Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

LTI Seminar to Examine Strategies to Overcome Budget Deficits and Foreclosures

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

LTI Seminar to Examine Strategies to Overcome Budget Deficits and Foreclosures

Article excerpt

The current economic crisis is no new topic for local elected leaders. Despite the fluctuations in the economy at the national level, many local leaders have had to adjust to the new conditions as a result of the mortgage crisis for a few years.

Many cities across the country depend heavily on property taxes to run smoothly--new home purchases garner a large portion of income for cities, and such purchases are simply not being made. As citizens struggle with the increasing cost of living, stagnating wages, and lack of jobs, local leaders must strategize to keep their communities healthy and thriving.

Increased crime, homelessness, affordable housing and unemployment are just a few issues local leaders are asked to find solutions to, in addition to their regular duties of overseeing all city departments, setting long-range plans and balancing the budget.

City leaders must now make trade-offs to keep vital city services afloat. Services like public transportation, public works projects, parks and recreation programs, emergency preparedness programs and public libraries are all competing for funding in a dwindling pool of resources.

What is a local leader supposed to do? Wait for the national government to find a solution, and hope it trickles down to the street-level? No. Local elected leaders understand the needs of their communities best; local leaders should tailor solutions to their needs and strategize to find local solutions for local problems. …

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