There have been mass demonstrations across the country since George Floyd's death in late May at the hands of Minneapolis Police, and Atlanta protesters were enraged when an Atlanta police officer shot Rayshard Brooks as he attempted to flee during a DUI arrest on June 12.
A handful of council members also expressed frustration about the lack of information provided by the administration.
Ide, chair of the council’s Finance Executive Committee, said during Saturday’s meeting she repeatedly asked for specific figures in the police department’s budget.
“I’m trying to get a straight answer from the finance department, and to some extent the law department, on numbers that I’m entitled to as member of the city council,” Ide said. “And I’m at the end of my rope on treatment that I’ve gotten.”
Also, Bottoms has announced plans to eventually close the city’s jail — an action that Council President Felicia Moore said would still require legislative approval.
The budget passed on Saturday moved nearly 200 corrections employees under the mayor’s constituent services department, reducing the corrections budget from $18 million to $3 million. However, it wasn’t clear to the council what jobs the former corrections employees would perform.
“The money was just moved to another department,” Council President Felicia Moore said.
A Bottoms spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a question Tuesday seeking clarification on that point.
The budget also allocated $2.1 million for the new Office of Inspector General, which city officials hope will help root out corruption and stifle any future attempts by the state to take over the airport.
Moore said adopting the budget was the first step in a long process and adjustments would likely need to be made as the COVID-19 crisis continues.
“A budget can be amended at any time,” she said.