But Miller warned not to understate the importance of budget factors and long-term impacts. The council now must review services to residents and nonresidents, personnel levels and other expenses in light of its five-year fiscal plan, he said.
“We cannot continue to do business as usual,” Miller said. “The council has got to decide how aggressive it’s going to be.”
The city has to provide police, fire and public works services but not recreational services, Miller said.
Lynch disagreed, saying the idea that recreational services aren’t a core program is “nonsense,” and the city’s programs are effective.
“We have an obligation to provide what we can — especially to children,” Lynch said.
City manager Michael Long said the YMCA proposal not only would save the city money but also would engage an organization that has expertise in providing recreation programs. Long will lay the proposed 2014 budget before council members today.
Malone, who said he understood that the four public-safety positions in the budget proposal would be maintained instead of cut, said he was ready to be aggressive about looking at fees and the recreational programming structure to find savings for the city and to pay for fire and police personnel.
“I’m looking for revenue,” Malone said.