New Bedford is like many of the small cities in America facing the financial fallout from COVID-19. The mayor has a plan. Some city councilors have a plan, too.

The mayor of New Bedford is a "strong mayor" according to the city charter. The city council is limited in its power. The city council has to approve some appointees of the mayor. The city council has the power to cut the proposed budget of the mayor. The city council can approve funding requests submitted to them by the administration.

Mayor Jon Mitchell has proposed a COVID-related austerity budget for city council approval. His cuts to the public safety departments have caused protests by the unions and some of the city council members.

The union members are limited in power. They can inform the public with information and generate media attention. The unions can support candidates during elections.

But in the end, it is up to the elected politicians as to where the limited financial resources will be deployed. City councilors can go to rallies and voice their support for police officers and firefighters. Every elected official loves to be photographed standing with the courageous men and women who run to danger when everyone else runs away.

Firefighters run into burning buildings. Police officers run towards bullets and blades.

The members of the New Bedford City Council can cut the budget.

Courage comes in all forms and fashion.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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