Mayor Calls 2012 Budget Situation "Atrocious"
Public funding for Ambassador program would end
Balancing the city budget for 2012 won't be any easier than it was for 2011, Mayor Sal Panto said Tuesday night.
"Atrocious," Panto said following the Tuesday city council meeting, when asked how things were going with the budget.
Under the terms of the city charter, Panto is required to put together a two-year budget. He had planned to do so last night, but wanted to make some changes before presenting it to council.
One likely cut, according to Panto: the three-year old Easton Ambassadors program, a group of employees who work downtown, keeping the streets clean and welcoming tourists and shoppers. By 2012, Panto hopes the program will be able to survive solely through private funding. Its public money -- $175,000 -- is no longer in that year's budget.
As for the 2011 budget, Panto said it's too soon to tell whether the city will need to cut employees until he knows how many will be retiring.
However, he also said Easton will be moving towards more automation in the near future.
"There are other positions we don't need and we keep funding them. Those days are gone," Panto said.