City Braces for Budget Cuts

Department Heads Asked to Prepare for $3 Million in Reductions

Members of the City Council are bracing for $5 million in possible budget cuts should the economy fail to show signs of recovery. Mayor Marty Blum said she and her council colleagues will trim 30 percent off the $9,600 they are each allotted for travel expenses and assistants’ pay. In the meantime, individual department heads are being asked to prepare for $3 million in cuts - and more later if need be - though not all departments will be cut uniformly. Police and fire will be partially protected. It would be harder to find a worse time for City Hall employees represented by the Service Employees International Union to bargain for a new contract. In recent weeks, union members have forcefully, but politely pressed their case with councilmembers at council meetings.

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