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As Mary Suhm Struggles to Cut, Then Gut, the City Budget, "More Difficult Decisions" Loom

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When council member Angela Hunt said "we're cutting muscle, we're cutting bone" when referring to the FY2009-'10 budget, from which City Manager Mary Suhm's looking to lose $190 million, this is what she meant: Tomorrow, Suhm will present to the council the most detailed look at proposed budget cuts yet, and despite dozens of cuts and fee increases and other methods of creative accounting, she's still $38.6 million short. Which is why on Page 51 of the 181-page document, you'll find a list of even "more difficult decisions" being contemplated to make up the gap.

They are as follows:

  • Temporary closure of facilities - libraries, recreation centers, pools
  • Additional reductions in arts funding
  • Additional civilian furlough day(s)
  • Request the County add a school crossing guard fee to the vehicle registration fee
  • Implementation of single family rental registration and inspection fee
  • Elimination of the retiree health benefit subsidy for employees hired after 1-1-2010
  • Consolidation of Budget services
  • Review of auto pound operations
  • Reductions in fire engine companies
  • Additional reductions in Police overtime

I have a call into Suhm to discuss some of the suggestions in advance of tomorrow's meeting.

Update at 2:12: Whilst waiting for Suhm to call back, I went digging for more information concerning "single family rental registration," which several Friends of Unfair Park were especially interested in. Turns out, Carrollton began charging for this very thing in 2009.

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