Council Looks To Mayor's Financial Team To Help Make Cuts - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Council Looks To Mayor's Financial Team To Help Make Cuts

Monday city council reacted to the mayor's announcement Friday that in the next budget year, Lansing could be facing an $11 million dollar deficit.

Council members say communication will be in key in deciding which programs will be cut.

"I knew there was a deficit because we came into this year with a deficit, but I was surprised at 11 million," said First Ward Council Member Jody Washington.

Council member Jody Washington says she hopes the mayor has an open mind when deciding what stays and what goes.

"We are continuously hearing it's all about the city workers, it's their pension, it's their benefits, it's their pay, and we don't here anything else except lets sell another park," Washington said.

Selling off assets and poor contracts with the city's unions are reasons why council member Carol Wood says the city has been in a downward spiral of debt for the past seven years.

"They no more than settled their contract and two weeks later were asked to give up furlough days," said At-Large Council Member Carol Wood.

Wood added, "How do you say in one breath that you have got enough money to pay for this contract and the next breath say I don't have enough money."

Washington says those choices leave only one option, eliminating programs.

"I personally don't think we need Sister Cities, I don't think we need to be paying a Reverend for faith based initiatives, but when I suggested those, the mayor told me in a nutshell, I was foolish and didn't realize how important those were," Washington said.

Foolish or not, Washington says cuts are the way and will look to the Mayor's financial team for help in making them.

City Council members tabled the discussion on the budget, until next week's committee of a whole meeting.

That meeting will start at 5:30pm at City Hall.

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