JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – City of Jackson officials issued out a letter Friday to employees, warning them of furloughs that will soon come.
Shelia Byrd, the Director of Communications said this is the statement that the City issued; the clerk’s office was not included:
“We’ve spent months working on the proposed budget for the next fiscal year. Our budget analysts estimate a revenue deficit of about $15 million so our budget decisions had to be based on reshaping the financial integrity of the city, while preserving jobs. This was not an easy decision. However, we recognize that other municipalities have implemented furloughs as a means of closing budget gaps. We’ve considered a number of options, and the consensus was to observe the equivalent of a four-hour biweekly furlough.
Beginning in October, all full-time employees will be off one Friday each month. The exceptions are part-time employees and key Police Department and Fire Department staff. The once-a-month furlough will not impact fire and police services. Public safety was a priority in this planning. At the request of the City Council, council employees were not included in the furlough.
These are not layoffs. The furloughs will help preserve jobs. The furloughs are expected to last through two budget years.
We understand that there have been several factors contributing to our current budget situation. It did not happen overnight. It is the result of declining revenue; budget practices that did not ensure viability, such as using the city’s cash reserve to balance the budget, and adhering to fee policies that do not reflect the economics of the day.”