Home » Fiscal Responsibility » Lane County Layoffs – Up to 16% of Workers

Lane County Layoffs – Up to 16% of Workers

We’ve been wondering where Lane County Commissioners have been lately. But here they are again, with another article in the Register-Guard about layoffs in Lane County. Given their track record of continued hiring of millions in new managers, directors and supervisors (which we documented in our last article, and from now on we’ll just call management), we’ll cut through what they say to give you a different perspective.

The Lane County commissioners on Wednesday directed staff members to prepare to cut as many as 200 jobs by July 1 …Although Spartz hasn’t determined how many positions will be cut, he said earlier projections — cuts equivalent to 230 average county jobs, or about 16 percent of the work force — are plausible.

… But we’d imagine none of those will be managers, as they continue to hire more. As recenlty as March 13, 2008, there was $400,000/year in management hiring. On Feb 6, 2008 another batch of management also costing over $300,000/year. Or July last year, with $200,000 in management (and as a bonus, a “nuisance abatement specialist”). In just those three groups, over $1 MILLION in new management and other non public-safety hiring.

Is hiring more managers your priority as it is for the County Commissioners?

Even if the county gets the federal money for another year, the board might make the cuts and use the money to lower costs that steadily rise faster than revenue, Commissioner Bill Dwyer said.

Like all those new non-public safety hires? See the current list for yourself at http://www.co.lane.or.us/jobs/.

The board has said that without the federal money, the county might drastically reduce the number of jail beds for local offenders, discontinue prosecution of juvenile defendants and many other crimes, and eliminate programs including community health, animal services and nutrition for women, infants and children.

Yep, the budget has to be cut for all those new managers and other non pubilc-safety positions. We didn’t track much hiring from July 2007 to February 2008 (we thought the fiscally responsible thing was a hiring freeze, but Lane County Commissioners didn’t feel the need) — and we’re only counting management. What about other non public-safety hiring? How many millions are spent on items other than what citizens tell the County is number one — public safety.

But of course, they’ll have to cut public safety to pay for all of it. If only that tax increase was approved…

Task force suggestions could include increased logging on federal lands or relief from state restrictions on the amount of property taxes that counties can levy, Nesbitt said.

Now at the end, we get the real point. All this is to get “relief from state restrictions on the amount of property taxes”. So, continue to hire, hold hostage public safety, and then hope the public finally gives in to the County’s insatiable desire for more taxes.

At least Guido on the corner is up-front about his intentions — “Gee, that’s a nice family you’ve got there, it would be a shame if something happened to them”.

As we’ve documented, the County could save millions (and spare the hard-working families layoffs) if they just instituted a hiring freeze. No layoffs, just don’t hire any new employees. Reasonable? Not for Lane County Commissioners. We’re waiting for someone to ask (on the record) Lane County Commissioners why they refuse to implement a hiring freeze, and then layoff in the number one priority of citizens. If it’s something other than a twisted way to get higher taxes we’d like to know.

Coming soon to a ballot near you — another grab at your wallet. Somebody has to pay for all the managers, directors and analysts. Sleep well, Lane County, you’ve got plenty of managers, even if Commissioners won’t staff the jail.

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