Because of the Maryland General Assembly adopted the so-called “doomsday” budget Baltimore may have to take its preliminary budget back to the drawing board.
During the Board of Estimates Taxpayers’ Night at the War Memorial Building on Wednesday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the state budget, which includes $512 million in cuts, would force the city to slash an additional $20.2 million from the city’s $2.3 billion preliminary operating budget.
"Here in Baltimore, we did our job and put together a balanced budget that protects our priorities like public safety, public education, and essential city services," Rawlings-Blake read from a statement. "I’m hopeful that the State leadership will work quickly in a special session to fix the state budget."
to give your opinion of the preliminary budget.
The mayor also called on residents to support a special session of the General Assembly so that new revenue measures—such as allowing table games at casinos and additional taxes—can be passed to prevent the cuts.
But residents who attended Taxpayers’ Night still had plenty of criticism of the mayor’s , which closes a projected $48 million deficit for fiscal year 2013 that begins on July 1. A few residents attended the meeting and the most were highly critical of the preliminary budget.
Carolyn Wainwright, of the city’s parks and recreation board, said that she was "frustrated" that major facilities could be closed to the detriment of children and families in the city.
Kim Trueheart spoke three times during the meeting and criticized the preliminary budget for a variety of reasons ranging from the Baltimore Development Corporation, to hiring city workers who live outside of Baltimore and the size of the Baltimore police budget.
"Get rid of the inflated police budget," Trueheart said.
Judith Kunst, a Remington resident, who serves on the Mayor’s Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission, urged the mayor to keep funding services for animals.
"I would like for you to very much keep funding for BARCS and animal control," Kunst said.
Tom Kiefaber, the former owner of the Senator Theatre, spoke about what he called the Board of Estimates corrupt way of doing business and criticized the Baltimore Development Corporation.
"Do your job; get rid of the BDC," Kiefaber said.