Newark mayor: No toilet paper for city offices

cory_booker.gi.top.jpgNewark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker is attempting to fill the city's budget hole. By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- In a desperate attempt to fill a $70 million budget hole, Newark's mayor is taking a chainsaw to the town's budget -- even going so far as to cut toilet paper from the 2010 budget.

"Every single contract that does not go to the core function of our city in providing safe streets, providing fire protection, or other things to keep our city afloat will now be cut," Mayor Cory Booker said during an emergency press conference Wednesday.

The reductions include not buying toilet paper for city offices, cutting the work week to four days for non-uniformed city workers, which is equivalent to a 20% pay cut, scrapping city holiday decorations, and closing city pools. These extreme measures, most of which will take effect beginning in August, are expected to save the city between $10 million and $15 million.

The city came to this impasse after the city council deferred a vote to create a Municipal Utilities Authority, a key component of Booker's method of balancing the budget. Because Newark could issue bonds on the Authority, it would have cash inflow to cover the immediate deficit. Without that infusion, the mayor said they can't make ends meet.

While he accepts the council's decision, Booker said that the move leaves Newark without a budget and "an incredible financial issue."

"If the council chooses to rely on a tax increase to fill this budget hole, our homeowners will receive an entire year's worth of that tax increase in the fourth quarter -- people will see tax bills into the thousands," Booker warned.

He added that raising property taxes will likely result in massive foreclosure rates, which is unacceptable.

Booker said he is making the severe cutbacks "to avoid a tax shock to our city." To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play

Search for Jobs

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,152.54 111.00 0.62%
Nasdaq 5,078.03 45.28 0.90%
S&P 500 2,118.67 14.47 0.69%
Treasuries 2.17 0.03 1.40%
Data as of 12:33pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Michael Kors Holding... 46.26 -14.33 -23.65%
Bank of America Corp... 16.66 0.16 1.00%
Apple Inc 131.87 2.25 1.73%
Frontier Communicati... 5.24 0.32 6.40%
Lorillard Inc 72.95 0.83 1.15%
Data as of 12:18pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

Shares of Michael Kors have plunged to their lowest levels in years after lousy sales and no sign of a turnaround soon. More

Texas has 3 of top 5 fastest growing cities in the country, according to new U.S. Census population data. More

Adult FriendFinder got hacked, exposing the sexual secrets of millions. A cross-dresser in the Midwest now fears he'll be "outed." More

Hong Kong's week-long Bun Festival means booming business for local bakery Kwok Kam Kee, which has produced the holiday's delicious highlight for decades. More