Photo by Mark L. Dennis
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake delivered her second State of the City address Monday. The mayor called for the city to tackle its budget problems head-on, even if it means having a different way of doing business. Rawlings-Blake said she wants to end the year-after-year cycle of deficits and put the city on a different course.
The mayor rolled out a 10-year plan for Baltimore. She called it a first-of-a-kind financial plan to address the city’s structural deficit.
“The great recession has exposed fiscal vulnerabilities at all levels of government and ushered in a new reality. Some call it the new normal,” she said.
The mayor made no specific budgetary proposals. Instead, she outlined tough choice she sees ahead. The first was the ever-increasing cost of benefits for employees and retirees. She said changes will likely have to be made.
“Baltimore spends more on employee benefits than we do on our entire Police Department,” Rawlings-Blake said. She said some city services may have to be consolidated. Rawlings-Blake suggested all of city government will have to be reshaped.