Chairman Eldrin Bell says he wants to hear from Clayton county residents on the proposed 2011 budget. If adopted as is, employee salaries will be lowered by 4 percent, among other departmental cuts systemwide. So if you’ve got an opinion on this subject, now is the time to share it with your elected officials.
The majority of Clayton county employees have not received a pay increase since 2006, and even that raise wasn’t what it appeared to be since it was offset by an increase in employee benefit contributions. So it is understandable why most have stated that they would prefer furlough days in lieu of a pay cut this go-round.
In addition, it is inevitable that some valuable workers will seek employment elsewhere if a salary decrease occurs. Will doing so be harder to accomplish in this economy? Absolutely – but it’s not impossible. And with no disrespect to those working in other capacities, as a resident, the potential loss of manpower in the public safety realm (on and off the streets) concerns me the most.
Clayton residents: would you be willing to pay a tax increase to avoid a salary reduction for employees? Why or why not? In what other department(s) should budget cuts NOT be so extensive?
What other recommendations would you give in order to balance the county’s $9 million budget deficit?
You can view the proposed budget at any of these local libraries: Headquarters branch, Jonesboro, Lovejoy or Morrow.