The control board overseeing the District of Columbia's troubled finances listened to pleas Saturday to save city jobs.
"Job losses mean unpaid rent and mortgages, with drug dealers replacing soccer games and children riding bicycles," said longtime city resident Dona Burney. "I know that job losses to my neighborhood can shatter the fragile economic progress."The panel was to vote on a package of recommendations that would reduce city jobs by 5,237 out of a work force of 45,378. Once passed, the package must go to Congress for its approval.
The recommendations would also cap city spending for fiscal 1996 at $4.96 billion, down from the $5.28 billion budget submitted to Congress earlier this year by city officials.
Dozens of citizens testified before the board at its second public hearing since it was established by President Clinton to oversee the strapped city's finances.
Their appeals seemed to touch some members. " are very, very concerned about a jewel of a city that needs help," said board member Joyce Ladner, former interim president at Howard University.
Several dozen of the approximately 150 people at the hearing made statements. Their concerns ranged from the fate of the D.C. School of Law to where money could be saved at D.C. General Hospital.