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Council to revisit furloughs
Economy may require extension of program through September
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    The Statesboro City Council will meet this morning to decide whether or not to continue the city employee’s furlough plan through the end of September.
    The furloughs, which are like short-term temporary layoffs, have been in place for all city employees since April. Staff members making more than $60,000 annually have been required to take a full day off each month without pay while those making less than $60,000 have taken a half day.
    City Manager Shane Haynes stated in a memo to council that furloughs were not the only method currently being implemented to reduce costs. The memo said other items have been eliminated or greatly reduced such as merit increases, cost of living increases, bonuses, overtime, training, travel, equipment purchases and capital project spending.
        The proposed 2010 city budget shows regular employee salaries as the single largest expense from the city’s general fund, totally about half of the city’s non-debt and non-transfer related expenditures.
        Also under consideration is a proposed agreement between the city and Bulloch County election officials, which would contract the county officials to conduct the November council elections on behalf of the city. With former City Clerk Judy McCorkle’s employment status in question, there is currently no one on staff to conduct the elections for the city.
        According to the Haynes, one added benefit is that city staff members, aside from the city clerk who will still act as election superintendent, will no longer take an active role in the election process. He said removing the process from city hall will help any potential or perceived controversy based upon the results of the election.
        The mayor’s seat is up for elections this fall, as are seats in Districts 1 and 4 currently held by Tommy Blitch and Joe Brannen respectively. Candidate qualifying starts at the end of August.
        The council will also consider a motion to participate in the funding of a consolidation study of city and county governments to be performed by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
 
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