Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mayor Franklin’s Statement Regarding Local CBS Station's Recent Coverage of Atlanta's Payroll

The CBS Atlanta station recently ran a story on the City of Atlanta's overtime and payroll. The story clearly misrepresented the facts and it is important to clarify the facts for the public.

The story implied that 2006 overtime payments to Aviation and Watershed employees had an impact on the current projected shortfall-that is incorrect. Neither of these departments is in the General Fund, which is where the shortfall is projected. Budgeting for overtime is a standard municipal practice and not the exception in local government.

Overtime attributed to the Department of Watershed Management is largely the result of its attempts to meet the extremely tight Consent Decree deadlines. As you are no doubt aware, Atlanta's 15-year deadline is roughly half the deadlines enjoyed by other cities under similar consent decrees. Leaks, main breaks and sewer collapses do not limit themselves to an 8-5 schedule. CBS 46 has been diligent in covering the problems with leaks in Atlanta, and with a workforce of some 2,000, including administrative personnel, to cover a 600-square-mile area; it is common sense to realize that some overtime will be warranted. Our customers, whose water service is interrupted because of a main break, do not want to see an entire crew, which has been working the break for hours and is intimately familiar with the situation, stop working simply because its daily shift has ended. A program as overwhelming and wide-ranging as Clean Water Atlanta is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days a week proposition.
Fayette Front Page
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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

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