Wednesday, February 4, 2009
As cities around the San Diego region struggle to make mid - year budget cuts, a new report shows cities around the nation are searching for ways to maintain services. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.
Almost 70% of large cities around the country are resorting to hiring freezes and layoffs to deal with the current downturn.
Christy McFarland is with the National League of Cities which conducted the survey of more than 150 major cities. She says 80% of them report having more difficulty meeting local needs this year than last. She says they’re considering all their options.
"We’ve had a lot of calls from city officials wondering what are cities doing for their Forth of July events, are they cutting them or are they having them to the same extent as they have in the past?"
McFarland says about one in five cities are cutting special events, or closing libraries or parks to balance the budget.
Almost half of all cities report having trouble borrowing money because of the credit squeeze. That means capital improvements must be delayed.
Surveys show cities’ finances typically lag the overall economy by one or two years. More than 90% of finance officer expect to have trouble meeting community needs next year.
Alison St John, KPBS new