Council considers freeze on hiring for some jobs
By Ty Johnson
Published in News on May 4, 2011 1:46 PM
A discussion on city hiring came up during the closing minutes of the City Council's work session Monday evening as District 5 Councilman Chuck Allen voiced his disapproval of making any hires before next year's budget is finalized.
Interim City Manager Tasha Logan said she was currently in the process of hiring individuals to fill the 13 vacancies the city has, including three firefighters, a revenue collections supervisor and a permanent director of Parks and Recreation.
Noting how close to the end of the fiscal year it is, Allen said he didn't see the harm in holding off for another month on hiring any new employees.
"I think it's better to not fill any positions," he said. "I can't imagine that it's gonna hurt anyone to postpone 30 days."
Allen said that when the budget is finalized, there could be other positions the council wants frozen and that it would be an awkward situation to freeze a position that the city had just filled.
District 4 Councilman the Rev. Charles Williams said he disagreed.
"We've got to keep services going," he said.
As per the 2010-11 budget, 14 vacant positions are currently frozen, including four police officer jobs. The departments of parks and recreation, planning, streets and storms, sanitation, golf and the city garage all have at least one position frozen. The combined salaries of those positions means the city is saving $571,193. The budget financial director Kaye Scott distributed to the council at Monday's meeting also allocated for that attrition, with an additional $616,000 of attrition to be realized during the 2011-12 fiscal year.
Ms. Logan said the positions she's filling now are only positions that she has discussed with department heads and deemed critical to the city. Allen asked to see a list of those positions.
The job listings for all vacant positions is available on the city's website and a list of all of the vacancies that are frozen is on the fourth page of the proposed budget packet.