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Posted at 1:19 PM ET, 11/ 8/2010

A public 'menu' for closing the D.C. budget gap

By David Alpert

Like all governments and public authorities of late, the District faces a large budget hole, which it needs to fill through cuts to services and/or revenue increases. D.C. should create a "menu" of possible fixes that exceed the gap and let residents choose among them, like WMATA did for the fiscal 2011 budget.

To address the last few gaps, the mayor created a proposed budget, which precisely closed the gap through a combination of cuts to programs and added fees. Council members then built a wish list of cuts or fees they wanted to remove, and they and the council budget office identified other cuts or revenue increases that could offset those. However, this list remained secret.

A flurry of negotiation followed, and the chairman's office released, sometimes at the very last moment, a new proposal that added and subtracted various items, and which they already knew had the support of enough members to pass.

[Continue reading David Alpert's post here at Greater Greater Washington.]

David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By David Alpert  | November 8, 2010; 1:19 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, Local blog network, Vincent Gray, economy  
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