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Layoffs Coming to Metro Government

May 28th, 2009 by admin · 12 Comments

During the budget crises of the last year or two, as Metro Government has repeatedly cut back services, closed parks and instituted hiring and salary freezes, the one area that seemed to be off-limits to the budget ax was personnel. Mayor Abramson made several budget announcements in which he was able to say, proudly — the good news is there are no layoffs.

Those days are over.

Abramson’s new budget calls for significant cuts, based on estimates of a 2 percent revenue decline in the current year and a forecast 1.4 percent drop next year. So 528 positions are coming off the payroll, including 119 people who will lose their government jobs on July 1. The other positions are open and won’t be filled. Cuts to his and senior staff salaries remain in place.

There will be four new furlough days (yet to be determined) and there will be cutbacks in street sweeping and junk pickup. Fees for construction permits and alcohol licenses are going up. And if you get locked up, the booking fee at the jail goes up from $25 to $35.

Departments most affected by personnel cuts, in order, are Neighborhoods, Parks, Human Resources and Housing. Police and Public Safety expenses, which make up 56 percent of the Metro budget, will see only a slight decrease.

Tags: Alcohol · Construction · Housing · Jail · Jerry Abramson · Metro Government · Neighborhoods · Parks · Police

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Carter Burger // May 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    If we had the money that was given to Cordish back, how many of these people would be losing their jobs now?

  • 2 Willy // May 28, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    I feel sorry for the people being laid off but it makes you wonder why it took so long to eliminate 528 jobs that all of the sudden are not required.

  • 3 Mark H // May 28, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    I don’t like it when anyone gets laid off, but let’s face the facts, a private company would have laid these people off months ago when the budget projections looked grim. We can only hope the State faces reality and makes a similar move.

    I hope we don’t resort to the typical scare tactics of threats in cutting police, fire, and EMS staff that will endanger the public. I’m sure there are plenty of paper pushers and political support staffers that can be let go without anyone in the public being the worse for wear.

    As a business owner, telling someone that they are going to have to be let go for the good of the overall company is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but it’s about time for the government to step up and do what needs to be done. A new vague library tax or increased gaming are not going to save the day.

    The only job security is knowing that if you lose your job, you can find a job at another company or organization at a similar salary. If your skill set is not transferable at a similar salary, you need to make the change now to improve your marketability in the open work force.

    My sympathy for those workers going to laid off, but why should government employees be insulated from the same cost-cutting and staffing cut risks that everyone else is subjected to in the private sector?

  • 4 Earl // May 28, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    So- has anybody checked to see if the Mayor actually had a 10% reduction in his pay, like he said he would do? After all, his salary is governed by state law. He should know that, since it’s been governed by state law since he cashed his first one back in 1986 or so.

    Which reminds me…we haven’t had a fresh idea from the mayor’s office since the mid 1980s – except for four years when Armstrong showed that you can run the city in the black while creating as much economic development in four years that Abramson has done in 20.

  • 5 one-time Tom Owen for Mayor voter // May 28, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Ditto what Earl said about David Armstrong. I voted against him in the primary, but he turned out to be the best mayor in the last 24 years, light years ahead on actual new ideas and implementation than any one else who has served in that time period. In fact, a lot of what has been accomplished downtown since 2003 was started in the window between 1998 and 2002. No other mayor in that time period even runs a close second.

  • 6 GoneSoon // May 28, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Interesting.
    As one of those that will most likely be laid off, I agree that there are probably those that won’t be missed and should have been gone long ago. However, due to binding union agreements, those with longer tenure and less skill will most likely be retained while some of the newer folks with sharper skills will be let go to make room.
    Those that have insulated themselves by becoming union stewards (thereby having super-seniority that makes them invincible) or have been around “holding up a wall” because they have years of service are the winners here.
    The double-dippers (you know, Johnstone, Driskel, etc…) are also winners here.
    The losers: most likely the people waiting in longer lines while an “old-timer” fumbles to find the “any key” on the decrepit outdated computer.
    Managers are getting a pass here. But, the more managers, the more efficient the system is, right? /sarcasm

  • 7 Rob Mattheu for Mayor // May 28, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    This makes me so mad I’m announcing as a candidate today. I have no platform except I wouldn’t give $850,000 so a bowling alley could be repainted.

    This city needs vision and a leader, not just someone who shows up to a local business to declare it “Fred’s Hubcaps Day in the Metro!”

    That $850,000 that Mayor For Life gave to Cordish could have saved some of these jobs. And whatever we’re spending on the future traffic mess at 2nd & Main could have as well.

    I’m not quite sure how any leader in the city can look at this as a good thing when they’ve so willingly wasted money on foolish decisions and projects that hurt local people to benefit companies elsewhere.

    So I’m running for mayor. Of course if I win, I’m deputizing Rick and Jake to run things.

  • 8 bill // May 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    What I want to know is this – How many Deputy Mayors, and spokespeople does one Mayor have to have? Seems to me that one of each should be enough! How many of thes will be layed off?

  • 9 Steve Magruder (I, not D or R) // May 28, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Rob, I like your Common Sense platform. It’s too early to decide my vote, but I will give you my utmost consideration.

    And let me join in the Armstrong love. He’s definitely one of the Greats. While Abramson… not so much. Not even close.

  • 10 Terry // May 28, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Dave Armstong “one of the Greats”???
    Think hip-hop concerts among other waste. To long ago to recall them all. I think Armstrong was honest but in over his head as the head of anything.

  • 11 voter // May 29, 2009 at 2:08 am

    Rob….you can have my vote also!……Jerry the Jerk needs to be convinced not to run. It’s likely that by then he’ll receive a lot more critical press, especially when it comes out how bad the taxpayers are gettin “F’d” in the Development deals like with Cordish.
    Surely someone can step up to run that has some ability to beat him. I’m not sure who?….But there has to be someone that can beat that guy and represent the city & the voters in their best interest & not like it’s their own kingdom.

  • 12 AB // May 29, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Why should taxpayers want to “save jobs” within city government? The objective of a city should not be to create government employment, but rather run as efficiently as possible. There is little doubt that city departments are bloated with poor attitudes and poor performers. These departments are way overdue for a housecleaning. Of course, that needs to begin with the Mayor’s office, including the Mayor himself.

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