Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Several Atlanta City Councilmembers voice concern about pending layoffs and

Several members of the Atlanta City Council voiced their concern today over a proposed reduction in force of city employees and its potential negative impact on city services.

City Councilmember Ivory Lee Young Jr., Felicia A. Moore, Joyce Sheperd and C.T. Martin charged that the administration has not had any meaningful interaction with the legislative body concerning the 2009 proposed budget or pending layoffs.

The Councilmembers at today’s news conference said major cuts in personnel will have a detrimental impact on city services which are already strained.

They also opposed increasing taxes to offset the city’s $140 million projected shortfall for 2009.

“How do I ask for more money if we are going to give our constituents less services,” said District 9 Councilmember Felicia Moore, a member of the Council Finance Executive Committee.

Moore said many of the administration’s proposals for the upcoming fiscal year include privatization of city services, according to media reports.

“There are too many items that are policy decisions that should be made by the legislative body.

“The point we want the residents of Atlanta to know is that this administration is not working with the Council, which ultimately has to make the decisions. I ask residents to call the Mayor’s office and ask them to work with the legislative branch as we move forward,” Moore said.

The City Council received copies of the Mayor's proposed 2009 budget today.

District 3 Councilmember Ivory Young reiterated that the City Council stands ready to work with the administration on formulating a budget that is in the best interest of the city without negatively impacting the services provided on a daily basis.

“As the governing body of this city we are responsible for making sure those services are delivered as efficiently and as effectively as they should be to the ratepayers,” he said.

“There still has not been any interface with the governing body of this city as it pertains to the budget. There should be no major personnel changes that would dramatically impact our ability to deliver services to this city prior to consulting the members of the Atlanta City Council.”

City departments have been requested to reduce their budgets by 25 percent by administration officials. City employees will also face layoffs as early as Thursday, which could cripple city services, Young said.

Public hearings on the budget are scheduled for the following dates:

Tuesday, May 6th @6:00p.m. City Council Chamber, 55 Trinity Ave. (FOR CITY OF ATLANTA EMPLOYEES ONLY)

Thursday, May 8th @7:00p.m. Old City Council Chamber, 68 Mitchell St (GENERAL PUBLIC AND BUSINESSES)

Thursday, May 15th @7:00p.m. City Council Chamber, 55 Trinity Ave.

No comments: