Balancing the budget in Oakland means the virtual end of discretionary spending, and the city’s mayor says nothing is off the table.

With a $58 million deficit and only $72 million in discretionary spending, there are few programs that are positively safe. In fact, no one came to the absolute defense of any program, although the Mayor did say she wanted to add cops, not take any away.

The Mayor also went on to say that without her proposed parcel tax and the $11 million it would generate, the cuts would have to be even steeper, and could cost the city its credit rating.

Currently, the city’s budget is just under $1 billion.

From the Oakland Tribune:

The city will have to cut 80 percent of its discretionary spending by July, and with one exception — maybe two — nothing is off the table, Mayor Jean Quan and her staff said Monday.

Quan, the City Council and the heads of most city departments met in a grueling daylong retreat at the Joaquin Miller Community Center to consider how to handle a structural budget deficit now estimated at $58 million, a figure that puts the city $12 million deeper in the hole than Quan’s first reports.

The meeting was designed in part to give Quan a sense a priorities from the council, which will have to vote on a final budget in time for the July 1 beginning of the next fiscal year. Department heads made the case for their staffs, offering arguments why they should be spared the deepest cuts and proposing ideas should those cuts be mandated.

Read the full article here.