MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Hiring freezes and furloughs are words no employee wants to hear, but they could soon become a reality for Montgomery County workers. The Montgomery County Commission met again Monday morning in an attempt to finalize a fiscal budget for 2011.
Revenue is down and costs are going up. The challenge for the Commission has been to bring the numbers to a middle ground.
The work session focused on county expenses and how to bring them down in order to avoid dipping into the county's reserve fund.
The commission decided it will be necessary to institute a hiring freeze for all departments. There will also be a three day furlough for all county employees. Commission Chairman Elton Dean said it basically comes down to making end's meet, and saving jobs at the same time.
"Our earning potential is at 2004 earnings, but we have about 200 more employees," Dean said, adding that "it does not balance out." The biggest cost to the county is personnel, about sixty percent of the budget.
The commissioners agreed to meet again on Wednesday, September 8 where they plan to continue chipping away at operating expenses. The next step will be to meet with department heads about cuts.
Chairman Dean says he will talk with all of the department heads at the same time to make sure everyone is on the same page. He expects the meeting to go well and says he doesn't anticipate any hard feelings.
The Commission is slated to present the budget during its meeting on Monday, September 13 and bring it before a vote on September 27. Fiscal year 2011 starts on October 1.
PUBLIC NOTE: The Commission's additional budget reviews on Wednesday, September 8 and Thursday, September 9 are scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to Noon at the Commissioner's Conference Room on the 1st Floor, 101 South Lawrence Street, Montgomery County Courthouse Annex III. The hearings are open to the public.