As Slump Hits Home, Cities Downsize Their Ambitions


The police department in this city of 470,000 has lost about 50 officers, and is hiring lower-paid civilians to do investigative work. The Little League has to pay the city $15 an hour to turn on ball-field lights. The library now closes its main location on Sundays, and city offices are open only four days a week. This holiday season, the city didn’t put up festive lights along the downtown streets.

Mesa’s tax receipts, depressed by the recession, will likely come back one of these days. But Mayor Scott Smith doesn’t believe city services will return to…

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