Newark city leaders set their sights on 2015 budget

By Naomi Nix | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on October 09, 2014

NEWARK — It hasn't been a week since Newark's city council adopted its 2014 budget, but some city officials say they are already thinking about the 2015 budget.

North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos praised city and state officials for steering Newark out of its deficit. But the councilman said the city needed to reduce its reliance on one-time revenue sources in future budgets.

“We are not yet out of the woods," he said in a statement. "This year’s budget includes a number of one shot revenue items and looking ahead, we are still plagued with a structural deficit that will hinder our ability to invest in our future."

At-large councilman Carlos Gonzalez echoed similar comments, saying the city's decision to pay its $30 million dollar deficit from last year over ten years was pushing the problem into the future. The city must find a way to reduce its structural deficit, he said.

“We’re kicking the bucket and were kicking it 10 years down the road," he said. “We have to still deal with the real problem."

Newark mayor Ras Baraka said Tuesday that his administration has already started working on the 2015 budget and hopes the city will pass the budget on time.

"We are working now to try and introduce it," he said. "Part out our downgrade in Moodys centered around the fact that we don’t pass our budgets on time," referring to when Moody's Investors Service downgraded the city's longterm debt rating.

City council president Mildred Crump said she was hopeful the Baraka administration will put the city's 2015 budget on the right track.

"I have every confidence in the mayor and his team,” she said.

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