I have a notebook and digital voice recorder full of Mary Suhm quotes in which the Dallas city manager offers encouraging words about the FY2009-2010 budget, a teensy-weensy bit of which we saw at City Hall this afternoon. (Turns out, she's especially excited about once-a-week trash and recycling pick-up.) But none of it really matters for now. Because until we see the actual budget some time this evening, well, it's all spin and grin for the evening TV news till the truth has a chance to sink in later. As for those of you below wondering why the city council doesn't raise taxes rather than cut to the bone, council member Angela Hunt, who attended the confab, says, look, she's just worried about digging into folks' wallets, nothing more than that.
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So, yes, we'll revisit the subject some time this evening and over the weekend, when the actual budget hits and specifies which libraries will close when and which 14 pools will close for an entire year and which executive positions are being eliminated (22 in all) and which departments will be consolidated out of existence. And there's always Monday's council budget briefing, at which point Hunt will ask why Suhm's sending out 850 pink slips on Friday when the budget won't even be approved till September 23 and why Suhm isn't RIF'ing Trinity River Corridor Project staffers since, well, there ain't gonna be no Trinity River Corridor Project for at least the next fiscal year. Till then, after the jump you'll find a photo of Hunt and Carolyn Davis -- not to mention the seven-page executive summary, which is a wee bit shiner and happier than the actual budget's sure to be once it rears its ugly little head 'round dinner time. That is, if you consider the elimination of 1,400 positions -- and 850 employees -- the good news.