A rock and a hard place, blood from a turnip, end of the rope…pick your favorite desperation saying…chances are it fits the conditions at city hall as the 2012 budget comes together. New city manager Don Cooper says the new budget, as guided by the priorities of government restrictions, will see 7 police officer positions removed from the budget. That doesn’t mean layoffs, the police is running short 7 spots due to retirements but it does mean a serious crimp in manpower at a time when more police are needed to combat gang violence. In fact the city manager says he doesn’t recommend the budget as proposed but that it’s up to the council to take action on any changes. Refreshing huh? City Council members have asked Cooper to take another look at the budget and consider some changes to the parks budget to make room for more cops. But that will only go so far…so the solution would seem to be more revenue but even those options are limited. And then the council seems split on whether to vote in a utility tax increase or to let you vote on a utility tax increase yourself. What to do? We would like to hear from you…council person for a day. Share your thoughts!