Back at City Hall, Listening In As Mary Suhm Nails Down the City's Budget Shortfall

We're back in not-so-executive session, breezing through the rest of the council's agenda so Mayor-For-Now Tom Bailey Leppert can hop a flight for his swan song at the US Council of Mayors.

First, though, Dave Neumann apologizes for his last motion to defer the gas drilling applications till October 12 -- because, the City Attorney's Office informs him, the council wasn't slated to meet that day. Neumann denies Carolyn Davis's hilarious suggestion that he'd done that on purpose, and, respectfully, moves to bump it back to October 26. Which the council does.

First, City Manager Mary Suhm has asked members of the city's "key focus area teams" to introduce themselves, prompting approximately 84 percent of the city's payroll to parade through the room to introduce themselves, one at a time, while the rest of the room checks their BlackBerries and a KERA reporter thumbs through Parade magazine.

After the jump, though, an early look at the 2011-2012 budget, and a tighter estimate of that $41- to 96-million budget shortfall.

We begin with a walk-through of this budget workshop PowerPoint memo from Jeanne Chipperfield, who says the city could take in anywhere from $3 million more to $45 million less next year. The city's expenditures, she estimates, will go up anywhere from $51 to $44 million -- including, among other things, the increase in fuel prices, and how many mandatory leave days the city cuts next year.

Another lingering question: how the city's going to have to respond to the budget cuts at the Lege this year to absorb that huge deficit the state's facing.

Join me in the comments for the council's questions for Chipperfield and Suhm.

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