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Throw in your chips for Clearwater budget cuts

THE GAME

OBJECT: To help identify community spending priorities. Between the slow economy and state-mandated tax cutbacks like Amendment 1, it's a big issue. For next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1, city leaders expect to cut $9-million to $10-million from the city's $123.2-million general fund, which pays for most city day-to-day operations. To help find those savings, Clearwater officials are holding two community meetings this month.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: As many as possible, divided into groups of eight to 10.

EQUIPMENT: 48 chips representing recreation centers, landscape maintenance, libraries, police substations, a homeless center donation, police administrative support, community policing, fire stations, a specialized fire squad, beach lifeguards, neighborhood services, cultural affairs, the Office on Aging, C-View TV, special events, the Harborview Center, public communications, the Jolley Trolley and tourism marketing. These city services are most likely to be part of future budget discussions.

TO PLAY: Each group gets 48 chips. Each chip lists a service and a number representing its cost. To keep the math simple, each group's chips will total $20,000, and groups divide them into an $18,000 "keep" pile and a $2,000 "cut" pile.

TO WIN: Get your favorite city department into the "keep" pile.

GAME TIME: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Long Center, 1501 N Belcher Road, and 6 to 8:30 p.m. April 23 at the downtown Main Library, 100 N Osceola Ave.

By MIKE DONILA | Times Staff Writer

Throw in your chips for Clearwater budget cuts 04/10/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 14, 2008 8:46pm]
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