Thirty-one Camden City positions would be eliminated, and residents would see reductions in a range of services, from garbage removal to demolition of abandoned houses, under a budget proposed to City Council last night.

All City Hall departments will face 20 percent funding and workforce cuts, and the Police and Fire Departments will make 20 percent reductions in overtime under the $172.4 million budget for the fiscal year, which began in July. Last year's budget was $178 million.

The city, which gets more state aid than any other New Jersey municipality, will request $115.8 million in aid, compared with $125 million during the last fiscal year.

Theodore Z. Davis, the city's chief operating officer, did not give Council a list of jobs to be eliminated. He said affected employees and the public would be notified by Friday.

A 2002 law gives Davis, who was appointed by the governor, broad financial control over city government, which has long been plagued by money troubles.

The employees' union, Camden County Council 10, has said that cutting positions would violate labor agreements if seniority was disregarded.

It is unclear whether Davis' authority, which exceeds the mayor's, supersedes protections in labor contracts.

"If they didn't follow civil service, we're going to address that directly," said union president Karl Walko, who said he had been unable to get a meeting with Davis regarding the cuts.

The deficit going into this fiscal year, from July 2008 to June 2009, was projected at $24 million. State law requires municipalities to have balanced budgets.

In his presentation to Council, Davis said he would institute a range of financial controls to prevent departments from overspending and the deficit from ballooning again. For example, department heads will have to meet monthly to make sure spending is on target.

This will be a "systematic and cultural change" for City Hall, he said.

Charles Chianese, an official from the state Department of Treasury who has assisted the city in crafting the budget, said the change was crucial because "one of the fundamental issues was [that] there was no financial model monitoring the city's finances."

Chianese said he could not explain why such a model was not adopted earlier in the state's six-year tenure as Camden's financial overseer.

Line items fell short of amounts requested. Funding for garbage removal was $280,000 less than asked for; street lighting will get $364,000 less. The Camden Redevelopment Agency will receive $150,000 less than it sought. The Mayor's Office, Municipal Court and Finance Department face salary cuts.

Nearly $1.8 million is to be saved in a projected reduction in overtime for police officers and firefighters.

Fire Chief Joseph Marini said the department would continue to freeze holiday and vacation time, so the reductions would have "no remarkable impact" on service.

In a rare funding addition, $100,000 more was budgeted for the city library system.

Council must vote on the budget on Dec. 16, after the state Local Finance Board meets to consider Camden's request for funding. The vote is considered a formality, however.

Mayor Gwendolyn Faison, who said she had "conversations" with Davis about the budget but not "consultations," expressed tepid support for the plan.

"They've done the best they could, but it's still not a happy day," she said. "We shall overcome. We're going to do it. Camden always rises again."