City budget battle on the horizon

By Dedrick Russell - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Wednesday many celebrated the anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, better known as MecDec Day.

234 years ago revolutionaries fought to be free from British rule.

Historians say gaining liberty from Great Britain didn't come easy for the soldiers.

"It was bloody and it was awful," Member of the Mecklenburg Historial Association Joanne Dickens said. "But they were willing to put their lives on the line, much like today."

While that war ended, there is another one on the horizon.  But this one will be a war over money. City leaders say this budget cycle will not be pretty and there will be casualties.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we saw some additional cuts on some of the non - profits." City Councilmember Andy Dulin said.

"Everything is on the table," Mayor Pat McCrory said. "And frankly government employees are going to have to sacrifice too."

More police officers out on the streets is what politicians are fighting for.

"This is our top priority," Dulin said.  "Do whatever we need to do to find money to get more police officers on the streets to make our citizens safer."

No doubt history was made 234 years ago. Kids are still learning from it.

"I hope they realize that freedom is not free." Dickens said.

And 234 years later another type of history will be made. Who will be the winers and losers in this year's tight budget battle.

City council is scheduled to vote on the budget in June.