City councilors to make tough decisions to avoid job cuts

Columbus councilors have tough decisions to make to avoid job cuts

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Stagnant revenues over the last eight years for the City of Columbus and departments working right at the bones are now prompting big changes in the city's $262 million budget, according to Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.

"If we're not able to make these decisions than most certainly services, city services will be affected and most certainly on jobs," said Tomlinson.

In a memo from the mayor to city councilors dated October 23, Tomlinson says the opportunity to reduce government expenditures lies with the area of administrative bureaucracy.

"Such as worker's compensation, claims administration," Tomlinson said. "We believe we can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in administrative claims and may be millions in claims adjustment costs."

Tomlinson also proposes making changes in how the city pays for overtime, holiday, education supplements and GAP or double time paid to certain employees as well as the healthcare plan,  totaling $5 million in yearly savings.

Some city councilors including Mike Davis said the mayor just hasn't sold them on her plan during previous meetings.

"Well that's true, it's about discussions and information and everybody learning the facts and getting their questions answered and feeling comfortable about making the decisions," stated Davis.

The mayor says another big factor in necessary budget changes is that the city is pretty close to operating on a 60 day General Fund Reserve sits at $24 million right now. If that happens it will affect the city's bond rating which has a negative economic impact.

All of this will be discussed during the work session at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the City Services Center on Macon Road.

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