D.C. calls budget 911 and weighs police, EMS cuts

All agencies are on the table

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“Since I’ve been here, first they tell us they do have the money, then they don’t. Then they tells us those numbers were placeholders. We have to have true numbers to solve the problem.”

The budget crisis leaves city leaders walking a tightrope of deadlines, as agency directors consider across-the-board cuts that could run as high as 13 percent.

The council will deliberate on and pass those stopgap considerations and send them to the outgoing mayor, who has vowed not to raise taxes. City leaders will have to take that record to Wall Street, which last year warned the city that unchecked spending could damage its bond and credit ratings.

With the local and national economies looking gray, the mayor-elect said he and other city leaders are trying to face the grim facts, including the possibility that additional spending pressures will emerge.

“Simply put … it’s time we distinguish between the projects we need versus the projects that we want,” Mr. Gray said.

He also promised residents and other stakeholders that he would not ask for “one single dollar in tax increases without first reassuring them that we have scrubbed the budget and found every last dollar in savings first.”

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