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Posted on Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 6 a.m.

Ann Arbor city administrator unveils 2010-11 budget recommendations

By Ryan J. Stanton


City Administrator Roger Fraser and his staff will present the city's 2010-11 budget tonight at a town hall forum. The budget includes eliminating 20 positions in the fire department and 20 positions in the police department.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Ann Arbor City Administrator Roger Fraser is expected to lay out his recommended 2010-11 budget at a town hall forum tonight. But even after trimming millions of dollars, his plan doesn't entirely close the city's projected budget gap.

The 240-page budget document obtained by outlines Fraser's proposals to reduce city services and cut costs with little reliance on new revenue.

Ann Arbor residents are invited to attend tonight's town hall meeting from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at CTN's studios at 2805 S. Industrial Highway. Fraser and other city officials plan to answer questions after the budget is presented.

Fraser's budget recommends reducing the city's work force from 766 to 706 full-time employees. He proposes the following job eliminations:

  • 20 in police services
  • 20 in fire services
  • 10 in public services
  • 6 in community services
  • 2 in 15th District Court
  • 1 in the attorney's office
  • 1 in financial and administrative services

Reductions in staffing levels — combined with other cuts — have closed most of the $5.2 million gap. But even with general fund expenditures reduced to $77.88 million, Fraser's budget still leaves a $1.53 million deficit for the next fiscal year.

Fraser points out several lingering issues could have a material impact on the budget. Those include a potential $2 million transfer from the Downtown Development Authority, a special assessment district for the cost of street lighting, an increase in parking fines, and results of new DDA parking system recommendations.


Fraser also notes next year's general fund budget has $3 million in one-time expenses. Minus those costs, the general fund is structurally balanced with $74.86 million in recurring expenses and $76.35 million in recurring revenues.

Fraser said his staff has worked to reduce recurring expenditures by $6.36 million — or 7.8 percent — compared to fiscal year 2009-10. But recurring revenues also are decreasing by $8.16 million, or 9.7 percent.

The city's undesignated fund balance as of last June was $10.67 million, which could absorb the deficit if money from the DDA and other sources doesn't materialize.

"This proposal has been difficult to prepare in light of the hard choices that need to be made in order to present a balanced plan," Fraser wrote to the mayor and council members in his budget memo this week.


"It is tedious and painful work to prepare a budget when the economic times are so very bleak, as now. We know that our job is to serve the citizens of Ann Arbor in the very best way possible with the money we have available. Getting to consensus around an expenditure plan is more difficult than ever when the choices look and feel draconian."

As directed by the City Council, Fraser's budget includes a 3 percent reduction in total compensation for all nonunion employees, including himself.

Fraser said while the city has been able to reduce compensation costs for salaried and fire department employees, negotiations with the rest of the city's bargaining units remain ongoing. The firefighters union agreed to a 4 percent reduction in pay in its last contract in exchange for the promise of no layoffs through June. It now appears layoffs will be forthcoming starting July 1 under Fraser's budget.

Fire department spending is being trimmed to $12.34 million, about a $1.85 million — or 13 percent — reduction from the amount budgeted at the start of 2009-10. The number of full-time employees is dropping from 94 to 74.

Police department spending is being trimmed to $24.71 million, about a $1.75 million — or 6.6 percent — reduction from the amount budgeted at the start of 2009-10. The number of full-time employees is dropping from 182 to 162.

Overall, the city's spending on public safety is being reduced by $3.6 million — or about 8.9 percent. It marks the first time in several years that the fire department has seen notable cuts. 

The police department has been cutting back for the last several years, dropping from 210 full-time employees just two years ago to the 162 now proposed in next year's budget.


Fraser's proposal shows the budget for the mayor and council growing from $348,917 to $354,818 next year, largely due to an increase in transfers to the city's information technology fund.

The Ann Arbor City Council will get to make changes to the budget before it is finalized and adopted. Fraser plans to go over the budget in detail at the council's next meeting at 7 p.m. April 19.

A public hearing on the budget is planned when the council meets again at 7 p.m. May 3. The council then meets one more time at 7 p.m. May 10 for a work session before the budget is adopted May 17.

Fraser said the state of Michigan and the city of Ann Arbor continue to face serious challenges. He points out municipalities likely will be the last entities to recover due to a lag in property tax revenue increases.

The city's reliance on property taxes continues to increase as other forms of revenue — such as state-shared revenue — decrease or remain flat. At the beginning of this decade, the city received more than $14 million annually from the state. By last year, that had dropped to about $10.7 million, then down to $9.1 million this year. Fraser's budget has that going down to $8.2 million next year.

Compounding the city's problem, Fraser said, property tax revenue is on a decline driven by a negative inflation rate, a weak real estate market resulting in lower taxable values, and the removal of the former Pfizer property from the city's tax rolls due to its acquisition by the University of Michigan.

In addition, the city will see increased costs for retiree pensions and health care next year, Fraser said.

"As the city adapts to the economic environment, it is important to remember the many changes city government has already undertaken over the past decade," Fraser said. "Virtually every area of the city has been restructured and reorganized. Staffing levels ... have fallen from 1,005 to 706 FTEs."

Total spending across all city funds in 2010-11 is budgeted at $341.9 million, while $359.9 million is shown on the revenue side. Though the general fund shows a deficit at this point, other funds collectively show an $18 million surplus.

Tom Crawford, the city's chief financial officer, said despite the fact that some funds will show a surplus next year, many of those are restricted funds that can't be tapped to balance the general fund. The surplus is scattered across funds like the pension, employee benefits, water and sewer. Each has restrictions on its use.

Here's a look at some of the key impacts in the general fund under the proposed budget for 2010-11:

Community Services

  • Reduce funding to nonprofit organizations (-$260k)
  • Eliminate transfer to affordable housing fund (-$100k)
  • Restructure planning and development, including eliminating one full-time employee (-$75k)
  • Keep Mack Pool and the senior center open while incorporating task force recommendations (-$140k per year versus prior year's operating budget)
  • Increase various parks and recreation fees ($60k)
  • Allow football parking at Allmendinger and Frisinger parks ($34k)
  • Increase select planning and development rental housing inspection fees ($70k)

Public Services

  • Lengthen mowing cycle from 19 to 23 days, but keep hand trimming (-$112k)
  • Eliminate maintenance in 17 parks, except for right-of-way (-$52k)
  • De-energize certain lighting on DTE poles (-$120k)
  • Shift right-of-way tree planting to storm water fund (-$142k)
  • Implement loading zone fees ($20k)
  • Parking revenue from 415 W. Washington and S. Fifth Ave. surface lots ($180k)
  • Increased facility operating expenditures reflecting new court/police building ($277k expense)
  • Remove plan for installation of new parking meters, except Depot Street (-$449k)

Financial Services

  • Eliminate vacant budget office position (-$90k)
  • Reallocate accounting position to new financial system project (-$82k)
  • Eliminate professional consulting except auditor, fraud hotline and labor work (-$65k)
  • Recognize cost savings from installation of new phone system (-$165k)

Safety Services

  • Eliminate 15 FTEs in police (one vacant) in addition to five vacancies mid-year 2010 (-$1.6 million)
  • Reduce police vehicles (-$270k)
  • Reduce 20 FTEs (one vacant) in fire (-$2 million)

City Clerk

  • Eliminate publishing costs (-$24k)
  • Eliminate overtime by closing service window on Fridays during elections (-$17k)

District Court

  • Hourly staff work week reduced to 37.5 hours per week
  • Salaries for magistrate, court administrator, deputy administrator and probation supervisor reduced by 3 percent, financial manager to $55k
  • Eliminate three FTEs (two vacant), including one after move-in to new building

Other Funds
Outside of the general fund, Fraser has outlined the following actions that could further change the way the city provides services:

  • Issue a request for proposals for private sector management of Huron Hills Golf Course
  • Evaluate if Huron Hills Golf Course can be self-sustaining with privatized management
  • Parks millage resolution — eliminate the provision for automatic 3 percent increases for Natural Area Preservation
  • Repurpose an FTE in parks to coordinate citizen volunteers to help keep parks clean
  • Reopen discussions with Ann Arbor Public Schools and Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation about opportunities for collaboration/consolidation
  • Optimize parks capital improvements using a guideline to focus on improvements that reduce operating costs
  • Reorganize planning and development, but continue to explore outsourcing inspections, plan review and planning
  • Change leaf pick-up service to eliminate on-street pick-up
  • Analyze and recommend whether solid waste collection can be franchised and privatized
  • Outsource compost operations
  • Talk with council about revenue options for future years

Tonight's meeting will be taped for later replay on Channel 16. Visit the city's website at for replay details or visit for online video on demand replay options.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government for Reach him at or 734-623-2529.



Thu, Apr 8, 2010 : 4:55 a.m.

Bruno, try reading the story before commenting. Public safety is being cut to the bone. Not that you should care. It's not like police and fire do anything for you, right? So you'd probably be all for having 1 or 2 cops on the streets and closing a couple of fire stations. I mean, what could it hurt YOU? Right? It's folks like you and Fraser that make me proud to come to work to risk everything. Thanks for your support. Wish I could offer you the same 'support' the next time you dial 911. But then that would make me sink to your level, and we're all too professional to do that. So please... continue with your great comments towards the folks that are losing their jobs so that the Mayor and council can continue to build their towers and pet projects.


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 9:44 p.m.

congratulations unions- your stealth actions survive another year...just imagine that general fund balance without your bloated costs. we would all be rich like your brothers and sisters retired- pardon me, those retired and those retired and milking another job off the public sector because they found a loop hole in the public system to retire early in age and find another income source while in their 40s, 50s, even 30s....congrats again!


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 8:05 p.m.

Mr. Stanton - Regrettably, Mr. Crawford's comments have significantly muddied an otherwise clean issue and discussion. A tall but commendable task for you is to concisely explain the Crawford-Fraser discrepancies. Hopefully, you can explain it once, with clarity and brevity, and then link to it as needed. The community will benefit from that explanation, likely for years to come. Thank you for your efforts.


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 5:59 p.m.

Ryan, Wouldn't money paid to the pension and veba, etc.. be considered an expenditure and be included in that 341.9 figure?

Dominick Lanza

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 4:12 p.m.

"I received clarification from Tom Crawford, the city's chief financial officer, that $359.9 million is the total revenue and $341.9 million is total expenditures in the 2010-11 budget." Thats almost 18 million more than expenses almost 6 times what we are alledgedly "short". Firefighters gave 4% thats not just 4% today thats 4% forever they were the only union to do so now they are looking at losing over 21% of their workforce do those left over get their 4% back. Those numbers would lead to the closing of one or two fire stations! How many deaths would we have had Saturday morning with less staffing? As it was we depended on Pittsfield Township who sent all their on duty personnel. A family member of mine works at AAFD and tells me they are totally demoralized by their lack of a future. We just hired a new Fire Chief how come he isnt given the oppurtunity to try other ways to save money? Poor guy he just got here now he has to give out the pink slips, bet he's glad he came. Cuts in police staffing are less than 12% but still cause concern but the officers took no pay cuts like the fire fighters and the firefighters are rewarded with twice the percentage of layoffs. Firefighters and police are easy targets because many are long time employees and that is how the get those salaries time on the job. Other city employees receive parking subsidies, free insurance, free bus rides and on and on and on. Lets cut all the freebies and see where that takes us. Bottom line Fraser has it in for Police and Fire so they will be the whipping boys

Vivienne Armentrout

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 3:41 p.m.

Every time I drive by that city hall under construction, it is like a slap in the face. We have squandered our savings and continue to invest in problematical adventures like the underground parking at the Library Lot. Let's hope that we don't hear of a great new plan to invest city money in a conference center next.

Karen Sidney

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 3:20 p.m.

Budget speak can be pretty confusing. The budget revenue and expense numbers include items that most people would not consider revenue or expense. For example, if the city borrows $50 million for a capital project, the $50 million is included in revenue. If the city transfers money from one fund to another, that transfer is revenue to the fund receiving the cash and an expense to the fund paying the cash. If the city needs to dip into reserves to pay for all the expenses, the amount taken from the reserves is revenue. The city audits do not include these items as revenue and expenses, which is why the total revenue and expenses on the audited statements is about half the amount shown in the budget. Another item that is important to understand is the meaning of budget cuts. The starting point of budget cuts is what the city would like to spend as determined by guidelines set by the city administrator, not what the city spent in the prior year. My observation is that some departments, like the city attorney, get more generous budgets than others. The calculation of savings from pay cuts is complex. I think the average compensation number of $103,000 includes both salaries and benefits. The benefit number for retirement benefits allocated to active city employees includes money to pay for legacy costs- the cost for employees that have already retired. When the actuary determines the required benefit contribution, he or she tries to make that figure a level percent of payroll of active employees. With all the early retirement programs, there are now more retirees than active employees so the percent of active employee pay that must go to retirement benefits keeps going up. The increase does not necessarily benefit current employees because a lot of it is to pay for the cost of the early retirements. Legally, it's hard to reduce benefits of retirees. If the city's goal is to reduce total compensation by 3%,it means that current employees will have to take pay cuts much larger than 3% to cover the cost of the early retirements and the city's failure to reform its benefit program.

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 2:19 p.m.

@AACity12 I posed your question to Tom Crawford and got this response via e-mail: "Some of the funds will show a surplus but as you'll recall when you add multiple funds together you start mixing funds in restricted funds. In this case $6 mil. is in pension, $4 mil. in VEBA, $3 in Water, $3 mil. in Sewer. Those are the big ones in the $18 mil. Each of these funds have restrictions on their use."


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 1:53 p.m.

Seems as though a 3% cut to Mr. Fraser's pay will not cause him the grief it will cost an employee in the mid range of the pay scales. Perhaps the bite should be equivalent at each level. Doesn't appear to be many cuts in the social agenda areas the council treasures. Well maybe they pay for themselves. I hope the million dollar fountain is dedicated to those who will suffer from cuts in public safety.


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 1:06 p.m.

This is so old. Council people conduct surveys of the public and the top of the list is always the same... public safety. The city is having a rash of fires lately, one of them being fatal. So what's Fraser do? Cut safety services. Just how large does the mallet need to be to smack some sense into him and city council? Typical government... no matter what the citizens tell you is important, just do what you want anyway. That's been clear from the get-go with all of their spending. Roger wants to cut costs... remember his "no sacred cows" speech? But yet he won't take a pay cut. Highest paid person in the city and won't take a pay cut. This city's leadership is pretty sad. I'd like to write what I really think of them, but I'm sure the post would have to be removed.

Boy Scout

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 12:40 p.m.

A golf course operations subsidy of $519,074? SELL! That would save a few of the police officers or firemen. And many of our neighboring townships do not provide on-street leaf pick-up. Bag 'em yourself!


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 12:26 p.m.

It's ridiculous to consider such a huge reduction in our police and fire personnel. Were these employees never needed in the first place? Or is this a scare tactic our politicians are using to get us to approve a tax increase?


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 12:25 p.m.

I question Mr Fraser's Police and Fire employee cuts. Police and Fire make up 36% of the workforce and will be cut 15%. All other employees make up 64% and will be cut 4%. This is your typical scare and revenge tactic played by the city governments. People value safety, while Ann Rbor values a new city hall. Get the picture. Nobody voted for that statue to themselves. The city hid that money in the general fund, then, oh look what we have, free money to do what we want with. Now, surprise surprise, we're short and will have to cut taxpayer services. I say bunk. I demand my money gets spent to protect and serve me and my neighbors. You taxayers, stand up and tell your representatives enough already. We want non-necessary services cut, wasteful planning costs (I've seen those proposal budgets. Who gets that much for proposals, except your friends.), unnecessary improvement (This is not a time for new beautification projects), etc. Enough already!


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 12:18 p.m.

The average employee does not make 66,000 actually that figure is on the high end of the pay scales they pay scales varies from 29,790 up to 72,555 depending on your job. So if you were to average those two numbers you would come up with 51172.50 per year average. I am thinking more employees are more than likely towards the middle of the pay scale not at the top end thus the average is more than likely 40-45K per year. Note this does not include overtime pay. Also the city recently gave out early retiment to police which cost them about 5 million. Now they are 5 million in the hole and expects everyone to take cuts to make up for their decisions. Also I am pretty sure everyone know what they did to the fire department so who in their right mind would agree to any paycuts.


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 12:08 p.m.

Ryan, With the figures you just posted wouldn't that give the city 18 million in surplus? What am I missing?

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 11:57 a.m.

I'll also note that I'm sitting in the DDA's monthly board meeting right now and Roger Hewitt just announced there should be a recommendation coming to committee for discussion later this month regarding a mutually beneficial agreement between the city and the DDA (the potential $2 million transfer). He had no other details to share.

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 11:54 a.m.

I received clarification from Tom Crawford, the city's chief financial officer, that $359.9 million is the total revenue and $341.9 million is total expenditures in the 2010-11 budget.


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 11:43 a.m.

Oh puh-leez people! This is the same union that fleeced the City (= taxpayers) by taking advantage of a contract loophole by promoting staff in rank immediately before retirement. The result? Municipal staff with a pension far in excess of what they were entitled to receive. Now active staff are taking a 3 or 4 percent cut? I', in the private sector, have been on a 10% cut for over a year - welcome to the Real World!


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 11:16 a.m.

@David Cahill. It looks right to me. How do we get the cuts? The vast majority of City employees are Union workers with contracts. Fraser has made it unlikely that they will deal after the fire fiasco. I suspect that to reach the 8% you will have to layoff. That means a minimum of another 16 cops and 7 firefighters assuming you can make these cuts across the board. Based on the above figures it doesn't look like other departments can be cut as deeply so it would probably be more. It would seem the only real solution is to look elsewhere. We need a regional fire department and the City should look to contract with the Sherriff for police services. Council took the latter option off the table early in the budget process. But creative choices must be made. 911 is already looking to combine at a HVA facility. County and City IT are combining. Perhaps the same could be done for road maintenance, water, sewer, solid waste. This would reduce the need for multiple administrators at the top level and simplify bookkeeping. Less overhead and cheaper labor.


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 11:16 a.m.

I'm so very happy to be here in Ann Arbor. Our founding fathers as well as those good folks over time whom have been dedicated in service for all's well beeing I thank. My question would be to see a very brief review of proposed budgets in the past 20 years. Thank you, Dawn


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 11:12 a.m.

Plubius makes an interesting point. Why are "servants" making so much...? The simple answer is that over the years the city has agreed to contracts that made a lot of comfortable incomes. The people negotiating always ask for the moon and hope for the best. I am not familiar with AFSCME contracts but police and fire personnel make a compelling argument when they show how short our life spans tend to be after retirement due to the stresses of our jobs throughout a 25 year career. That is why some communities have 20 career plans. Keep in mind that both sides of any negotiating table have to agree to terms before anyone gets paid, including the lawyers.


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 10:23 a.m.

Ryan, Thanks for pointing out the absurdity of the situation. "the average active employee costs the city $103,769". This is the problem. Assuming that benefits are 50% of base salary (which is itself an absurdly high value), then the average annual salary is ~$66k. That is far above the median for the region. Salaries should be cut - immediately - by 10% this year and probably again next. Why are we paying our 'servants' so much more than we are earning ourselves?

David Cahill

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 10:17 a.m.

Great! Thanks, Ryan! Now, let's see. According to Ms. Sidney, police/fire staff cuts are $3.6 million. The City can make up this amount by cutting over-all compensation an extra 5 percentage points, saving $3.97 million. So if over-all compensation is cut by 3 percentage points (the current recommendation), plus that extra 5 percentage points, the cut would be 8 percentage points. If I have done my figuring correctly, an 8 percentage point cut in total employee compensation would generate enough savings to prevent all the layoffs. Could people please check this? Am I at least approximately correct?


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 10:16 a.m.

Geez - balancing this budget is trivially easy - cut AATA. If it is not revenue neutral, then get rid of it. Also, it should be easy to trim from the Administrative budget - the fewer people in that group, the more efficiently the whole system will operate.


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 10:13 a.m.

Thank you, Ryan. Paycuts make more sense than layoffs. Especially for emergency personnel because you cannot entirely anticipate the overtime budget. Reducing staff increases the likelyhood of overtime. I just don't see how you get the Unions to comply with cuts after the way the Fire union was treated. As an old union man I would predict that their memberships won't support any deal without some serious guarantees against layoffs long term. And I don't see how the City can give those assurances in the current fiscal climate. In the interim the problem won't be fixed and the citizens will suffer with higher cost or less service. Sadly, Roger Fraser's negotiating style has hurt the City for years to come. Probably long after he has taken his money and run.

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 9:54 a.m.

@David Cahill As we reported in a previous article that is linked to in this story, the average active employee costs the city $103,769 in next year's budget in base salary and benefits. If you consider there are 766 employees right now, that's $79.5 million in total compensation (not including temporary pay, overtime, comp time, severance pay, sick leave and accrued leave costs). By each percent you reduce compensation, you theoretically save about $794,870. So, let's do some math: 2 percent = $1.59 million 3 percent = $2.38 million 5 percent = $3.97 million 10 percent = $7.95 million

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 9:31 a.m.

Here's a link to the budget: I certainly anticipate this being the first of several stories to come analyzing the budget. There are questions I have and I will be there to ask them at tonight's meeting.

Stop & Think

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 9:20 a.m.

Thank you Karen!!!! Good Research!

Karen Sidney

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 8:59 a.m.

Ryan, are you going to post a link to the budget document? There seem to be some changes from the detailed budget information posted on the city's data catalog The non recurring items include $150,000 for a loan payment on First and Washington. Does anyone know what that's about? I don't consider a loan payment non recurring and I did not think there was any debt on First and Washington. Proposed staff cuts to police and fire are $3.6 million. If the city used the latest (3/26/10) revenue sharing estimate from the House Fiscal Agency ($9.253 million) instead of $8.205 million and the city assumed the DDA parking fund would continue to pay $2 million in annual rent to the city, there would be no need for police and fire layoffs.

David Cahill

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 8:47 a.m.

Could do a bit of budget analysis on personnel costs? City Council asked Fraser to cut compensation by a minimum of 3%. So he picked the minimum. For each percentage point cut in personnel compensation, how much would be saved? For example, how much would be saved by an additional two percentage point cut, to 5%? And how much would be save by an additional seven percentage point cut, to 10%? (10% was the most popular cut in's insta-poll.) How many police/fire positions could be saved by cutting total personnel costs by 5%? By 10%?

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 8:46 a.m.

MICHIGAN "The Great Recession State". And don't forget - EVERY city prediction for revenues will be OVER ESTIMATED for the foreseeable future. Planning should be cut. Parks and recreation centers should be leased out or sold off. Zoning should be streamlined to a total of 3-4 districts - City approvals should be "EXPEDITED" to 48 hours or less. Ann Arbor should be "Open for BUSINESS".

Stop & Think

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 8:38 a.m.

Well, well, still going to cut Fire & Police? When is the rest of the city going to take a pay cut Mr Fraser? The Fire Dept took one for the gipper (4%) and yet you sit there waiting for your "palace" to be done fat & happy. I hope you understand that the insurance rates for the people of A2 will go up (just check with your provider, it is true!) and know that more lives will be compromized because there won't be anyone there to respond. Shame, shame Fraser.....don't expect the Union to budge now. Guess golf is more important that police & fire. What a joke.


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 8:34 a.m.

No big surprises here... Just days after a tragic fatal fire, the almighty Fraser explains how he wants to cut police and fire personnel. How many years have the most senior people been there that face these cuts? The citizens of Ann Arbor really need to be careful what they do here. With that type of cutting, the people on the front lines will not be able to provide the service that they have come to expect (even demand). And those who still have their jobs will undoubtedly be in more dangerous situations just trying to do their basic job functions. Fraser should really ride a fire truck for 24 hours some time. I hear Scio always has open seating, since they only carry 1 fireman at a time.

Blue Eyes

Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 7:45 a.m.

So we're going to cut 40 people from Police and Fire - essential services - but keep master plan update, corridor design standards and zoning code revision? Keep 3 planning items totalling $250,000 and a park subsidy of $591,074 so our safety can be jeopardized? You've got to be kidding! Take a page from the County and eliminate these planning costs!!!!!


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 7:43 a.m.

The cuts can't come soon enough. They financial problem will only be getting worse, so A2 needs to be proactive. I wish the government and administration would have been this proactive in the past. Every year, it seems as though government feels the need to spend every penny it has, regardless of whether it is needed or not. Clearly, A2 had tremendous levels of waste that nobody really cared about because taxpayers kept writing blank checks. Glad things are changing - about time...


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 7:42 a.m.

Not enough attention was paid to divestingitself of the cities public parks and golf course ownership.Real sinkholes in the budget............LT


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 6:56 a.m.

"Fraser's proposal shows the budget for the mayor and council growing from $348,917 to $354,818 next year, largely due to an increase in transfers to the city's information technology fund." Why does I.T. get more expensive when you keep reducing all the other services? If you have less staff to provide technology to, shouldn't the cost go down? Or is I.T. cross training to fill potholes?


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 6:09 a.m.

Two thoughts. Has anyone checked what the average increase in home insurance will be when the fire department downrated? and After years of cut backs he is cutting the police department another 23% over the last two years? Apparently there was gross mismanagement up to the last couple of years with LOTS of extra 'padded' spots. Or maybe they think if the crime rate goes up they can squeeze a few more bucks from the taxpayers.... But then I just don't trust politicians.


Wed, Apr 7, 2010 : 5:49 a.m.

I can't see anything there about the ongoing financing of the loss making Ann Arbor City Airport, or the council costs for the proposed expansion. Is this on a different budget, or are the payments made on an ad hoc basis from the general fund? Who thinks private jet travel is going to be a growth industry in the coming years? I would be devastated were I a member of our valued police and fire departments and this proposal was still going forward in the current economic environment. Lets see sense: Stop the proposed Ann Arbor Airport expansion.