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MAHONING COUNTY 33 layoffs loom for workers



Published: Tue, April 1, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The layoffs will save Mahoning County about $500,000 annually.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Thirty-three employees whose departments are under the control of Mahoning County commissioners will receive layoff notices this week.

Of the 33 layoffs, 20 are coming from the Child Support Enforcement Agency, the largest agency under the commissioners' authority. The layoffs will result in a 20 percent reduction in workers there. The CSEA layoffs will occur sometime around April 30.

The other 13 layoffs will come from 911, management and budget, dog warden, accounts payable, purchasing, and the Emergency Management Agency, said county Administrator Gary Kubic.

Those 13 workers will be laid off April 18, which will result in a reduction of one-third of those departments' total employees. Kubic declined to give a breakdown of job reductions in those departments until the affected employees were notified.

Dog warden

One person is being laid off in the dog warden's office. That person is a shared employee between the county and Youngstown, with each paying $26,000 toward his salary and benefits. The city has the option of picking up the county's $26,000 cost to save that employee's job.

The reason for the staggered layoff system is different contract agreements call for different time frames for layoff notices, Kubic said. Some employees must receive two weeks' notice; CSEA employees receive 30 days' layoff notice.

The layoffs will save the county about $500,000 annually.

No layoffs are planned at the other departments under the commissioners' authority: facilities management, personnel, microfilm, lead abatement, building inspection, jail medical services, recycling division and the sanitary engineer's office.

Kubic met Monday with department managers to go over the layoff procedure. Letters to employees being laid off could be delivered as early as Wednesday, he said. Those losing their jobs will meet with Kubic sometime next week.

Part of the problem

The cost of operating the county is increasing, while sales tax and other sources of income have been stagnant, Kubic said. The state recently cut $300,000 in funding to the county.

"It's not a good day," Kubic said. "If it's happening in the private world, there's no reason not to assume it won't happen in the public world."

This is the second round of layoffs at the county this year. The sheriff's department laid off 54 employees in early March.

The county could see further, and much more significant, layoffs if the state decides to eliminate local government funding, which provides $12 million annually to Mahoning County, Kubic said. Half of that money stays with the county and the other half is distributed to local municipalities.

skolnick@vindy.com




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