Wake County expects layoffs

April 17, 2009 9:35:16 AM PDT
Thanks to a computer glitch, PowerPoint slides for a presentation at a Wake County budget meeting Friday were all the wrong color. They came out an ugly off-green color which somehow seemed appropriate given the topic: money.The numbers Wake County leaders are struggling to balance are also ugly and Wake County Manager David Cooke says cuts seem inevitable.

"I think it's across the board," he said.

Cooke is putting together next year's budget and it's lean. This time last spring, the county was planning to spend $984 million over the fiscal year. This time it'll drop to $949 million.

How to get to that lower number is the $35 million question. Cooke says it'll probably mean people's jobs.

"The number could be 100 or more positions," he said.

The county will not fill many empty positions to get to that number, but some layoffs are expected. Specific departments aren't being discussed - though building inspectors were mentioned - there's less work for them as new construction has slowed.

"When we get to the point where we're talking about people's jobs, I mean that's a serious conversation. We try to do that in a very respectful way," said Cooke.

For other reductions, break out the spreadsheets. There are big money items like closing down library branches. Shutting one downtown would save $213,000. There are small line items too - like not attending career fairs that require an entry fee - saving $5,000.

"The little things add up to lots of money," said Cooke.


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