June 14, 2011 – Monterey County members submitted petitions with more than 1,300 signatures to the Board of Supervisors June 14, calling on the board to protect services and save jobs.
The County is considering cutting positions to balance an assumed $20 million budget deficit.
“Jobs equate to a robust and thriving economy, and a thriving economy equates to more jobs and better services,” said Ben Franklin, Chapter President for Units F, J and H. “Why are we funding vacant positions and laying off employees who provide services to the community? This money does not get into the economy and it stifles growth.”
The petitions highlighted cost-savings ideas including:
- Changing accounting practices for vacant positions: Minimum of $10 million savings
- Centralizing human resources: $6.5 million savings
- Keeping WIB services in house: $900,000 savings
- Suspending vacation buy out: $1.5 million savings
- Reducing reliance on temporary agencies: unknown millions in savings
Justin Light, a Public Works Guard for Monterey County, told the Board they should consider these options to balancing the budget.
“Cutting services will have a devastating impact on the community,” Justin said. “Laying off workers will only hurt the local economy and create the very scenarios that we’re trying to avoid in the first place.”
Arlene Samrick, a Monterey County steward, pointed out that the County’s audit reports show the county has consistently over-budgeted millions more per year than it actually spends.
A closer look at the assumed deficit for next year could reveal that more funds will be available than previously expected.
“This is the rainy day we’ve been waiting for,” Arlene said. “Implementing these solutions now could save jobs that are critical for our community.”