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The mayor of Lansing plans to lay off 20% of the city’s workforce – including nearly 150 public safety officers – in order to close a projected $20 million deficit, the Lansing State Journal reports.Lansing, like many other Michigan cities, faces a gaping budget shortfall as a result of falling property values and newly-elected Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed cuts to state municipal aid.
To plug the budget holes, Mayor Virg Bernero has proposed drastic spending cuts, including:
- Laying off 78 police officers from the city’s 245-member force, including 11 detectives from the investigations unit.
- Closing three of Lansing’s eight fire stations and slashing 71 fire department positions.
- Eliminating all neighbourhood watch and school liaison officers.
- Shrinking the number of code enforcement officers and housing inspectors.
- Slashing $4 million for sewer, road and parks maintenance.
Bernero has asked voters to support a property tax increase that he says will allow the city to keep some of the police and fire department positions, according to the Michigan Messenger. The mayor is also seeking concessions from the Lansing’s public worker unions that could lessen the severity of his proposed budget cuts.
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