Local Politics

Wake County could eliminate 100 positions

Posted April 13, 2009

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— Wake County's manager has proposed eliminating 100 positions from the county's work force and reducing some departmental budgets by more than 10 percent.

Wake County Manager David Cooke said Monday this county is now facing a nearly $20 million budget shortfall because of lower-than-projected tax revenue.

More cuts possible for Wake County More cuts possible for Wake County

The eliminated positions would mean an estimated savings of $3 million, Cook said.

"We don't think it's a one-year event. We know that permits haven't picked back up," he said. "We're going to be in this for a little bit of time. These cuts are sustainable."

There are about 250 vacant positions within the county, but that does not necessarily mean there won't be layoffs, said County Commission Chair Harold Webb.

"Layoffs are not off the table here as we look at the budget," he said. "It's good that we have some vacancies. If we have to lay any off, we would not have to lay off as many."

Cooke said in addition to possible layoffs, there could be job shifts within departments. For example, if six positions in a department were to be eliminated, and four were vacant, employees in the two filled positions could be given the option to take severance or if qualified, take another open position elsewhere.

Cooke said he is also proposing a salary freeze and cutting certain department budgets by more than 10 percent. All county departments have already been asked to trim their budgets by 4 percent and plan for cuts as much as 10 percent.

Those that have seen workloads decrease because of the housing slump could be hit the hardest, Cooke said.

But commissioners said raising taxes is not an option.

"We are not going to raise the property tax rate this year. We're only going to spend the money that's available to us," Commissioner Tony Gurley said.

The Wake County Board of Commissioners must approve Cooke's proposal. The final version of next year's budget will be presented to the public in about a month.


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  • whatusay Apr 14, 2009

    This will never happen....government always get bigger, not smaller. Someone must be running for re-election.

  • Space Mountain Apr 14, 2009

    So, they are short of tax revenue, and the solution is to get rid of jobs, which means people won't have money, which means less tax revenue. Brilliant!

  • dplowman Apr 14, 2009

    Get rid of 33% of the goverment workers and you would not tell a difference in your aria the only thing that would change is that the ones left would need to work to keep their jobs and they would take up the slack with no problem

  • inform Apr 14, 2009

    The only problem with this plan, is that the taxpayer hasn't gotten a refund on unfilled open positions in years past, so it really isn't a cut, is it?

  • veyor Apr 14, 2009

    Think of the twenty or so fantastic financial years that Wake County has enjoyed and how all the governments have spent every dime they could get their hands on without putting anything away for a rainy day. Just spend yourself into oblivion.

  • superman Apr 14, 2009

    Perhaps the county commissioners could be reassigned! The landfill would be suitable for all of them.

  • happymom Apr 14, 2009

    Getting rid of the empty position saves *budgeted money.* If your budget has 5 positions but you only have 4 filled, eliminating the 5th position means that you don't need the money allocated to that position.

    Keep in mind that the whole article is abou the budget- not actual expenditures. There's a difference.

  • wcnc Apr 14, 2009

    Hopefully eliminating the 250 vacancies will be enough to save jobs. I know the Sheriff's Office projected 10% cut involved laying off 100 deputies, which would result in a severe decrease in service in MANY areas: courthouse, jails, warrants, call response, crimes solved. Hopefully that department won't be required to cut the 10%, but stick with the 4-5% cuts already in place.

    I'm sure there are toher departments that would suffer under 10% cuts, but those departments dealing with permits, inspections, etc have much less volume of work and I could see massive cuts in those departments.....

  • wcnc Apr 14, 2009

    If the budget put money aside for a position that is never filled, then cutting that position would save money, because that money is not spent. So, take those unfilled jobs out of the next year's budget and it, on paper, is saved money. It's just like if I budget $500 for groceries but only spend $450....I have saved money.....

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Apr 14, 2009

    The government needs to take the stance, if you can find it in the yellow pages, then they don't need to be doing it! Private companies don't put up with lazy incompetent employees...now the government, they encourage that!