Commissioners look for way around layoffs - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Commissioners look for way around layoffs

Shelby County Commissioners have a tough call to make.

"There's a lot of, frankly, suffering that's going to have to occur to balance the budget," commissioner Mike Ritz said.

They have to decide if government job cuts are the answer to next year's $29.5 million budget shortfall.

"Layoffs could effect law enforcement. They could effect the ability of the county to process requests of assistance from county citizens.  There's any number of ways it could effect people on a day-to-day basis," commissioner Steve Mulroy said.

Last week, commissioners asked Mayor A C Wharton to show them how the budget would balance if he cut jobs.

Tuesday, the mayor told staffers it would take the loss of about 200 jobs.

Now, commissioners Steve Mulroy and Mike Ritz say there may be a way around pushing people out.

"There's a lot of positions funded, not all of them are filled.  We could eliminate some positions that are not filled," Ritz said.

"We might not fill positions as they become available.  We might use attrition to reduce our county employee load.  There might be a few stray offices here and there that we might get rid of," Mulroy said.

The Mayor said it is either layoffs or an 18 cent hike in property taxes.

Most commissioners said they do not want to see that.

Click here to e-mail Kontji Anthony.

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