The battle over Hamilton's police budget continues.
City politicians have tabled Chief Glenn DeCaire's current request for a 3.7% increase, saying the request is still too high.
The jump is driven by rising wages and benefits and the recommended hiring of 20 new officers.
The matter has been tabled, according to a motion presented by Ancaster's Lloyd Ferguson, while politicians meet "offline" with the Chief in an effort to reach a consensus and get clarity to a few questions.
One of those questions is the amount of increase needed to achieve a "maintenance budget" which would protect last year's service and staffing levels.
That number may be 3.62%, with Chief DeCaire saying that anything less would result in a review of service delivery, perhaps alternate strategies and even cuts.
Councillor Bernie Morelli says the entire process is about 'trying to arrive at something that we can all comfortably live with". He notes that there are a good number of taxpayers who are "really struggling" and for whom another 10-or-15 dollars can mean a lot.
Councillor Terry Whitehead has voiced concern that tabling the police budget for "offline discussions" makes it appears that "we want to negotiate something behind closed doors".