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Preliminary Contract Proposal for Police Costly to City

Buffalo, NY – A preliminary proposal offered by an arbitrator for a new police contract is too expensive, according to a top city official.

Eva Hassett, commissioner of administration and finance, said the proposed two-year contract would cost $4 million more than the city has budgeted in raises for fire and police personnel.

"These numbers are off the chart," Hassett told the Buffalo News. "We're going to ask the arbitrator to revisit the whole issue involving the city's ability to pay."

But union officials claim the city is breaking confidentiality agreements by "whining" to the media about the negotiations.

"For them to start spouting off now is totally unfair to all the parties, especially the arbitrator," Robert Meegan, president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, told the News. "I'm rather disturbed by it."

The arbitrator hopes to meet with both sides next week to resume talks.