Campbell said the roughly $2 million needed for the bonuses would come not from city reserves, but from a park improvement fund and be repaid next year. He had originally vetoed the bonuses, fearing that if the money came out of the city reserves, the city's bond rating would slip. On Dec. 4, five members of City Council upheld the veto.
The mayor felt the cops deserved the raises, according to Glenda Blum Minkin, Campbell's spokeswoman. But other observers are skeptical of that explanation, saying instead that Campbell wanted to thwart Council President Robb Pitts' possible attempt to call a special City Council session to find money for the bonuses. It appeared the City Council would have had the votes necessary to reinstate the cops' Christmas cash.
Minkin denies that was a motivating factor. What's more, the mayor's office received fewer than 10 calls about the issue and not one piece of mail. "It seems like the media made it an issue," she says.