The $8 million hole in the $34 million Crystal City budget has local officials putting everything on the table, including deep cuts to its public safety budgets.

Cutting 34 positions from the police department could reduce city expenses by as much as $3.5 million. Trimming another 16 positions from the fire department could save $2.2 million. Those moves, however, would put the public at risk by extending response times, according to the respective chiefs. In the place of the positions, some have recommended using volunteers to fill in the gaps.

An even more drastic move has been suggested by at least one resident: disband. By revoking the city’s charter, they could see annexation by either Rancho Mirage or Palm Springs. That plan is unlikely. But any route the city takes, it must address a sizeable hole and look to make drastic cuts.

From the Desert Sun:

City Manager Don Bradley doled out grim news Wednesday night at a public hearing to discuss potential city employee layoffs should Cathedral City fail to bridge an $8 million budget shortfall.

“Right now we are not looking at any long-term solutions. At this point we are looking at how we can balance our budget between now and July 1,” Bradley said.

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