Council member says cuts likely coming to city budget

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The economic crisis could force the City of Memphis to make some drastic budget cuts.

Changes are coming to the city of Memphis, but it may not be the kind of change people want.  Monday, Memphis City Council members said they're not trimming the fat, but cutting into the muscle with the upcoming budget talks next year.

At a City Council retreat over the weekend, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton addressed council members about the budget shortfall next year, and how to balance the budget without a tax increase.

City leaders are encouraged to be talking about this issue right now, but nonetheless there remains big concern about how to tackle the projected shortfall.

The mayor and city leaders talked about buyouts for certain employees, changes in benefits for city workers, and consolidating more aspects of government.

"We have a lot of opportunity here, but to seize that opportunity, there is going to be some pain involved," council member Shea Flinn said.

The one area that many council members do not want to cut is police and fire.

In the next 30 days, Mayor Herenton said, he will get more specific about cuts and budget adjustments next year.

Click here to send an email to Andrew Douglas.