Commission committee approves 100 layoffs - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Commission committee approves 100 layoffs

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Shelby County Commission committee approved a resolution Wednesday that would require the layoff of 100 county employees before June 30, 2009.

One hundred Shelby County employees could soon receive pink slips if the full commission on Monday thinks like the budget committee does.

Click here for a rundown of how many positions would be cut from each department.

The cuts would be across the board, based on a mathematical formula: the more employees in a department, the bigger the cuts.

The Sheriff's Department would take the biggest hit with 31 layoffs.

Harvey Kennedy, the Shelby County Sheriff's Department's Chief Administrative Officer, said that wouldn't be smart.

"I don't see how we could layoff 31 from the Sheriff's Office and somehow not impact some element of public safety," Kennedy said.

Kennedy argued that all Sheriff's Department employees are needed.

"We're not in the same category as all of the other county employees with regard to absolute necessity of having those positions filled," he said.

Shelby County's Chief Administrative Officer, Jim Huntzicker, said the cuts are what's necessary.

"It really comes down to, do you raise taxes or do you shrink government?  Our choice is we continue to shrink government," he said.

Huntzicker said the cuts must be across the board to be fair, and that they would not impact public safety.

"If they did, we wouldn't be recommending it," he said.

The Mayor's Administration would take the next largest chunk of cuts at 26.  The rest would come from judicial departments and other elected official's offices.

All the chopping would save the county an estimated $5 million in the next fiscal year.

The resolution will now go to the full Commission for approval.

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