The city is dealing with an $11 million deficit, and so all sides agree this budget season will be difficult.
The mayor calls his proposal a beginning, but says he'll veto any budget that is not balanced, dips into the city's 12 million dollar reserve, and requires new taxes.
Those parameters mean cuts, including 73 jobs that would be cut under the mayor's plan, 2 golf courses that would be sold, and regionalizing the zoo.
The mayor calls them strategic cuts in order to make strategic investments. Among those, the mayor's would hire in the code compliance department to reduce red-tagged homes, would set aside money for a south side community center, and would hire more tax staff to go after people who work in the community but have somehow avoided paying the proper taxes.
Councilmembers tell us after the proposal they feel it offers good ideas to work with. Each has changes they would make. For example, Kathie Dunbar says, "I would have had more money for south side parks, but we have time to tweak it, and that's a good thing."
The public will have their chance to comment at Foster Community Center, April 18 at 6:30, and at Gardner Middle School, April 25 at 6:30.