St. Louis County executive slashes budget

CLAYTON, Mo. | The economy is taking a toll on local governments, including the largest county government in Missouri.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley is suggesting a 2.6 percent reduction to his earlier 2009 budget recommendation. That amounts to a $13.6 million cut.

Among other things, the revised budget of $505 million eliminate pay increases.

In fact, Dooley's new budget plan calls for spending $2 million less than in 2008. He says he is committed to providing high-quality services while safeguarding the county's AAA rating and maintaining financial flexibility.