Parker Gets Very, Very Gloomy About the Budget

If you're making a list of "First sentences you don't want to read in memos," it would have to include "There is no easy way to deliver the news you are receiving today."

But that's the way Mayor Annise Parker led off a grim summary to the council and city department heads about the continuing budget crunch and looming layoffs.

Check out the language: "Our tough economic times have gotten tougher and it will mean some extremely difficult, if not brutal, decisions...I know this will be tough. Tough not only for the employees who deliver City services, but also for the residents of this great city."

Instead of an across-the-board 8 percent cut, Parker says she is proposing cuts ranging from 5 to 27.26 percent, "with what I consider our most essential life and safety services -- police, fire, municipal courts and solid waste -- being on the low end of that scale."

You can check out the scale here. Among those on the 27.26 percent end of the scale: Libraries.

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