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Falmouth Town Meeting Approves Diversity Czar – But Not At the Expense of Hiring A New Cop

June 23, 2020

A bid to cut the town of Falmouth’s proposed police budget to fund a new diversity czar failed Monday night, as town officials instead scrambled to come up with another way to establish the new position in town government.

Falmouth, the second largest town on Cape Cod, has a representative town meeting for of government. That means voters at the annual town election choose members of Town Meeting to act as the legislature of the town – approving, among other things, budgets.

One member of Town Meeting proposed carving $84,000 out of the town’s police budget to fund an affirmative action/diversity outreach coordinator as a way to respond to the George Floyd protests. Supporters of the proposal held signs saying “White Silence Is Violence” and “De-Fund the Falmouth PD,” according to a photo in The Cape Cod Times, which covered the Town Meeting session of Monday, June 22.

That would have nixed one of two new police officer positions that town officials want to add.

The chairman of the town’s board of selectmen – the body that oversees the town’s day-to-day affairs and presents the proposed budget for the town to Town Meeting – instead proposed funding the diversity czar by taking half the proposed salary — $42,000 – from the town’s so-called certified free cash, which means money that has been appropriated but not spent and is unrestricted.

The selectman, according to The Cape Cod Times, told Town Meeting that selectmen “will find another way to come up with the additional $42,000 needed to fully fund” the diversity czar.

Town Meeting approved the selectman’s approach, according to The Cape Cod Times.

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