The budget alarm was sounded again over the weekend at City Hall. Now, we’re hearing that the projected $100 million deficit for next year is likely to be “substantially larger.” And that there will be “painful cuts that both residents and city employees will feel.” More importantly, this is the first time that the words “tax hike” have been publicly uttered.

It’s about time. I have been writing about this since August (handy clip and save chart!), and I have been surprised by two things. First, that the mainstream media has mostly ignored the issue, and that most of the the city council has ignored it with even greater determination. Save for Mitch Rasansky and Angela Hunt, I don’t know that anyone on the council – including Mayor Park Cities – has paid the slightest attention to next year’s deficit or the budget shortfall this year.

Here’s what you need to ask the council candidates as we move toward May’s elections: What are you going to do about the deficit? Why haven’t you done something already?