Budget Cuts Coming for Meridian

Cuts are coming in Meridian's budget. During the Meridian City Council's first meeting of 2010, Mayor Cheri Barry said that's the reality. Just how much is still unknown.

Chief administrative officer mark McDonald says there could be an across the board cut for departments for as much as 5%.

"As long as the revenues continue to decline, our expenditures are going to have to decline," McDonald.

"Our sales tax revenue is continuously going down," said Barry. "We have another week before our November figures will come in, and we're hoping that they're going to be a little bit higher. But we just don't know yet. So, we've got to prepare for the worst and plan for the best."

Although Barry says a 5% across the board cut for departments is possible, she says its still not a done deal. However, she says what is for sure is that some cuts are coming.

"Being realistic, you know that there are some departments like parks and recreation, maybe the fire department, where 5% is just going to really put them in a tight," said McDonald. "So, some may give 3%. Some may give 6%, depending on where those revenues are."

"Just looking at ways that we can save the taxpayers without having to do away with our job positions, but that would be our next stop, alleviating jobs, and we hope we don't have to get to that point," Barry said.

Within the next two months Barry is expected to make her recommendation for cuts to the city council. It's ultimately up to the council to decide how much in cuts, or even if any are made.

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  • by Anonymous on Jan 10, 2010 at 08:20 PM
    yes the fat as you say is being cut but the trouble is the fine print as like the 3ft. project Marion water drama and the rest.. this old administration did well in hiding the fine print and the city council did well turning a blind eye to alot .. so now its up to who is in there to plow through the mess with out getting the city sued up the butt for years to come..
  • by Richard Location: Meridian on Jan 8, 2010 at 04:33 PM
    Here is a great idea: Our city council needs to fire the Public Works Director(Monty Jackson) and sue the previous city attorney for the outlandishly corrupt contracts that were signed to undermined the people of Meridian. Read this excerpt from the Meridian Star, "Monty Jackson, with the third highest salary, is the city's public works director." The article goes on to explain, "As director of public works Jackson oversees the city's water supply and wastewater treatment, streets and traffic signals, and garbage disposal, among other things. The public works department is also in charge of Bonita Lakes because it is considered part of the city's water supply. Large contracted public works projects, such as the current 22nd Ave. bridge renovation, also fall under Jackson's supervision." Why does this guy still have a job??????????????????? Cut out the fat, keep the meat.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 8, 2010 at 02:53 PM
    well then you should know well you take over another company you find things not disclosed as it should had been as time moves on also you find liens and such as well ... so you land up owning the troubles and have to work through them and you assign those that can handle the troubles and have full understanding it takes time even with those that are trusted and know their jobs assigned.
  • by tired on Jan 7, 2010 at 10:38 AM
    to anonymous... i have a degree in business, i have owned and operated a business here in Meridian... i know that jr was at fault for a lot of this mess but nobody can honestly say that the new mayor hasnt made new jobs for her pets, and that her strings arent being pulled as much as jrs ever were... or worse... show me the company you keep and i will tell you who you are...
  • by Anonymous on Jan 6, 2010 at 11:03 PM
    tired get a life go to MCC there are pell grants learn about business you are just the fools that followed the last mayor like she sheep you are that caused this mess but like most Dem. to this day all things go bad its Reagan/Bush fault when those are in charge are causing all this mess.. but it is said better to let others think you are a fool then open mouth and prove it
  • by Laura Location: Meridian on Jan 6, 2010 at 07:41 AM
    I 100% agree with "Anonymous" about our previous mayor, John Robert Smith. As I have stated before, without reservation,he did us all more harm than good in so many areas over the years---but you all kept electing him time after time after time. Now, we are reaping the "benefits". He was in the job for his own self-aggrandizement---we are going to be paying for his idiotic actions for many years to come. Now---aren't you sorry you voted for him?
  • by tired Location: and fed up on Jan 6, 2010 at 06:34 AM
    gee... here's an idea... why doesnt our dear mayor just lay off the pets she put in positions just to tell her how wonderful she is... oh wait... i forgot. she doesnt make her own decisions... she has a senile attorney and a political wanna be pulling her strings.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 5, 2010 at 08:41 PM
    well as the city fools did in the past was set up the pay it cant be cut.. was a bright idea of the last mayor and city council.. and as far as cuts to the city employees time to toss out those that havent been pulling their weight.. when the old mayor expanded city line as he did he set up a short term window that looked great but again like the 3ft project no one saw the fine print... homes that had value lost it just being pulled in the city... and taxes are delayed a few years as well.. but the city has to by law provide... and all thought the guy was so so so great.. made a fool of all of the city didnt he
  • by voter Location: meridian on Jan 5, 2010 at 06:42 PM
    When money is tight you have to make hard decisions. The budget should be cut in areas that does not effect necessary services. How can you compare parks and recreations to the fire department? Their respective names should say enough. You do not have to have parks and recreation you do have to have a fire department. It would be nice if cuts were not needed but when the economy is down what else can you do. Meridian could do like obama and the democrats just keep spending? After all that is the government way right? One day there is a reckoning for all actions. Seriously cut without endangering required services.
  • by Al Location: Meridian on Jan 5, 2010 at 04:11 PM
    Why don't the Mayor and other high paid city employees take a 5% pay cut to help out with the budget
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