From today's Albuquerque Journal North:
Time is running out for the Santa Fe City Council to approve its 2009-10 spending plan. But some councilors still don't think the budget's ready for prime time. “I think we should reject this budget and work on it some more,” Matthew Ortiz said Tuesday of the staff-developed budget that will come before City Council at today's meeting. Ortiz said the total dollar amount that needs to be cut is an ever-changing target. Recently, he said, the finance department identified an additional $680,000 in revenue. “My faith in the budget numbers are at an all-time low,” Ortiz said. The city has until June 1 to submit its budget to the state for the fiscal year that begins July 1. At tonight's council meeting, Ortiz said, he'll call for putting off a vote on the budget. If the vote isn't postponed, Ortiz said he'll recommend staff reductions. The cuts would include deputy department directors, at a savings of $780,000, a couple of office manager positions and up to three positions in the Office of Constituent Services.
And the Santa Fe New Mexican (full Editorial here):
So what surprises can Santa Feans expect from our eight councilors by way of finding the $5 million cut the city will need even if it relies on reserve funds instead of whacking the other $9 million?
How about a political purge? Is tonight when councilors decide that positions held by officials unwilling to kiss certain boots are, come to think of it, expendable? Like the recent decision to annex new territory first, and worry later about the cost of providing police, firefighting and other services to new city residents, it's possible that a council majority already has huddled in secret over who is offered up as human sacrifices to tough economic times. As for mayoral guidance, David Coss — busily preparing his candidacy for re-election — didn't show up, even as a spectator, for last week's Finance Committee meeting. That was the session at which Chairman Matthew Ortiz apologized for the confusion over this year's budget process; one in which the public has been kept largely in the dark.
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