Big Budget Cuts Proposed for Sacramento


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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, May 1, 2008


Here’s the first thing finance director Russell Fehr wants you to know:
 
Fehr: “The core services are maintained, because we’re gonna keep 90 percent of the employees doing 90 percent of the service.” 
 
Every department is taking a 20 percent cut, except police and fire, which got off “relatively” unscathed at 8 percent.  Here’s fire department spokesman Captain Jim Doucette.
 
Doucette: “Eight percent is a lot less of a hit than 20 percent, and there is some relief.  Although any cut back at all is gonna hurt.”

Here’s how: Fire response times will go up by at least a minute, maybe more.  And the police department will respond much more slowly to less urgent matters, like property crimes.
 
Then, there are the other high profile departments.  And here’s what Fehr says residents will notice the most: a drop in park maintenance; longer delays in processing code enforcement requests; and fewer library hours.  Rick Teichert with the Sacramento Public Library says most of the 27 branches won’t be touched, but…
 
Teichert: “We will be freezing 15 library positions that will allow us to close five branches one day a week.  So it will make it less convenient for the public.” 
 
Of course, none of this is set in stone.  The city council will hold budget hearings over the next two months.  They’ll go through every department’s funding, and could make some more changes before approving the budget in mid-to-late June.