McFall Expresses Concern Over City’s 2010 Budget

Promises, when Mayor, she will make sure the City will “live within its means”

As a candidate for Mayor, I have a great concern about the Fiscal Year 2010 budget adopted Monday night by the City Council.  The new budget will take effect July 1 of this year.  After weeks of deliberation, the City Council barely cut anything from the budget proposed by the Mayor, and in fact, more expenses were added by the Council.  These expenses were covered by issuing $4.6M in more bonds, thus taking on even more debt.  This was done despite the fact that City revenues are declining, City reserves have been reduced to dangerously low levels and City indebtedness has been increasing significantly each year.

“This is like a family that keeps on spending after its income has been reduced, and instead of making serious cuts in their expenses, they dip into their savings and charge what they can’t afford to their credit cards.  This is essentially what the City has been doing and it threatens to put the City in great future peril.”

Even with the record spending in this budget, not all of the basic needs of the City are included.  Funds for sidewalk repairs that the City took responsibility for last year still has no funding source. The operating costs of the new City recreational center have not been fully covered and the Market House’s remaining lawsuits, other remodeling and legal expenses are not included. I believe that this means a future of tough choices for the next Mayor and City Council—and for the citizens of Annapolis.

“As Mayor, I will undertake a complete top to bottom review of our spending and insist on realistic long range projections of what we have to spend. I will produce a truly balanced budget for our City, not one balanced through dipping into our reserves and increasingly going into the bond market to cover our expenses. We will live within our means and we will attend to the basics first of public safety, sound infrastructure, streets, sidewalks and City services.”

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