What Would Budget Cuts Look Like?

A frequent question during the budget hearings has been how would more substantial cuts impact the city?

As part of the city budget process, departments were asked to provide details on how a 2.5 percent, 5 percent or 7.5 percent cut would impact their ability to provide services. Information on those cuts was not included in the mayor’s budget proposal, but was provided to City Council last week after they requested the numbers.

According to the data offered to Council, cuts of 7.5 percent in all the operating departments would save $125.8 million and would eliminate 1,222 jobs, some filled and some unfilled.

But those wouldn’t be easy cuts. To get those savings, the city would have to lay off 144 fire fighters and 856 police officers, close all city pools and eliminate Sunday hours at libraries.

"The reality is that’s what’s left," said Finance Director Rob Dubow. "If you look at where our discretionary costs are, police and fire are the biggest portions of it."