Mayor Unveils Budget, Council Prepares To Review

by Gabe Bullard on May 28, 2009

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson has unveiled his proposed budget for the next fiscal year. It calls for layoffs, more furloughs and other spending reductions. (See it here)

119 employees would be let go under the plan. 409 vacant jobs would be eliminated and all remaining nonunion employees would have their salaries frozen and be given four unpaid furlough days.

“This budget reflects our committment to continue to seek more efficient ways to operate as it begins to substantially restructure several departments, several functions in city government and enhances our technology capability to assist us in the future,” he says.

Abramson is proposing the layoffs take place across five departments; Neighborhoods, Parks, Human Resources, Health and Family Services and civilian police jobs. He says federal stimulus funds will be used to create three thousand private sector jobs.

The budget now goes to the Metro Council for consideration. The final spending plan  takes effect July 1st. For more details on the mayor’s budget, visit wfpl.org.
The Metro Council now begins its nearly month-long budget review process.

When he started putting the budget together, Abramson asked council members for a list of priorities of programs and areas that should be cut the least.

Budget Committee co-chair Kelly Downard says that might help soften the blow of the lean budget, but competition for the dollars remaining will be tighter than ever. He also anticipates a debate over what remaining areas of the budget should be first on the chopping block if revenues fall below predicted levels, as they have in the last two fiscal years.

“I think that discussion will be had and exactly what kind of list we end up with I don’t know,” he says. “But we are going to get to talk about our priorities so we don’t end up fumbling through and looking for one thing in each department.”

The council will hold several hearings and public forums in June to review the budget.   It must approve a spending plan before the fiscal year ends on June 30th.

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