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CIty Council Saves Four More Firefighter Jobs

Move comes at the expense of other city departments.

After an intense two weeks of lobbying, negotiating, and cajoling, Mayor RT Rybak and the Minneapolis City Council reached a compromise on firefighter layoffs caused by a reduction in state local government aid.

The reductions in state aid would have cut 40 firefighters from the department; in response, the Council moved over $1 million from the city's rainy-day fund to save 30 of those jobs. . Rybak and his allies on the Council said this would have resulted in deeper cuts in the 2012 budget, and Rybak vetoed the latter move.

The compromise proposed by Councilmembers Betsy Hodges (Ward 13), Don Samuels (Ward 5), John Quincy (Ward 11), and Lisa Goodman (Ward 7) used a similar mechanism to fund an additional four firefighters' jobs on top of the 30 already saved. However, instead of keeping them on until the end of 2011, the measure directed the extra money be carried over through the end of 2012.

Several councilmembers protested that the compromise asked them, in essence, to vote on part of the city's 2012 budget early, because the mayor had not presented his draft budget in late August, as is traditionally done.

It is not yet clear whether the four additional firefighters will reduce if his department had lost all ten.

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