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Government

KC Budget Cuts Many Services

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Mayor Sly James defends next year's budget cuts and calls them fair.

A $7.6 million cut to the Fire Department budget drew the most debate Thursday as the Kansas City city council passed a city budget by a 12-1 margin.

But it wasn't the only item that some council members found it hard to swallow.

Council members lamented cuts to park mowing and street repairs.  Russ Johnson said lack of funds for bridge repairs could be as big a public safety issue as the fire department cuts. Cindy Circo, whose husband is a fireman, said voting for cuts to the fire department was the hardest decision she had ever made.  And Mayor Sly James called the $1.3 billion spending plan “a tough budget that hurt.”

"Don't have to agree with us, don't have to love us for it," commented the mayor, "but we've done what we thought was right."

Residents may like the idea that taxes don't go up, but may find it hard to love the 14 percent increase in sewer and water rates coming in a month or the elimination of leaf and brush pickup.

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