Youngstown considering layoffs as multi-million-dollar deficit looms


YOUNGSTOWN

With the general fund facing a $2.5 million to $3 million deficit next year, the city is considering a number of options to make up the projected shortfall, including the reduction of employees through a possible buyout and even layoffs.

But city council members stressed Thursday that layoffs are – as Councilman Mike Ray, D-4th, said – “the last thing on the list. That’s the nuclear option. It’s the last option.”

The city, which has about 750 employees, loses about 10 a year through attrition, Finance Director David Bozanich said. So the city would lose about 20 between this year and 2018, he said.

It likely needs to shed as many as 40 employees by the end of next year, Bozanich said.

“We’ll look at attrition first and, if need be, have a buyout program and possible layoffs as a third possibility,” he said. “I don’t want to be an alarmist and say, ‘40 people are being laid off.’ But for 2018, we have a $2.5 million to $3 million deficit.”

The biggest savings through layoffs, Bozanich said, would be in the following departments: police, fire, courts, park, street and health. Each layoff would save the city about $70,000 a year, except the first year, when it would be $40,000 because of unemployment expenses.

Read more about the matter in Friday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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