Late yesterday, Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm and I had a long talk about several subjects, one of them being her efforts to trim the budget, yet again, this go-round anywhere from $60 to $110 million -- depending, she said, upon how much the state and feds take from the city. But, she said, she wouldn't know anything definitive till May, when the state sets its budget, putting the city in the same situation as the Dallas Independent School District, which likewise will have to do much more with much less during the coming two years.
Suhm and I are scheduled to talk more about in the next day or so, but I see Rudy Bush covered the very same subject at length in the morning paper, for those with access to what lies behind the pay wall. Yesterday, turns out, Dallas Mayor Dwaine Caraway, Fort Worth's Mike Moncrief and Arlington's Robert Cluck also sent to Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Strauss a hands-off missive in which they ask the state not to balance its books by taking dough out of their cities' respective pockets. Chris Heinbaugh in Caraway's office sends along the letter in which the trio write:
Though only one state in the country provides less financial assistance to cities than Texas, we are not requesting such assistance. We ask only that the State balance its budget in a transparent and thoughtful manner that does not pass the cost along to cities in the form of unbalanced mandates, hidden fees, or increased expropriation of city-generated revenues.
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The lengthy missive follows in full.