City Hall

"We'd Love to See a Counterproposal"

By Erica C. Barnett November 1, 2010

At a press availability about the latest tunnel news on Friday, I got a chance to ask Mayor Mike McGinn (again) about whether he planned to identify any specific priorities for budget cuts.

The city council, facing a $67 million 2011 shortfall, has indicated it plans to eliminate some of McGinn's revenue proposals from the budget he submitted in September---specifically, a five-point increase in the commercial parking tax and an increase in parking-meter rates to $4 downtown, both of which McGinn proposed would pay for his Walk Bike Ride initiative. McGinn has so far declined to say where the council should cut, prompting council president Richard Conlin to quip, "I guess Walk Bike Ride is his lowest priority."

Asked again if he would identify priorities for cuts rather than let the council slash his budget indiscriminately, McGinn demurred.

"If they want to come back with a counterproposal, we'd love to see a counterproposal from them," he said. "The transportation budget is really in distress [and] we are trying to say, 'These are the things that we will not be able to fund without" the new taxes and fees.

The council's counterargument is that cutting the parking tax doesn't automatically mean cutting Walk Bike Ride: The city could choose to cut from any program in the budget, and claim they would find cuts elsewhere if McGinn said Walk Bike Ride was his top priority.

Responding to that argument, McGinn said, "We've already squeezed the budget kind of hard already. ... There's just not a whole lot more squeezing to be done."
Filed under
Show Comments