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Why Redondo Beach Isn't Broke

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NPR profiles Mike Gin, the gay Asian Republican mayor of Redondo Beach, in its latest report on mayors. Unlike most city leaders, Gin has managed to keep his city in the black. Gin, who says he's socially liberal and fiscally conservative, came across a six percent budget gap and instead of instantly demanding layoffs "he called several department heads and the leaders of various city employee associations and unions" and asked them to help decide what should be cut in lieu of jobs. The unions/department heads agreed and made concessions re: vacation time, overtime, and work hours--the fact that they were proactively asked to help decide on the cuts led to harmony and balanced books, while Redondo avoided cuts to street maintenance or park services. [NPR]