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Commissioners are starting process for employee layoffs



Published: Thu, February 20, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Commissioners are still evaluating how many employees will be laid off.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- With budget cuts already in place, and faced with the possibility of having to cut deeper, Mahoning County commissioners are getting ready to send out pink slips to employees.

Commissioners are not saying exactly when layoffs will happen or how many there will be, but they started the process today.

"There are procedures we are required to put in place, and this is the first step," said Commissioner Ed Reese.

Commissioners passed a resolution authorizing a work-force reduction for employees whose departments are totally or partially under their control.

That includes the commissioners' office, Child Support Enforcement Agency, facilities management, E-911, purchasing, personnel, microfilm, management and budget, the Emergency Management Agency, lead abatement, dog warden, building inspection, jail medical services, recycling division and the sanitary engineer's office.

Not all of those departments will see layoffs, though, said county Administrator Gary Kubic.

"Some of them only have two employees," Kubic said.

When layoffs start

He said commissioners are still evaluating the budget situation and will announce the numbers within 30 days. Layoffs will hit both management and labor.

"This is a preparatory step," Kubic said. "We are doing it in phases and this is the first phase."

Connie Pierce, personnel director, said Ohio's civil service law requires commissioners to pass such a resolution.

Reese said commissioners knew when they passed this year's budget that layoffs would be likely, even with last year's voter renewal of a 0.5-percent sales tax.

They said the cost of doing business has continued to increase, but revenue from the sales tax and other sources has grown stagnant, causing income to lag behind expenditures.

Reese said if the state makes the situation worse by cutting off some sources of state funding, as is expected, more layoffs could result.

Sheriff Randall Wellington, whose budget was cut most severely, already has announced plans to lay off 53 deputies by March 3.

bjackson@vindy.com




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