Deep Dallas Budget Cuts Still Not Enough

$38 Million shortfall remains even after 785 layoffs planned

Big cuts detailed for Dallas City Council members Wednesday leave something gone for just about everyone.
Deeper cuts to parks, libraries, street repair and most city services will help reduce a $190 million shortfall the city was facing earlier this year for the 2009-2010 budget that takes effect Oct. 1.
“We're professional and passionate about what we do, building up city services that we can be proud of,” said City Manager Mary Suhm. “It is very difficult for us to make these kind of cuts and recommendations.”
The reduced city parks budget will allow mowing only every three weeks instead of every two. Park Board Member Lee Kleinman pleaded with Council Members for mercy. 

 “What do you want this city look like in a year, or two, or three when this budget crunch and this recession has ended?”
But Councilman Mitchell Rasansky asked Kleinman to be patient.

“We’re trying to do the best we can without raising taxes,” Rasansky said.
The city manager’s latest plan would eliminate nine city departments to reduce managers and consolidate their services with other departments.

Overall service reductions would eliminate 1,165 civilian jobs, many of them already vacant. Layoffs are planned for 785 current city employees.

 Services like police helicopters are also included in the $38 million budget shortfall that remains to be closed through more cuts or new money.
Councilman Dwaine Caraway proposed selling advertising on city buildings to help raise cash.

“Fair Park, and the airports, and garages and everywhere advertising can possibly go,” Caraway said. “Try to figure out a way to take advantage of every single opportunity.”
The city manager will release another budget proposal August 10.
Click here to see the latest city of Dallas briefing.

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