The Fort Worth City Council is getting a close look at what it means to control spending.Budget time this year is particularly tough because administrators have prepared a preliminary plan that drops spending enough to overcome a $50 million revenue shortfall.What that means really hit home on Thursday when council members took up proposed changes in the police and fire budgets. Public safety expenditures are sacrosanct in most budget years, but the document compiled by the city staff this time around cuts out 46 unfilled police jobs and 36 vacant fire department positions.Police Chief Jeff Halstead says he’s OK with his part of that cut, because he can’t get enough officers trained to fill those 46 positions anyway. That picture won’t change much until new training facilities now under construction are complete and put in service.On the fire department side, Fire Chief Rudy Jackson says there will be measurable ill effects from the staff cut. That puts council members to the test on whether they can maintain fiscal discipline.Some already are saying they want to reconsider the proposed cuts. They can do that, but it means they’ll have to find savings elsewhere or take bigger withdrawals from the city’s dwindling “fund balance” savings.Although it takes nerves of steel, council members should trust the assurances of their professional staff that the cuts are manageable.The ins and outs of the fire department reductions are difficult to grasp because of the complexities of staffing the city’s 42 fire stations, including 12 “double company” stations, 24 hours a day every day of the year.Current authorized staffing includes 908 professional firefighters. The proposed new budget takes that number down to 872. Jackson presented council members a chart showing that, because of normal attrition, the actual number of firefighters can be expected to drop to 854 next year before a new training class begins in June and enough trainees are hired to get back up to the authorized level.The bottom line is that four companies will be deactivated every day, with the deactivation rotating among the 12 “double company” stations. That means average response times will go up slightly. That’s not good, but nobody said fiscal discipline would be easy.