Tonight is the before the City’s budget is due.
After weeks of discussion among City Council members and Staff, the time has come to solidify a decision. Two weeks ago, Mayor Joe Krovoza asked Staff to explore several cost-cutting options that would go beyond balancing the city’s budget in hopes of bracing for continued economic shortfalls and overdue road maintenance.
Staff presented those options while a large crowd of city employees (including dozens in public safety) were in attendance. Many of those employees spoke during the public comments, making pleas for their jobs and saying that cuts should be a last resort, not a precautionary measure for an uncertain future.
Some say we’ve already reached the aforementioned last resort: Times are tough and we need to address our unfunded liabilities now, otherwise we’ll be in worse shape next year. Others say that if there’s a way to balance the budget without cutting jobs or salaries, the city should go that route for now.
Those contrasting viewpoints will be on display at tonight’s meeting, with Councilmember Stephen Souza likely sticking to his stance from previous meetings: Balance the budget for now and then find out what the community wants immediately after.
Mayor Joe Krovoza, on the other hand, will likely push for deeper cuts now, which may or may not result in layoffs. It depends on whether or not city employees are open to reductions in salary.
The meeting will be at 6:30 tonight at the City Hall Chambers.