When someone who calmly tabulates massive figures for a living uses a term like "squishy numbers" it catches your attention; it's akin to the doctor saying, "Show me your ass." When asked to explain, Zmuda noted that the state hasn't yet made clear to the city just how big a cut we're facing in the health and welfare department and sheriff's department. Zmuda declined to state exactly how much of an uncertainty we're talking about here, but did say it was "millions" as opposed to tens of millions. Well, that's reassuring.
Today "We will issue a report tentatively saying what we know now," she said. In perhaps a month the state departments will cruch their own numbers and determine if what we know now is now no longer worth knowing.
At that point, the mayor will have 21 days to re-jigger the city budget. After he does so, the Board of Supervisors will have 45 more days to re-re-jigger that budget.
So what we do know is this: The one certainty is that it'd be wise to budget lots of time to craft the city's eventual budget. Because while time may be money, it seems we have access to a bit more of the former than the latter.