The city of Racine could face some serious budget decisions, depending on the local impact of the state’s deficit fix. Mayor John Dickert said he and city staff are already taking a preemptive look at the city budget situation. “I’m going to go out and start talking to people about this: knowing what we know, and what’s coming up with us with the state budget and how we’re going to get hit, what service cuts do you want? Because 67 percent of my budget is locked.”
Dickert said the less-than-year old recycling cart program has saved lots of money, so the city is looking at perhaps doing garbage collection that way if major budget cuts have to be made in 2012. The mayor said he and other mayors around Wisconsin want to work with the new Walker administration, because it’s in everyone’s best interest. “The governor’s come out and said ‘I’m not raising your property taxes.’ Well neither am I, so we’ve got to look at ways to make sure that happens.”
For his city, with 13.4-percent unemployment in December, Dickert said “we’re seeing this trending of the economy coming back,” though he expects it to be slow & methodical.