City Council Might Suggest Additional Cuts To Mayor Henry's 2011 Budget Proposal

By John W. Davis

September 28, 2010 Updated Sep 28, 2010 at 10:37 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Your tax dollars could fund 2011 city pay raises.

That's one controversial piece of the Fort Wayne budget that City Council sifted through Tuesday night.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry's proposal is a balanced budget of $134.9 million dollars.

Henry touted the budget as a spending plan that will not cut any city services or lay off city workers.

City Controller Pat Roller presented council members with an overview of the 2011 budget.

Property taxers are up in the current proposal.

A home assessed at $100,000 dollars will see a yearly tax increase of $11.50.

Meanwhile, council members plan on interviewing about 10 city departments in October.

They will scrutinize any 2011 departmental budget increase of more than 1%.

"There's still always room to look at some things to cut. I think there will be a good bit of discussion when we get to talking about the 1% pay raise for the employees. But we've already given a 1.5% pay raise to many of the unions," said Republican 1st District Fort Wayne Councilman Tom Smith.

"It's probably only fair to give 1% to other employees but we will discuss that. That's not for certain but I lean in that direction," said Smith.

However, Republican At-Large Councilwoman Liz Brown said she already received calls from her constituents opposing the 1% pay increase.

Brown said most private sector workers are not getting pay raises, so why should city workers.

Brown also said she feels that money would be better spent repaving Fort Wayne roads.

Taxpayers are invited to share their two cents on the 2011 budget with council members at a public hearing on Tuesday, October 12, at 5:30 p.m., at the City-County Building.

A final vote to approve the 2011 budget is expected to take place on Tuesday, October 26.

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