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.