Prattville workers worry about possible budget cuts

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Prattville, AL (WSFA) - Prattville Mayor Bill Gillespie had a busy first week in office. His first task was getting to work on the city's budget - one that will no doubt include some drastic cuts.

"It was a little hectic, " he said.  "I had a couple fires to put out."

The Mayor is taking the heat because he and the city council will soon present a budget that could include employee layoffs, furloughs, or cuts in city services.

Prattvile Fire Sgt. Mark Rhodes said, "At this point right now, we just don't know what's going to happen, and that uncertainly is where the problem is with us."

Rhodes says while he and fellow fire fighters worry about their job security, they're also concerned about keeping the city safe.

"Our biggest problem is making sure that we can keep the personnel that we have to keep our level of service up for the citizens," he said.

While the mayor isn't sure what changes are in store, saying it would be premature to talk about that now, he knows there are difficult decisions ahead.

"I know that they are a big family and city employees are one big family. and I'm not taking any kind of actions that we may or may not have to take through the budget lightly," Mayor Gillespie said.

And Rhodes says, he has confidence his concerns will be heard.

"We are very positive that he is going to do the right thing," added Rhodes.

City leaders expect a budget to be presented in the next four to six weeks.

Gillespie says he's been working 10 hour days since he took office.

Luckily, his son, wife, and mother have taken over the day-to-day operations at his business so he can focus on being mayor.

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