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Voluntary to become involuntary

That sure didn’t take long. By unanimous vote of City Council, the voluntary furloughs will become involuntary by the end of the year, with Mayor Parker deciding how many enforced unpaid days off are needed to help close the budget shortfall.

Parker said she has yet to make a final decision on involuntary furloughs, but indicated that the city is weighing the option of giving city workers six days off without pay between January and June, a number that could increase or decrease depending on whether a package of more than 100 fee increases for city services passes City Council in the coming weeks.

[…]

“If there’s a significant deterioration, it may have to be more as the months go by,” Parker told council members. If the budget improves, she said, fewer days may be necessary. “We have been cutting the budget on a regular and routine basis since the beginning of the year.”

The mayor said she will decide how many days will be necessary by Dec. 31 after she has a clearer view of how much the city can reap with various fee increases, such as pool inspection fees or security alarm permits, and real estate sales, as well as how much can be cut through ongoing departmental cuts and consolidations.

An updated version of this story answers the main question I have.

Parker said a property tax increase is off the table for next year.

We’re not going to solve this problem on the backs of the city employees alone, that’s for sure. Sooner or later, this is a pill that must be swallowed.

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2 Comments

  1. John says:

    As I have said before, Parker is just like every other politician in that she only cares about being elected and not getting a real job. SHE WILL NEVER MAKE A HARD DECISION, in reality they have not balanced our current budget because it included a plug figure of unspecified department cuts. The pensions will bring down this city and someone needs to stand up to the Unions and have them agree to cuts.

    We do need tax increases/fees etc, you can’t just cut. But why can’t Annise do this? She has no spine and just wants to avoid real issues, Houston will be in much worse shape by the time she leaves office.

  2. […] that. If we’re going to be cutting city employees’ salaries (which is effectively what furlougs are) and laying them off, it’s only fair to spread the pain around some more. By all means, […]

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