BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A threat to gridlock Baltimore’s budget and shutdown city services brings a strong response from the mayor.
Earlier this week, 200 protestors gathered outside City Hall, many too young to really know why.
But organizers did, they wanted money from Baltimore’s mayor.
$4.2-million was budgeted last year, to keep 2,500 children in after school programs, and operate six community schools.
“I cannot support a budget that does not have things in it for our youth,” said City Council President Jack Young
“It’s not being eliminated. It was one-time money that we had last year,” said Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings-Blake.
Since then, the mayor is seeking $40-million for heavier than expected snow removal costs, and $26 million to cover police overtime.
That doesn’t sit well with those seeking the after school funds, who are threatening a shutdown.
“I pledge if we don’t get it, we will not move this budget,” said Young.
“The notion that the council would use bullying tactics to suggest that gridlock would achieve any of their goals that are helpful to the citizens, is misguided,” said Rawlings-Blake.
The mayor says Young has stone walled before.
“I had to beg him to have a hearing so we could build new schools,” she said.
The mayor does a have a proposal to sell four city owned parking garages to fund new youth centers.
“So now I have to beg him to build new recreation centers and fill this gap,” said Rawlings-Blake.
City Hall has until June 26th to approve a budget.
If a budget is not approved, it could possibly lead to furloughs for city employees, impacting some services to Baltimore residents.