CITIES: A Many-Sided Squeeze

Golden anniversary aside, there was little to celebrate as the National League of Cities convened its 50th "congress of cities" in Houston last week. Some 1,500 mayors, city managers and councilmen told grim tales of how inflation and recession are combining to raise costs and erode tax bases. Even as they met, the administrators got a backdoor reminder of one of their bigger problems: increased militancy by public employees. Houston's bus drivers were on strike, demanding higher pay.

Labor trouble is only one element in a many-sided squeeze on the municipalities. Some other difficulties:

> City building projects are almost at...

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