09/27/2009 - Challenged by the Great Recession, political leaders in some of America's big cities could be making big mistakes as they cast themselves as victims.
Their responses to enormous revenue losses have been like those of a crew on a ship that's taking on water; they're looking for the simplest ways to plug holes.
So says Larry Eichel, project director for The Pew Charitable Trust's Philadelphia Research Initiative, who for the last several months has been analyzing how 13 cities are dealing with the recession.
"I think the view in a lot of city governments is that they didn't cause this problem," Eichel said. "They're hoping they can ride it out. That's why you see this emphasis on temporary, one-time solutions."
Denver wasn't one of the 13 cities Eichel's team of researchers considered. But the Pew study's findings offer plenty of insight for the Mile High City, including this warning:"If you look at the budget projections, the revenue projections are very grim," Eichel says. "Even after the steps [cities] are taking this year, they're looking at very substantial shortfalls next year. So they're looking at another round of cuts that are just as hard."
Read the full article Five Cities, One Bad Economy on the Denver Post's Web site.