Drop $50 million from budget, Council tells Herenton - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Drop $50 million from budget, Council tells Herenton

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Monday night, the Memphis City Council told Mayor Willie Herenton his proposed $617 million budget won't cut it.

Click here to read the proposed budget.

"Everyone is making the sacrifice," council member Bill Morrison said. "How can we as leaders of the city not do the same thing with the city government?"

Though the administration has already cut the budget by one percent since last year, they're heading back to the drawing board to cut more.
"To establish a new baseline, I simply made the motion to send it back for a $50M cut so we can really see the impact to the citizens of Memphis," Morrison said. "What fifty million looks like and we could work forwards or backwards on how we want to do it."

Tuesday, Memphis CAO Keith McGee said people will feel the cuts.

"The service delivery will be impacted with that level of reductions that are made," he said.

The $50 million could cause pay cuts, layoffs or scaled back city services.

"I think every division is going to feel some cuts," Morrison said.

"Police and fire, public works, community enhancement, public service...that's where the conversation will take place," McGee added.

Morrison says approving the budget will be a balancing act.

"The question is, where can we minimize the impact and still have real savings for our citizens?" Morrison asked.

"You can't reduce the level of funding," McGee said. "You can't reduce the level of personnel without some impact."

Morrison expects the Council to meet its deadline before the fiscal year ends June 30th.

The city administration has until May 18th to return the budget, minus $50 million.

The money has nothing to do with school funding - the city and Memphis City Schools are still fighting in court over who will be responsible for funding the school system.

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