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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mayor Foster warns City Council of budget woes to come



ST. PETERSBURG -- In his three months plus as mayor, Bill Foster has been preparing for the worst case scenario: a 12-percent budget cut.

On Tuesday, Foster got bad news from the office of Pinellas County Property Appraiser Pam Dubov. Property values, the main source for the city's budget, declined in St. Petersburg by nearly 13 percent -- 12.8 percent to be precise. That's another $600,000 in cuts Foster said he needs to make.

"I was hoping it wouldn't be any worse than a 10 percent drop," Foster said. "Now, I find out, it's worse than my worst case scenario."

Foster's city administrator, Tish Elston, wrote the City Council a memo that warned members of this looming financial cloud.

"I wanted you to have this information as soon as possible," Elston wrote.

Here's the memo.

-- Michael Van Sickler, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:32pm]


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