Raleigh approves budget

RALEIGH The plan covers an estimated $20 million budget shortfall by cutting 85 vacant city jobs.

City Manager Russell Allen did some money shuffling to keep health insurance premiums from going up. His previous budget proposals included an increase - something that drew an angry response from police officers, firefighters and city workers.

The council also did not cut a controversial $10,000 pay raise for Allen that applies to this fiscal year and not next.

"I hope the public will understand that the council has looked at this closely," Mayor Charles Meeker said. "We understand there is concern about it. We have a signed contract. We're going to stick with it, we're going to stick with our word, based on that cycle."

In order to save money, the city will also cut operating hours and maintenance at community centers, public pools, parks and greenways.

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