June 25, 2008 > Newark addresses budget issues
Newark addresses budget issues
Submitted By Laurie Gebhard
The City of Newark will begin closing city offices on alternating Fridays starting July 11. This comes as an effort to address the decline in revenues creating by the slowing economy both locally and nationally.
"The City's proposed budget for 2008-2009 is $3.2 million less than the one originally approved for 2007-2008. And we will still be using over $2.5 million from reserves and special funds to balance the budget over the next two years", states Assistant City Manager Dennis Jones.
According to Jones, the city has already made cuts in contractual services, park maintenance and street maintenance, eliminated or reduced programs, reduced Capital Project funding, and implemented a flexible hiring freeze that resulted in 19 vacated positions not being filled. Additional cuts were made with 16 employees laid-off that resulted in a total reduction of the workforce to 35 positions or approximately 15 percent.
Without jeopardizing the public's safety, the city is digging deeper and taking further actions to balance their budget. Effective July 1, the city will reduce salary costs by implementing a mandatory 5% cut in pay for many employees in exchange for a reduction in work hours from 40 hours per week to 38 hours per week. This reduction in hours combined with staff cuts results in the need to close city offices on alternating Fridays. Public safety services will not be affected by the closure and the Silliman Activity and Aquatic Center will remain open on Fridays.
Contact the city of Newark's City Manager's Office at (510) 578-4300 with questions. For a listing of closed Fridays, visit the city's website at www.newark.org.