In his first budget, which totalled $2.2 billion, Mayor Archer proposed restructuring city services and boosting wages for employees who took a 10% pay cut in 1992. Archer restored the 10% pay cut and brought back five-day workweeks for the nearly two-thirds of the city's 15,000 employees who took the wage cut. The spending plan also cut 270 jobs from the municipal payroll through attrition.

The budget provided about $230 million more than 1993-1994's $1.9-billion package. Most additional budgetary expenditures were allocated to the restoration of the wage cut. Small additional spending increases provided more than $250,000 in computer equipment to the purchasing division, the worker's compensation and the Law Department and twenty employees including four attorneys for the Law Department to help reduce staggering lawsuit losses.

The budget also consolidated the Planning Department and Community and Economic Development Department. The mayor's proposed 10% wage cut for police and firefighters, which would have saved $26 million, was rejected.

In order to improve the city's weak infrastructure, the budget provided $17.4 million for street resurfacing, the largest amount in city history. In addition, the projected demolition of abandoned dwellings was more than doubled.

As a result of these expenses, the city had a $63.3 million budget deficit. Archer recommended paying off this deficit, and an $82million existing deficit, by selling bonds, which the city would repay in seven years.

Table 1 summarizes the key initiatives in the Mayor's first budget.

Table 1:

Summary of Key Initiatives

in the 1994-1995 Budget

·        Rescission of 10% wage cuts for two-thirds of the workforce.

·        More than a doubling of the demolition of abandoned buildings.

·        Elimination of 270 jobs through attrition, saving $10 million.

·        Request of city employees to make health care concessions.

·        Request of police, fire and bus driver unions to accept 10% wage cuts.

·        Provision of $17.4 million for street resurfacing, the largest amount in city history.

·        Hiring of 20 new staffers in the law department, including four attorneys, to reduce city's legal losses.

·        Recommendation of the purchase of a $90,000 computer system to cut the paperwork in the purchasing division and a $165,000 computer system to better manage workers compensation.

·        Merger of the planning and community and economic development departments, along with engineering and public works.

·        Sale of bonds to pay for 1994's projected $63.3million deficit and a prior one, totaling $82 million.