The proposed Perry fiscal 2013 budget has been balanced, but one city employee may still be laid off this year, according to Mayor Jimmy Faircloth.
City Council will vote June 19 on whether to unfund the Public Works director position for the fiscal year because the position does not hold as much responsibility as it used to, Faircloth said. Ronnie Jones has held the position for five years, and currently earns a salary of $79,000.
It will mean that we will have one less department head in a position, but we are not abolishing the position, Faircloth said.
Faircloth said the public works director has been responsible for less since sewer, water and gas has been contracted to ESG Inc. in recent years.
Jones has remained in charge of supervising street maintenance, grass mowing and engineering for projects.
If council decides to do this, council has considered spreading the balance of the responsibilities to other personnel throughout the city, Faircloth said.
The city has eliminated 17 positions and contracted out 14 others since fiscal year 2009, and officials have constantly said their employees are doing more with less. However, Faircloth said Thursday not all staff members are overloaded.
Jones has been informed of the possible funding elimination. Hes been offered a severance package, Faircloth said.
If unfunded this year, Faircloth said City Council would review next fiscal year whether the position is needed.
We do realize that there may be other responsibilities in that position that will come up, Faircloth said, noting the creation of storm utility districts has been on the horizon for a while.
Faircloth said he wasnt certain what the city policy is on whether Jones would be offered the position straight out or if he would have to join the pool of applicants.
The mayor said the elimination of the position for fiscal 2013 is not to balance the budget. He said city officials have been privately discussing the defunding for about 18 months.
When you have a fiscal year end and start, its as good a time as any to make changes to personnel, Faircloth said.
If the funds are not used for the public works director, they will be shifted back into the general fund.
City Manager Lee Gilmour proposed funding a part-time clerical position for the police department because they have presented a need, Faircloth said.
He added that the funding for that position would not cost the entire $79,000 left behind by Jones departure.
To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.