Cheyenne Budget Conflict

Jeff Schuman reports,

Councilmen raise concerns as state-mandated deadline for the city budget approaches.

Since February, tireless work has been invested into the 2012 budget.

"This budget was not put together overnight," Cheyenne Mayor Rick Kaysen said.

On Monday, the city council expressed disagreement for the $50.7 million budget by originally voting it down before reconsidering and passing it to keep the budget moving through the process.

"We will take their comments and have taken their comments into consideration for possible adjustments."

Concerns continue over sanitation fee increases. But the final approval will not come until after the deadline of the city budget.

"Now is not the day in 2011 to raise anything. We have to stay right now, just for one year, that's all I'm asking," Councilman Jimmy Valdez said.

As concerns grow, some feel that now is not the right time to be handing out city employee raises. But this is something the mayor says he is not willing to cut.

"If you wish to retain your employees, if you wish to be able to recruit to be attractive to perspective employees, you have to have a good compensation package," Kaysen said.

The mayor says he anticipates the budget to still pass by Tuesday's deadline. But if the disagreements are not tamed and the deadline is not met, the city's doors will stay open.

"There will be no shut-down. We have an obligation to serve our residents, to serve our businesses. We do have reserves in place for such an activity."