County Slashes Work Force To Balance Budget 9-17-2010 - WNEM TV 5

County Slashes Work Force To Balance Budget 9-17-2010

Genesee County is making deep cuts to help balance its budget. Dozens of county employees will be eliminated from their positions.
Officials said the cuts are a combination of layoffs and retirements from positions that won't be refilled.
Human Resources officials mailed out the layoff notices this week. By Saturday, 64 county employees will learn they are potentially out of a job. With another 55 employees planning to retire, it totals out to 119 lost positions.
"The county won't ever again function as it has in the past," said Genesee County Commissioner Archie Bailey.
Bailey is the finance chairman for the county Board of Commissioners. He said the Health Department and county clerk's office will be hit the hardest, while the court system and Sheriff's Department remain almost untouched. "We're trying to prioritize safety," said Bailey.
The county faces an $18 million budget deficit because of dwindling revenue from property taxes and less state money.
Residents like Claira Jenkins won't lose county services, but the cuts almost guarantee longer lines at the county building and delayed response times for certain county workers who make house calls like the Sanitation Department.
"I really don't know what to say. I guess they have to do what they have to do to balance the budget, if it's possible," said Jenkins.
While some residents are frustrated with more cuts, other people TV5 spoke with are hoping it's only a matter of time before local governments take a turn for the better.
This is the first time in recent years that the county has had to drastically cut its work force.
County commissioners must finalize these cuts within a week because the budget needs to be balanced by the end of the month.
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