Budget Deadline Nears, Layoffs Loom

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

16 fire jobs, 11 police, 1 from city council, one from Parks and Rec--there will be about 140 holes in city management that will be unplugged because they'll have to go unfunded in this fiscal year.

Brian Jeffries, council member-at-large: "Of those 140, some will be unfilled positions. Some of them will be filled."

Sandy Allen, council president: "All departments will take a hit--a big hit."

Carol Wood, council member-at-large: "I think we've pulled every penny that can possibly pull from everything."

No one's happy about it, but all the council members we spoke to SSaturday says layoffs--everywhere--will have to be made.

Council member Larry Meyers says he brings a unique perspective. He's not running for re-election and he says this budget patches problems, and doesn't solve them. "The frustration...is that...some people on council just don't understand vision"

Brian Jeffries solution: Refocus regularly. He wants to revisit the budget several times next year, re-asking what he calls the principal question: "What are the basic level of services we need to be keeping for our citizens?"

Among those, no surprise, police and fire jobs. Carol Wood says they must continue to try to put those jobs back on the payroll, even after they eliminate them.

The council voted to set aside $50,000 for a jobs program to relocate and retrain city workers who will likely be laid off.


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