This week I had the opportunity to discuss Camden’s budget troubles on The Alyona Show. Walt Whitman called it “a city invicible” but after the loss of its manufacturing base over sixty years ago the city never really recovered. Heavily subsidized by the state of New Jersey, Camden has also been plagued by corruption scandals, high unemployment and high crime, and an abysmally-performing school district. The state took over Camden’s finances in 2002. Camden continues to receive a significant amount of aid, but the city council says it has no choice and has to cut from the fire department and the police force.
What’s in Camden’s proposed $138 million budget that makes these cuts necessary? The most recent posted budget is for FY 2008, before the stimulus arrived.