National cuts will trickle to local level

Community development in Jacksonville impacted

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As the media covers news leading up to automatic federal budget cuts called sequestration, it's important to know what we might see happen in the River City come March 1st.

First, there are talks about seeing a different start to the Jaguars games. Flyovers at NFL games could be cut.

According to reports, the Jaguars haven't been notified yet, but an Air Force spokesperson told USA Today that the sequester could end home game flyovers.

Next on the list are jets in general. The Blue Angels could be on the chopping block.

People might then begin to see other cuts as they drive down the street.

According to National reports, community development grant cuts means fewer roads will be resurfaced and there will be less street light maintenance. Community development grants also fund a lot of low-income housing projects.

"It's an unknown. People are worried," said Jacksonville Housing Authority's Cathy Ponder. "You just hope for the best."

Ponder told Channel 4 that everyone in her office is concerned about what will happen in Washington and the impact it will have on federal housing subsidies.

"Right now, we have thousands of individuals we house and we're worried about budget cuts that affect them," said Ponder. "How? You'll never know, until it's actually here."

Beyond housing, there may be cuts in head start programs and meal programs for senior citizens.

Governor Scott said he doesn't disagree with spending cuts, but dislikes the way the cuts will take place. That's something former First Coast Tea Party Chairman Hank Madden said he can relate to.

"America is going to have to take a course of action and make a decision, quite frankly," said Madden.

Madden's financial advisory firm preaches smart spending and investments. His Tea Party values align with saying "no" to debt.

"It is all in how you go about it that counts," said Madden.

Madden said his experience as a veteran puts him in a tough spot when it comes to making a decision.

"We're using our military again, as a stage prop, for political gain," said Madden. "That is morally wrong in doing that."

Madden said he agrees with the governor. He thinks cuts are needed, but not the way sequestration approaches them.

"Painful cuts, but appropriate and we're going to be wise. Decision cuts that make sense financially," said Madden. "Not arbitrary cuts that will make political points and what's happening right now."

Channel 4's Scott Johnson contacted the Mayor's office about what cuts the River City could see first, but they didn't have an answer. They said they "don't have enough information to describe impacts," and that it's "hard to tell at a local level what will happen in Washington."

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