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2009 Media Releases


Date:
June 30, 2009
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831


MAYOR'S BUDGET PROPOSES $5.6 MILLION IN CUTS
Mayor says further cuts would hurt City's ability to meet needs

Mayor Chris Beutler today announced that his proposed budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year will include about $5.6 million in cuts, including 28 FTEs (full-time equivalent positions). That brings the total cuts since Mayor Beutler took office in May 2007 to nearly $10 million and 143 FTEs.

"This budget again demonstrates my Administration's commitment to doing more with less and to evaluating every program with an eye toward being more effective and less burdensome to taxpayers," Mayor Beutler said. "For the third year running, we've squeezed the bottom line and found innovative solutions to preserving services at less cost."

Specific cuts in the Mayor's proposed budget include the following:

  • The Lincoln Area Agency on Aging will consolidate office space and save $179,000.
  • Parks and Recreation will hire fewer part-time summer workers by re-organizing tasks.
  • Re-bidding the health insurance contract has resulted in savings of $1.6 million over last year.

At the same time, the Mayor said Lincoln has reached the "tipping point" where further cuts damage the City's ability to effectively address community needs. "If you cut expenses to the point at which the remaining funds can't get the job done, then you've wasted money in the name of political expediency," Beutler said. "I cannot in good conscience allow our community to become second rate because the City's elected leaders cared more about their re-election than your future. We cannot cut our way to prosperity."

Mayor Beutler pointed out that Lincoln remains one of the best "tax bargains" in the State:

  • Lincoln uses only 50 percent of its property tax levy authority. The other local governmental entities that levy property taxes in Lincoln use 80 percent or more of their levy authority.
  • Of the ten largest cities in Nebraska, Lincoln's property tax levy ranks seventh. Two of the cities that rank lower receive millions of dollars in payments from the Nebraska Public Power District. Lincoln Electric System customers do not subsidize City of Lincoln services in the same manner.

The Mayor will present his budget to the City Council at 10 a.m. Monday, July 6. The presentation will be carried live on 5 CITY-TV, government access cable channel 5. The City Council votes on tentative changes to the Mayor's budget in July. The public hearing on the budget is scheduled for August 10.


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