The Atlanta City Council approved June 4 an amended $645.3 million general fund budget for fiscal 2008, which emphasized public safety and gave many city employees a larger pay raise than expected.

For the first time in years, both city firefighters and police officers will get the same amount of raise, 5.5 percent for the year. And council authorized $284,000 for the citizen review board to hire staff to assist in reviewing allegations of misconduct brought against police officers.

Council restored $2 million to the budget to fund 70 school crossing guards for the coming year.

Mayor Franklin had only budgeted a 2.6 percent raise for other city workers for the year, but council amended that portion of the budget. Most city employees now will get a 2.6 percent raise starting July 1 and the raise will go to 3.6 percent on January 1, based on workers’ present salaries.

–Staff Reports