Storm the Bastille!

Not exactly a turnaway crowd at last night's budget hearing:

City Council conducted its required hearing Wednesday on Mayor Tom McMahon's 2010 budget proposal that calls for cutting more than 100 city jobs, but only one person spoke.

Lay off employees if you have to, but don't raise taxes, said city resident Roxanne Curran.

"I've been laid off many times," she told council. "I've always had to live within my means. I'm disturbed that the city and City Council and the mayor are obviously not living within their means."

In addition to the potential job cuts, the budget proposal calls for raising the property tax by more than a half mill, and the earned income tax by 0.5 percentage point to 1.7 percent - in addition to the 1.5 percent already charged by the Reading School District.

Numerous union members and the public have protested the proposed tax hikes and job cuts at council's regular Monday sessions, but Wednesday's hearing still was required by law to get formal public input.

How do you say it in Pennsylvania Dutch....ennui?


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