April 24, 2014

Racine mayor warns of dire budget

The mayor of Racine is not looking forward to the upcoming budget process for 2013. That’s in light of a $3 million projected deficit, and very few options on how to cover it. Mayor John Dickert believes Madison’s meddling and restrictions have put his city in a tough position. “If I cut employees, that means services go. The fact is, if you’re going to cut employees, you’re cutting services.” Residents reacted when certain street lights were turned off this year for budget reasons, but Dickert warns “that’s nothing compared to what might be coming up.”

AUDIO: Mayor John Dickert (:60) 

“What terrifies me is, the new norm is, the state is talking about consistently cutting back the amount of money that cities get,” Dickert told WRJN. “The problem I have with that is, number one, our taxpayers have sent that money to Madison, and it’s not coming back to them like it should. The second thing is, that means that cities will continue to cut services for who knows how many years.”

The 2013 budget is expected to be ready for the Racine Common Council’s consideration in a few weeks. “I think people are going to be a little bit shocked,” he cautioned. “But you know, you can’t keep telling us from the state level, that we need to keep cutting, cutting, cutting, when you guys keep wasting, wasting, wasting.”

Tom Karkow, WRJN