(Millington, TN) Millington Aldermen said laying off city workers is not the answer to fixing the city’s budget problems. The city is facing a $400,000 shortfall. Positions from police and fire and several others hung in the balance packing city hall with people worried about job cuts.
The Board of Alderman made it very clear at the budget workshop Tuesday night that they don’t want any jobs on the chopping block.
“I want to make sure the public knows that we are not going to cut any services and essential services to anybody,” Alderman Michael Caruthers said.
The city manager suggested cutting 19 positions including 6 fire and 6 police positions to help make up for the budget shortfall.
“Nineteen layoffs equates to $400,000,” City Manager Thomas Christie said. “It’s just math.”
Fire chief Gary gRAVESwas relieved to hear the board dismiss that idea.
“I’m confident that I’ll be building my budget based on what my staffing is today,” he said.
People in Millington were happy with the board’s decision too.
“I want everyone to have a job and we want them to be there when we need them,” Millington resident Jim Owens said.
But without cuts, property tax increases and taking back raises may be an option.
“They’re 30 positions on here that got over $186,000 pay raises,” one alderman said.
The city manager said those ideas help, but they don’t fix the problem.
“They are going to have to use fund balance this year and probably have to use fund balance next year,” Christie said.
The city already used $1.9 million in reserves this year, leaving it with just $4.5 million.In the last 5 years the fund balance has dropped from $7.5 million.