Budget update: Cops, street repairs, rec centers look to be gone

Enjoy the Mavericks, because the budget news isn’t much fun.

There’s an urgency in the latest budget briefing from city manager Mary Suhm that does not seem to have been there before. The tone this time is different from the previous, “something will work itself out” approach that has characterized city budget planning the last couple of years.

The reason? There doesn’t look to be a way to close a $32.2 million deficit without deep cuts: 50 cops won’t be replaced after they quit; 3 1/2 fire companies won’t be funded for emergency services, the street repair budget will continue to be gutted; and 14 rec centers will close, with reduced maintenance at the remaining facilities.

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As always, the briefing is written in such Suhm-ese that it’s difficult to understand, so more cuts may be hidden in language like “Commitment to public private partnerships such as the Zoo, Arboretum, Texas Discovery Garden, etc.”

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But, because this is Dallas, we will “continue investment in infrastructure through capital spending” — which is money for a toll road that isn’t going to be built and bridges that we don’t need. Think of that the next time your car’s struts lose a battle with one of those pot holes the people downtown tell us not to worry about.

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