Most are upset with the plan for higher taxes but no layoffs.
They gathered outside City Hall before a public hearing on the mayor's proposal.
The plan that had residents concerned is the mayor's $476 million budget. It focuses on school change, increasing public safety and creating jobs. To pay for that, he’s proposing higher taxes and larger fees for things like parking meters and building permits.
What the budget does not include is layoffs. DeStefano's plan includes raises for police officers, firefighters and teachers. The city will be seeking concessions from various unions for the non-union city staff.
DeStefano said this is the best plan to deal with not only the current economic situation, but also the future, which isn't looking much better.
Almost 1,000 people signed a petition opposing Mayor DeStefano's budget and are calling for changes.
Many residents want to see each city department cut its current budget by 10 percent instead instituting a tax hike and have more than 300 suggestions on how to accomplish that.
Aside from Wednesday night's hearing, three more budget meetings will be held between alder members, before it is approved, but those are not public.