Jeff Griffith Talks Property Tax Rate Increase and Lubbock Police
Wednesday on KFYO Mornings with Dave King and Matt Martin, Lubbock City Councilman Jeff Griffith joined Dave and Matt to talk about the previous night's city council meeting, the Lubbock city budget, changes to police patrol schedules and where funding is going with the police, the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, progress on Citizens Tower, Airbnb, storm water rates and smart meters, and more.
Councilman Griffith started the discussion about the city council meeting by explaining that they passed the new city budget, in which they raised the property tax rate by one cent. Griffith explained their decision, saying,
The last thing you want to do is increase the tax rate, I mean it's the very last thing you want to do. The reason we did this, and we've talked about this for almost 2 years, is our plan for the police substations and community policing. We're already doing community policing, as you all know, and we need to be brutally honest about how great our city is, but we have big city crime issues, especially with property crime.
He went on to say that the city has added 12 new officers to their police force, and even a bomb defusal robot. When asked if the city would be willing to send the bomb to Levelland or somewhere else in the event of a bomb threat, Griffith said that the city would do so, just as they sent a crisis team to Odessa and El Paso after the recent shootings there.
When asked how the search for a new police chief is going, Councilman Griffith said that it is going very well, but that he does not think that we will one selected until the end of the year, maybe the first of next year. However, he believes that the current interim chief is fantastic, and has even changed police patrols from 12 hour shifts to 10 hour shifts, which should cut costs by $300,000 a year for the city.
Griffith was also asked about the progress of Citizens Tower, as well as the progress of swapping out the smart meters. For Citizens Tower, he said that the city is still on schedule and on budget, and that most of the work is being done on the inside now. As far as the smart meters go, he says that it will probably take about another year to swap them out.
Watch the full interview with Lubbock City Councilman Jeff Griffith in the video above.