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Fri, Oct. 18

Council to consider cutting employee costs

Cutting town government employee costs will occupy the Town Council Thursday evening.

The council will consider a resolution to amend personnel policies and in turn enable the town to cut employee wages or make similar adjustments to reduce overall employee costs by 5 percent.

A memo from Town Manager Larry Tarkowski to the council states an employee committee will have a say in establishing the details of the cost-cutting, which could include days off without pay.

Tarkowski told groups of employees Oct. 5 that the town needs to cut employee costs by 5 percent this fiscal year to offset the loss of revenues to the town from sales tax revenues. The cuts would not apply to sworn police officers, who number in the 60s.

Tarkowski, Town Attorney Ivan Legler, Magistrate Keith Carson and Town Clerk Diane Russell agreed Sept. 24 to cut their salaries by 5 percent effective immediately.

The employees came up with ideas on their own for the council to consider Thursday, Human Resources Director Danielle Gersper said.

"We are going to be discussing a potential four-day work week with the exception of the (magistrate) court and the library and the Police Department," Gersper said. She said a committee consisting of 16 employees reached a consensus favoring the four-day workweek. She added the first floor of the Civic Center would remain open five days a week because the magistrate is on that floor.

The magistrate and library management will consider a fixed furlough day in which they would close one day a month, Gersper said.

She said the four-day workweek would cut employee hours from 40 to 38 a week, with employees putting in 9.5-hour days. Exempt employees, managers who number about 30, would take a furlough day once a month without pay.

The new schedule would have to factor how a four-day workweek affects customer service, Gersper said, with the council providing direction on the matter.

Gersper has said a 5 percent pay cut would save the town $250,000 in the current fiscal year, which started July 1. The employee proposals could result in further savings.

The council is scheduled to meet at 5:30 p.m. in the chambers on the first floor of the Civic Center, 7501 E. Civic Circle.

Also on the agenda are:

• Certificates of appreciation to Pam Gray for 10 years of employment and John Darling for working five years for the town.

• Re-appointing Keith Burley and Ben Harper to the Planning and Zoning Commission for terms expiring Oct. 31, 2012.

• A contract award of $319,000 to Markham Contracting Co. to build the Bison Lane multipurpose path from Lake Valley Elementary School to the Civic Center and library.

• A closed-door executive session to discuss job incentives programs.

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