Budget Deficit: Mayor Gets Advice From Constituents

BALTIMORE (WJZ)–New taxes, painful cuts and even layoffs. Now Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is turning to you to help fix the city’s money mess.

Suzanne Collins explains the mayor is putting the people right in her own shoes.

The mayor is turning over all the gory details of the $80 million budget shortfall, and she’s asking people “Hey, what would you do?”

People are giving their two cents.

The city of Baltimore faces a looming deficit, which includes growing pension costs for employees and health insurance increases. But less is coming in the door for taxes as property values drop.

“If we were to do everything we did last year, all of the services, all of the benefits,” said Rawlings Blake, “in order to make that happen, we would need an additional $80 million.”  

The mayor says it won’t be business as usual. City Hall will decide, along with any citizen who wants to add their voice. What is important? And what should be cut? An eight-year employee of animal control likes having a say.

“My main concern is my job could be on the chopping block, and I’m just here to get the information I need and be able to prepare myself,” Kenny Tarrant said.

At least 50 people came to fill out big sheets on what they think the mayor and City Council should do.

The mayor vows she will listen, as she makes the tough decisions.

Last year when the mayor had to make drastic cuts, she suffered much public criticism.

The mayor says she will be favoring funding stronger neighborhood programs, a cleaner city and safer streets.


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