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County Manager will call for 6 percent cuts at CMS and CPCC

http://66.225.205.104/LM20100518.mp3

Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones is recommending a budget tonight that includes 6 percent cuts to Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and Central Piedmont Community College. CMS and CPCC officials have been planning for cuts this size since March. Jones asked them then to come up with spending plans that would take into account a 6 percent reduction in county money. But until last night Jones did not commit to that amount. He told the Charlotte Business Professionals the county needs that money to close an $85 million budget gap. "You just cannot make reductions in a budget to close that kind of a gap without asking CMS to participate in those reductions," said Jones. "We did ask other areas for higher targets." In the case of CMS, a 6 percent cut amounts to about $20 million. Jones says he's recommending other departments take cuts three or four times as much as CMS and CPCC. In March, he told the libraries and Park and Recreation to prepare for reductions totaling up to 50 percent. Jones will outline his budget recommendations at tonight's commission meeting. Mecklenburg County commissioners have said they don't want to raise taxes. They're scheduled to vote on the budget June 15.