Jesse B. Gill, Staff Writer
Posted: 05/25/2010 07:31:42 PM PDT

REDLANDS – City Manager Enrique Martinez wants every city department to cut its budget by at least 12 percent in the next fiscal to make up for another sizable budget deficit.

The city will face a shortfall of $8.9 million before the 2010-11 fiscal year begins July 1. Martinez said he plans to address the deficit through cuts before the outset of the fiscal year, but it won’t be easy.

The cuts may be difficult – but not impossible – to find, he said, because of the cuts the city has had to make each year since 2007.

“We’ve been squeezing and squeezing and we’re almost getting down to just pulp,” Martinez said.

He said he will present the City Council with several options to balance the budget, and before the council makes a decision, he could not release specific details of a budget slashing plan.

City spokesman Carl Baker said Monday that Martinez would ask each city department to trim its budget by about 12 percent, but that could change after the council votes.

“This is the time when leaders need to step up and not find reasons why things can’t be done,” Martinez said.

If every department succeeded, the shortfall will shrink to about $2.6 million, Baker said. Martinez and city staff would then have to find ways to close the remaining gap.

When asked if the cuts to city departments would lead to layoffs, Martinez said, “Not if we get some money.”

“It’s going to be a different time for municipal governments – it’s a different era,” he said. “We still have to provide the services that people have grown accustomed to, however, there will be some modifications to how those services are provided. Maybe not only the quantity, but also the effectiveness because resources will be hampered.”

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