hickenlooper-johnAlthough Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s best budget data only goes back to 1978—and he’s asked an intern to scour dusty old books to get a stronger idea of the city government’s financial history—he is absolutely sure that money hasn’t been this tight since the Great Depression, writes The Denver Post. Denver is facing a $120 million budget deficit over the next 18 months, and Hickenlooper is asking the council to come back to him with ideas on how to best handle the situation. “We will have hard, hard, hard, hard decisions that will be very painful for us as individuals and for our constituents,” he says, adding that residents can’t bear much in the way of taxes. “Your citizens are under tremendous strain” (via 9News). Local blogger David Thielen recently lunched with Hickenlooper, however, and asked about the possibilities of higher taxes and city layoffs: “He said both are on the table. But that first they have to show that they have wrung every last savings they can out of the system before going to the taxpayers or employees and saying there is no alternative.”