The Recession

Baltimore Spends $585,000 on Study of How to Save Money

Baltimore reportedly paid outside consultants half a million dollars for a report on how to save the city money.

The city's finance department makes three-year projections, but lacked manpower and the skills to make long-term projections and propose reforms, according to city budget director Andrew Kleine.

"We just didn't have the staff or the expertise to do this," Kleine told the Baltimore Sun. "Our core function is to formulate the budget and monitor the budget."

Many of the more than 100 proposed reforms will be released on Wednesday by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (pictured).

Public Financial Management Inc. of Philadelphia won the contract in 2011 with a proposal to charge the city $460,000, but the work grew over the past year and city officials paid another $125,000 for a total of $585,000.

One of the consultant's innovative ideas for overhauling city health care was to switch to a system that charges lower up-front premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs, a change that millions of businesses already do.

"Without the consultants, I don't see how we could have pulled off health care reform," Kleine said.

In her State of the City address Monday, Rawlings-Blake used the consultants' report to call for more city workers to contribute to their retirement fund, charge residents for trash collection, ask firefighters to work longer hours and cut the city workforce by 10 percent.

Source: Baltimore Sun

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