Oakland mayor says more painful cuts ahead in new year as city faces $62M budget shortfall

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The City of Oakland begins the new year still having to cut more than $30 million from its budget to head off a projected $62 million shortfall.

"If we don't make hard decisions now, we will face heart-breaking decisions later," said Mayor Libby Schaaf.

RELATED: Oakland divided over $62M budget cuts, likely to impact police, public safety

Oakland City Administrator Ed Reiskin has already imposed $29 million dollars in reductions, including to police and fire services.

"When you close firehouses, it means response times get extended," said Zac Unger, President of Local 55 Oakland Firefighters. "So closing firehouses in the middle of both a pandemic and in the middle of epic wildfires is just terrible public policy."

VIDEO: OPD chief responds to criticism on release of violent crime data amid budget cut debate
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With her city council and police commission debating ways to cut her budget by nearly one half, Interim Oakland Police Chief Susan Manheimer defended the release of statistics that show a recent surge in violent crime.

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