To anyone following Washington Mayor Sharon Pratt Dixon's struggle to slash 2,000 mid-level managers from her city's payroll, Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke's effort to prune the size of municipal government must seem almost modest.
Washington, it must be remembered, has nearly 100,000 fewer residents than Baltimore, yet its 48,000-member work force is more than half again as large as Baltimore's. Of the nation's 200 largest cities, the district ranks first in the number of government employees per capita.
Dixon's plan got a major boost this week when the District City Council approved a plan that would begin abolishing jobs in the fall. Most of the workers to be cut are middle-management, middle-aged, mid-career employees whose chances of finding comparable private-sector jobs during a recession are slim.