The City of Hollywood passed the not to exceed millage rate on July 3. But some people are not happy with the budget and are disappointed that it does include large pay increases.

During a summer budget workshop, there was even discussion about privatizing some areas of Hollywood’s operations. During the citizen’s comments period on July 3, general employees were present and people spoke on the importance of not outsourcing some of the functions of city government services.

Members of the Hollywood Police force were present during citizen comments and expressed concern that police are not being paid adequately for their work.

“Almost seven years ago the city commission reduced salaries and benefits rather than using other unrestricted funds. Of the 169 officers hired since 2012, 63 have left for other departments, ” said Jeff Marano, president of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association, which represents Hollywood Police officers. “Please urge the City Commission to direct the City Manager to live up to his word and begin the restoration process by identifying dedicated dollars in the FY 18-19 budget.”

Hollywood Police has approximately 330 sworn officers and average approximately 20 vacancies, explained Marano. “The market to recruit and retain police officers in Broward is very competitive. Due to the instability, the City portrays we have become a training ground for other agencies.”