Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Fewer Layoffs Expected In Metro

Channel 5 News May 5, 2008 08:33 PM CDT NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A few months ago, Mayor Karl Dean announced that massive budget cuts could cost 200 Metro employees their jobs. Now, it appears the number of layoffs will be lower than initially expected. Metro Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments stood to lose the most employees, but now that's changed. A number of employees set to be laid off are finding other jobs within local government. Human resources director Dorothy Berry said her job is difficult as she tries to find new employment for what began as some 200 Metro employees. Metro Council members such as Jerry Maynard have the final say on a tight budget. The next few weeks will be intense as departments try to meet a late June budget deadline. "It will entail reviewing all of the departments' budgets," Maynard said. "It will entail determining what our priorities are." There are disagreements over who to let go and how to spend the money. A fire department plan to cut some employees salaries is already raising eyebrows. "But the chief has made a decision and made a recommendation to us that you rollback some positions instead of laying some people off," Maynard said. Metro may be able to work out their budget issues, but the so-called wildcard in this whole situation is the state budget. The state budget hasn't been finalized and it impacts the local budget, Maynard said. According to Gov. Phil Bredesen's office, the governor may reveal his budget plans sometime this week. It could include some layoffs. The Tennessee Funding Board discovered last week that the state could have a budget shortfall of $585 million next year. Bredesen has not yet indicated how many state's employees could face layoffs. As for the Metro's budget, council members continue their budget hearings Tuesday. The council has until the end of June to adopt a new budget plan. If not, Dean's proposal automatically goes into effect. To see Video Click Here

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