Bean counters at Santa Barbara City Hall have proposed $3.75 million in cuts for this year’s budget. That document got its first unveiling at the city council’s Finance Committee meeting on April 14. City Hall administrators say $3 million in cuts absolutely need to be made to have a balanced budget that does not eat into reserves. They included $750,000 in extra cuts just in case. Given that police and fire services comprise 49 percent of the city’s general fund, the lion’s share of cuts come from those departments; no positions, however, have been slated for elimination. If revenues don’t increase, administrators say they’ll need an extra $2 million in cuts next year, too. Adding to the sense of fiscal suspense, City Hall is slated to begin negotiations with the union representing most of its employees, Service Employees International.


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