Spokane Mayor expects additional budget cuts

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by SHAWN CHITNIS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on May 20, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Updated Monday, May 20 at 7:41 PM

 SPOKANE, Wash. -- Spokane Mayor David Condon warned everyone Monday to expect more cuts in 2014 Spokane budget.

The Mayor said the decision to make cuts last year was an important step forward for the City. Mayor Condon added that he does not expect to remove as much money from the budget this time, but said he will need to cut again.

The City faced a $10 million shortfall in 2013, so Mayor Condon eliminated more than 90 positions. Some of the positions were open jobs that were never filled.

"We are definitely leaner, in some ways we are more efficient today than we were a year ago. yet we must continue this diligent work," said Condon.

The Mayor did not indicate how much money he will have to make up this year. Yet, Condon added that it will be significantly lower than the 2013 cuts.

City leaders are still waiting to learn what money the state will provide from liquor sales. Leaders said another issue is how much sales tax will bring in for the City. As for public safety, Mayor  Condon suggested he does not want to change the amount of money police and fire get in 2014.

“Public safety still as it did last year did not take any cuts, as we look at going forward, we need to simultaneously look at that," added Condon.

KREM 2 News asked the Mayor if his approach on cutting two years in a row will have a long term impact on the City's budget. He said it is making a difference because the shortfall is smaller but cannot say if he knows when the city will stop making cuts.

"We need to make those tough decisions, you know in one year we substantially shortened that shortfall," said Condon.

The Mayor also announced that he wants to public more involved with a telephone town hall meeting in June, a new website for the budget launching in August, and making the line-item draft available a month earlier.

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