City officials' pessimism concerning the nation's direction is the worst its been in nearly 20 years, according to a survey from the Washington-based National League of Cities (NLC). More than six out of 10 respondents to NLC's State of America's Cities survey held a dim view of the nation's future, a view directly connected to the ongoing recession.

The level of pessimism found in the survey is greater than at the same point in the last two recessions, according to NLC. A majority of respondents also reported that their cites were facing economic problems, and two out of five reported that worsening relationships with the federal government were posing a problem for cities. Half the respondents said the same about city-state relationships.

"The survey clearly shows that the intergovernmental partnership has broken down," NLC President and Northglenn, Colo., Mayor Kathleen Novak said in a statement. "The federal government and cities need to come together to work for the common goals of improving our nation's infrastructure and assisting our citizens during these difficult economic times. This will not only help get our nation back to work, but will also make our cities stronger and more globally competitive for decades and generations to come."

View the State of America's Cities survey as a PDF on NLC's Web site.

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