34 Youngstown city workers face layoffs

By David Skolnick

The police layoffs would jeopardize the city’s safety, the head of the patrol officers union says.

YOUNGSTOWN — Up to 34 city workers would be laid off and about 14 vacant positions would remain unfilled in a 2009 budget that city council will consider Monday.

The city administration had requested that members of six employee unions paid through the city’s general fund take a voluntary 10-percent pay cut by working four less hours a week to avoid layoffs. That’s because the city’s 2009 general fund had a projected $3.3 million deficit.

That request was rejected, though union leaders are to meet Tuesday with city officials to discuss the budget. Layoffs won’t take effect for a few more weeks, Mayor Jay Williams said.

The budget — which by law must be balanced and approved no later than Tuesday — prepared by the administration makes up that $3.3 million shortfall.

The largest revenue increase to the general fund is $1.84 million from the federal economic stimulus package. The largest cut is $860,000 in personnel costs.

Of that personnel amount, $655,000 would come from the police department with the rest from employees of the street and park departments and clerical workers.

“I don’t want to lay off a single employee of the city of Youngstown,” Williams said. “It’s beyond my sole power to do so. We need to reduce the cost of government and some [city workers] don’t like that.”

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com.

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