Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

City of Ann Arbor budget cuts loom

5. December 2004 • Murph
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The Ann Arbor News reports on the City’s projected $6.1 million deficit for next year, with the worst-case scenario involving the closure of a fire station (one was already closed two fiscal years ago) and cutting 26 police jobs.

Police Chief Dan Oates said a projected 5 percent cut all the departments have been told to make would cripple his force.

“Up until now, we’ve had four consecutive years of significant reductions and we’ve been able to do it in a way the public has not noticed the consequences,” Oates said. “That all changes in the coming fiscal year.”

Councilmembers vowed to place public safety services, such as fire and police, at the highest priority, but this would require deeper cuts in other departments; the discussion excerpted reflects some of the possible options:

“When it comes down to core services, people can swim in their own pools,” explained City Council Member Chris Easthope, D-5th Ward about his group’s choices.

“We said, ‘What do you want to close? A pool or a fire station,’ ” said Council Member Mike Reid, R-2nd Ward.

But the budget exercise exposed potential friction on the council as budget discussions progress.

All three groups made major cuts in community development, which oversees affordable housing and nonprofit organizations.

“That’s wrong!” said Council Member Kim Groome, D-1st Ward, pointing to the white board where each of the scores were marked. “Serving low-income people. Isn’t that a core service?”

“It is an important service,” said Council Member Leigh Greden, D-3rd Ward. “Is it a core service? That’s the question.”

  1. Not surprised Greden would see low-income housing as an expendable service, as opposed to the core services that include anything the neighborhood associations want
       —Matt    Dec. 5 '04 - 04:04PM    #
  2. Leigh Greden is a cock! Run the bastard out of town!
       —js    Dec. 6 '04 - 11:24AM    #
  3. Once again: anybody live in the 3rd Ward and want to run for City Council next year?
       —Murph    Dec. 6 '04 - 12:38PM    #
  4. I have to say that I’m unimpressed with Easthope’s comment too. . .I’ll agree that public swimming pools are far from essential, but, “Let them swim in their own pools while eating their cake!” is not the right way to put it.
       —Murph    Dec. 6 '04 - 12:44PM    #
  5. Marc R. might be presuaded run again in the 3rd Ward as a Green…
       —Scott T.    Dec. 6 '04 - 12:48PM    #
  6. tax the rich, feed the poor
    till there ain’t no
    rich no more.
    Seriously, the ultra-rich in the community should have to shell out the 6 million or however much it is. After all, they’re fucking rich!
       —Edward Atkinson    Dec. 7 '04 - 02:53AM    #
  7. Scott- I want to beat Greden. Marc won’t unless he compromises on things that he’s been vocal (here at least) in not compromising on.
    Today, I saw the entirety of Homeless Park lit up by Christmas lights, and it was beautiful. But I came back to thinking about Greden’s comment. How come we have Christmas lights when we’ve got budget shortfalls to the point where we may have to cut a fire station or low-income housing?
       —js    Dec. 7 '04 - 03:22AM    #
  8. Ed,

    I’m all for it. Some might suggest that if AA were to seriously tax the rich, they’d just leave town to avoid the taxes. Which isn’t really a problem—they’d have to leave some mighty houses and tracts of land behind, which could help out with the homeless problem…

    Oh, and send me your email address. The old one I have for you doesn’t work. scott at mutiny dot net.
       —Scott T.    Dec. 7 '04 - 11:48AM    #
  9. Josh, could you list some of the things you think Marc needs to change his tune on to beat Greden?
       —Scott T.    Dec. 7 '04 - 11:48AM    #