Rybak asks for public inputby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Minneapolis mayor RT Rybak is asking for input from residents and business owners as he prepares to tackle a growing budget gap.
Rybak will hold the first of two community meetings on the budget Monday night.
Governor Pawlenty recently cut more than $13 million in state funding to the city of Minneapolis, and has proposed further cuts in state aid to cities in his budget.
Mayor Rybak will propose a new 2009 budget to the City Council sometime this month. The City Council is expected to vote on the new budget in early March.
The Mayor's spokesman Jeremy Hanson says the cuts will not be easy.
"The city is in very strong financial standing. We have done a lot to improve the city's bottom line and the city is much stronger financially because of that work. However, these cuts are so significant that we need more creativity and more ideas, and we hope that our residents will help be a part of that solution," Hanson said.
Tonight's meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Park recreation center. Tomorrow's meeting will be held at Eastside Neighborhood Services.
People can also share their ideas on the city's website.