Denial of police levy will halt spending on ‘discretionary things' in Germantown

ajc.com

Germantown residents’ denial of a 2.5-mill levy for police services will mean various discretionary items around the city likely won’t be funded, according to the city’s mayor.

Approval of the continuing levy was aimed at helping cover the cost of police coverage, officer retention, equipment purchases and vehicle maintenance and replacement, Roy McGill Jr., the city’s police chief, previously told this news outlet.

But the measure, the first police levy the city had put on the ballot since 2003, was denied Tuesday by voters 54.6% to 45.4%, according to unofficial results from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

Mayor Steve Boeder, who has been on city council for 11 years and the city’s mayor for nearly eight, said police in Germantown have “a great reputation," something he believed would help in having residents approve the levy.

Boeder said he was “a little disappointed” in the results, but that he accepts it is what residents want.

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"Obviously there was something about this they didn’t like,” Boeder said. “I fully accept it and we will go on without that money right now and may try it another time.”

The total police budget for Germantown, a primarily residential-agricultural city 15 miles southwest of Dayton, is more than $1.5 million, of which $1.2 million is paid by the city’s General Fund. Approval of the levy was aimed at helping the department be more self-sufficient.

But a denial of the police levy won’t adversely affect the police department, Boeder said.

“We will ensure to the best of our abilities that they have everything they need to function, including salaries, training, vehicles and equipment,” he said. “Council is 100 percent behind the police department. It’s what we have and we’re going to take care of them.”

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While the police department will continue to be funded, various “discretionary things” will not, including additional money for the parks, beautification projects and items that would enhance the city’s downtown area for business, Boeder said.

“We would have liked to have gotten the levy passed and had more resources for the city, but we can function," he said. “But in all reality we can’t do everything that we want to do because of a lack of those resources and putting more into the police."

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