Bridgeport mayor looks to tackle looming deficit

BRIDGEPORT - Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said Monday that he wants major concessions from the city's unions to deal with an impending budget deficit.

The mayor and his staff plan to take a one-week vacation without pay, which Finch expects city employees to do as well. The mayor's plan is being met with resistance from union members.

"This is ridiculous. I think he should be embarrassed for asking for it," says a member of the police union.

But Finch says that dipping into Bridgeport's $10 million fund will bring the city to bankruptcy. "You've got to build your balance up. We need a fund balance of over $30 million to restore fiscal stability," he says.

The city says the fund balance affects its bond rating, which controls how much is paid in interest. Finch says he has asked his department heads to reduce their budgets by 10 percent to 20 percent in hopes of increasing efficiencies.

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