NEWS RELEASE   2/3/2010

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CITY OF FLINT EMPLOYEE LAYOFF DAYS BEGIN FEBRUARY 5TH
Flint Mayor Dayne Walling provided details of his latest costs savings measure during his weekly press briefing Wednesday afternoon.
The City of Flint is facing a tough financial forecast. Last weekend in a 7 hour session auditors presented city officials with a mid-budget year financial update. The audit revealed a projected $8 million dollar budget shortfall in the general fund for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010.

“I am committed to fiscal responsibility and ending the budget year with a balanced budget. To achieve this, with a looming projected $8 million dollar deficit, my administration has to consider every cost cutting measure to bring our budget into balance,” said Mayor Walling.
“These cost saving measures are going to impact us all, including my administration, city employees and their families as well as the residents and tax payers of this city who deserve a fiscally responsible city hall.”

The city has been working collaboratively with its unions to reach an agreement on how to best meet these financial challenges while preserving jobs. “I am encouraged by the spirit of cooperation our union leadership has taken during these very sensitive and in many ways unprecedented negotiations that have taken place over the past several weeks.”
The city continues to engage in talks with its police and fire unions in hopes of reaching an agreement on immediate cost savings that can be enacted to avert any layoffs of police and fire personnel. Mayor Walling remains optimistic that an agreement will soon be reached.

Mayor Walling announced that the city has reached an agreement of understanding with ASFCME Local #1799 on an immediate cost saving measure. He expressed optimism that the same agreement of understanding will be reached with the city’s largest union AFSCME Local #1600.

Beginning Friday, February 5, 2010 all non-public safety employees including Mayor Walling, his appointees, and exempt employees will take 12 non paid lay off days during the remainder of this fiscal year. These 12 days are projected to save the city $410,000.

These 12 layoff days will result in the closure of City of Flint Municipal Building Offices, with the exception of the Municipal Building South entrance where the following departments are located: Rental Inspections, Demolitions, Traffic Engineering,
and Building Safety Inspections. These departments will remain open.

Also the city’s 24 hour operations: Public Safety, 9-1-1, Water and Sewer will not be affected by the closure. Trash collection will continue as scheduled and the city’s Senior and Recreation Centers will remain open. Cost savings in these departments - not funded by the general fund - are currently being explored.

Flint’s 68th District Court will also not be affected by the 12 layoff days and will remain open. In lieu of lay-off days, the 68th District Court is offering $120,000.00 in wages and salaries to help close the budget gap.

These two measures will save the city just over a half million dollars. “There is much more that we must do to balance the budget. We are hopeful that we will get an agreement with our public safety unions on concessions for a general fund savings of over $2 million dollars,” said Mayor Walling.

Mayor Walling provided details of other cost savings measures that are being put into place to fill the budget hole.

The city is hoping to achieve an approximate $670,000 savings through adjustments to funds other than the General Fund, which would reduce the burden on the general fund for covering those deficits. These measures include:
•      Consolidating golf services to one City of Flint course for a savings of $420,000
•      Cutbacks in Parks Millage Fund for a savings of $110,000
•      Cutbacks in Building Inspections for a savings of $140,000
A number of cost savings measures were approved in December 2009 that will allow the budget to be adjusted downwards by a total of $2.27 million including:
•      Spending conservatively, across the board for a $1 million plus savings
•      Health care coverage changes (as allowed by contracts with retirees) in the amount of $750,000
•      Indirect cost plan changes in the amount of $220,000.
Other costs savings are also being considered. “These are tough times, but I am committed to meeting this challenge. It will not be easy, but it cannot be business as usual here at city hall. We must live within our means and provide the services of government that we can afford,” said Mayor Walling.

The following dates reflect the days Flint City Hall will be closed due to employee layoff days:
Friday, February 5, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010

For more information contact Dawn Jones, City of Flint Director of Communications at (810) 237-2039 or e-mail dfjones@cityofflint.com.



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