Balanced Budget

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Memphis mayor Willie Herenton told the City Council's executive committee this afternoon that the budget he plans to present April 21st will include no property tax increase, no layoffs, and a three percent raise for city employees.

"If you have any anxieties about our budget next year, I hope I can relax you," Herenton told council members.

Herenton recently attended the national conference of mayors and said he listened to horrible budget woes other cities were facing.

"I ask you not to look at Memphis in isolation, look at Memphis in the global economy," he said. "I felt good being the mayor of Memphis as compared to Atlanta or Philadelphia."

In the last two weeks, Herenton has been meeting with the city's bargaining unions; he has already assured those groups that there will be no city employee layoffs.

"We're not closing fire stations; we're filling police classes," he said. "This is a strong city, even in a declining fiscal condition."

Council member Barbara Swearengen Ware called the news "a sigh of relief."

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