Rawlings-Blake Makes Targeted Spending Cuts In Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The mayor’s new budget calls for dozens of new speed cameras and it includes painful cuts to city services.

Mike Hellgren breaks down the numbers and who’s getting a pay raise.

They’ll be a modest one for most city workers, but that will be offset by furloughs.  Fire and police were largely spared.

Baltimore City will add 26 new speed cameras.  The existing ones have made $10 million in cash.  But the mayor is proposing some painful cuts in her new budget to make up for a $65 million shortfall.  Among them, the BARCS Animal Shelter could see more than 10 percent of its funding vanish.

“Those are homeless animals that would otherwise be out on the street or in vacant homes,” said BARCS Executive Director Jennifer Brause.

The 311 call center will see reduced hours, as will the city’s libraries.

“We want to make sure that our every day patrons won’t feel the impact as much,” said Roswell Encina, Enoch Pratt Free Library.

There would still be rotating firehouse closures that the union says are dangerous.  But the mayor plans to fill 300 police officer positions and has kept the public safety budget mostly intact. 

“I’m not going to let police positions remain vacant and not fill them to save money,” said Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

These budget proposals are just preliminary at this point. 

Funding for cleaning up abandoned buildings would stay, and new cameras would go up to cut down on illegal dumping—but you’d have to pay for bulk trash pick-up.

“We’ve taken huge steps already, but we know we’ve got to take more,” said budget director Andrew Klein.

The good news for city employees is that most will get a two percent raise, but there will still be unpaid furlough days.

Almost half the city’s rec centers could be placed under the control of nonprofits.

“My concern is what if the nonprofits run out of cash.  Does that mean that the rec centers will close?” said City Council President Jack Young.

Property taxes will not increase, but there will be changes and cuts to the prescription drug program for retirees and current city employees.

The mayor says the city is saving hundreds of thousands of dollars because of pension reforms made last year.  Firefighters and police unions are currently fighting them in the court system.

More from Mike Hellgren

One Comment

  1. More Cuts,, More Taxes says:

    spending meny on schools is that postive, where does property taxes go,,,,

    1. Public Schools says:

      money you need schooling and more meny

  2. Hey Hon says:

    schools and kids still ain’t got a clue

  3. sillyman michaels says:

    dear ms mayor why don’t u give up your salary to help the BUDGET im sure
    you could live on the salary your husband makes why make us keep
    suffering do u honesty really care about us

  4. PAUL E. MICELLI says:


  5. Wheres common sense when you need it says:

    I think “targeted” means to the middle class. The more they cut, the less tax revenue they have. At some point, we will all have nothing, then where will they cut?

  6. Maxi says:

    I think it is unfair to cut retired city workers prescription programs. We have paid our dues and now we have paid to for our medical and prescriptions. And it is not cheap.

  7. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Rawlings Blake is in over her head. A good bloodline is not enough to save her thanks to the ineptness of city government for years. Bernard Jack Young is a scammer , the city council needs to go. Shelia (Steal-A) Dixon set this city back fifty years with her power & money grab. So many cities the same size as Baltimore’s are doing much better socially. culturally & health wise. SanFrancisco, San Diego & Boston for examples. The city needs to stop dumping it’s blacks in the counties with section 8 vouchers destroying communities to make way for the more convenient downtown business & entertainment that Whites are flocking to.

  8. deltasweetiepi says:

    People in the City cannot have their cake and eat it too.

    1. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

      Who in the hell is asking for cake? Who wants to eat the turd pies being served up.
      Get your s…….t together.

  9. ak says:

    I hope the cameras are not like Dc’s cameras, you go one mile over the speed limit you get a ticket. Right now there are so many people complaining over it the court is back logged on request for trials.

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