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At the February 3 Escondido City Council meeting, the council directed the budget subcommittee to consider the possibility of using $17 million worth of reserves in order to avoid closing the performing arts center, the East Valley Library, and city parks and pools. Several angry speakers, mostly educators, were on hand to voice their opposition to the proposed cuts.

In response to the protests, councilman Sam Abed said, "I don't disagree with one thing from the speakers today, but the bottom line is we have [only] so much money to spend. Continuing to use reserves is not the answer. If we don't look at any and all options, then we are not doing our job."

Former Councilman Ed Gallo suggested increasing city revenue by taking a "proactive role" in encouraging mobile-home park owners to offer better cable service to their tenants. According to Gallo, if cable companies were allowed on the properties to fix the "crappy" systems, the City could collect franchise fees.

The self-described “world's largest lion collector," another resident, offered to let the council borrow his collection of “2000 lions” to put on display in exchange for donations. He also suggested that a volunteer attend council meetings to collect the air in jars to be sold at the arts center for $10 per pint.

The subcommittee meets again on February 9.

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