FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Times are very tough in cities and states across the country. High unemployment means dwindling tax revenues... which is forcing local governments to make cuts in lots of places in order to keep things running.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/12/art.chicken.catcher.jpg caption="When Miami residents were overrun with loose chickens the city added a full-time Chicken Buster to the payroll."]
CNNMoney.com highlights some of the quirkier services that are being cut:
- Miami is cutting the position of "chicken catcher"... Apparently the city was overrun with loose chickens four years ago, so they added a full-time Chicken Buster to the payroll.
- Chicago is toning down its annual July 4th fireworks presentation
- Detroit is outsourcing the traditional yellow school bus service to private companies. Some school districts have even cut bus service altogether - and parents now have to transport their kids
- Henderson, Nevada, is doing away with a free coffee program for seniors
- St. Louis is considering charging residents for once-a-week trash collection
- Colorado Springs is turning off the city's least efficient street lights... and they're grounding two police helicopters
- Speaking of police, San Diego is getting rid of its horse-mounted patrol after nearly 3 decades.
- Los Angeles, which is drowning in debt, wants to take the zoo off the city's books... they're negotiating with a non-profit group to take over operations.
- North Las Vegas will quit offering free medical exams to city council members
- and some Utah lawmakers want to make the 12th grade optional
Here’s my question to you: How would you suggest your town save money?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 7pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.