Wednesday, April 09, 2008

You Ready for the Mayor's Cuts to Your Services?

P.J. Tobia has the ugly prognosis:

Karl Dean’s first budget proposal as mayor of Nashville is a ledger of penny-pinching and pink slips. The $1.576 billion budget, while a slight increase over last year, will have most departments tightening their belts like gastric bypass recipients.

About 200 city employees will be laid off, libraries will cut their hours and the parks department will reduce access to Centennial Sportsplex and Wave Country. Even the fire department—which will receive three shiny new ambulances with employees to drive them—will lose about a half-million dollars and receive less funding for fighting fires.

I've already referred to the fact that education increases in the budget are going to come from the Public Schools' rainy-day reserves, which renders them merely the appearance of increases. Otherwise, we should probably expect an erosion of our services on top of the last ones we saw (Parks community center closings on Saturdays) under the last Purcell budget. If your house catches on fire under this new Dean budget, you may be less fortunate than you would have been in the past.

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