Sac City Council Likely to Approve Budget Tonight

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The number of fire fighters per engine crew would drop from four to three.  After-school and youth sports programs would be eliminated.  And if you try to go swimming at a city pool, or head over to a community center, you might find them closed.
Cohn: “We cannot print our own money.”
Councilman Steve Cohn.
Cohn: “So we have to either make cuts, raise revenues.  The city doesn’t have much ability to raise revenues, so that leaves mainly cuts.” 
And the cuts affect every department except one.  Police officers voted to give up their annual cost-of-living increases, so police services dodge the bullet, so to speak.  And if the union representing the city’s fire fighters approves a tentative deal this week, the fire department’s cuts would disappear too.  The union rejected a previous deal by a 2-to-1 margin, but Councilman Kevin McCarty says he’s optimistic this one will pass.
McCarty: “Nobody wants to have to make those cuts – neither the city council, the fire fighters union.  So I think before the end of the month, when we have to adopt our budget by law, we will come to a conclusion that works for everybody.” 
That leaves everything else – from parks and recreation to museums and libraries to code enforcement.  Those departments will all take severe cuts no matter what.  But if the unions that represent non-public safety employees agree to concessions, Cohn and McCarty both say they’d favor putting the extra savings into the parks department.