed help and stay out of the criminal justice system. Mayor Deasy was hesitant to put more than two bond measures on the ballot, worried that a higher number would fatigue voters, and reduce the chances of bonds passing. Among other topics discussed, was federal funding from the CARES Act, which will be applied to the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, as well as infrastructure plans, such as road widening for bicycle lanes, and expansions of broadband. You can watch Monday’s special meeting on policing on the city’s website.

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Nicholas Bratcher

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