Mock Funeral to Protest Mid-Year Cuts; Board Takes Action Today

by Paul Hogarth on December 12, 2008

A good turnout of advocates came to City Hall yesterday to hold a “mock funeral” for the many social programs facing the axe under Mayor Gavin Newsom’s mid-year budget cuts. Newsom will slash $10 million in health care services, which is less than what he first proposed –but it still means some programs like the Adult Day Health Center will be cut. Newsom is acting without formal approval by the Supervisors – who are supposed to be a “co-equal” branch of government, but cannot force the Mayor to spend money. Ultimately, they only have the power to de-appropriate funds. Today at 11:00 a.m., the Board’s Government Audit Committee will consider such an option – as Supervisor Aaron Peskin will propose $8.5 million in cuts to police, fire and the City’s subsidies to the Opera and Symphony. While this will be controversial, everyone must share the pain during tough times – and it comes down to who would suffer the least. As activist Robert Haaland told me, the Opera can probably absorb such cuts by raising their ticket prices less than two dollars.

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