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Published: Thursday, 12/11/2008

45 employees of city to get layoff notices


Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner said yesterday that 45 city workers likely will get layoff notices for 2009.

He said most of those notices could be averted if city unions agree to concessions.

Mr. Finkbeiner said the layoffs are necessary to close the final $3 million gap between revenues and expenditures for next year.

The 30-day notices would be issued within 10 days, giving recipients one more month on the job, Mr. Finkbeiner said, using Jan. 15 as an approximate date for the layoffs.

He told reporters at a news conference the affected jobs are throughout city government, and primarily in the general fund, but do not involve uniformed police or firefighters.

The layoffs also mean there is no possibility of budgeting for an increase in police and firefighters, he said.

"I think this is a time where we unfortunately are going to have to subtract from the city's work force," the mayor said.

Police Chief Michael Navarre said some civilian employees doing administrative police work could be among those laid off.

Mr. Finkbeiner said his ad-ministration has talked with some union leaders about concessions in 2009 that he said could save the "vast majority" of those jobs if the unions agree. He said he's received no word back yet.

He declined to detail what concessions would avert the layoffs.

"We're awfully lean in this city compared with other cities," Mr. Finkbeiner said.

The administration plans to use $2 million from the city's rainy-day fund to close the gap between projected tax revenues and spending in 2009.

George Sarantou, chairman of council's finance committee, said most employees laid off in the past have landed jobs in the assessed and utility fund departments, which aren't affected by general-fund shortfalls. The general fund pays for the office of the mayor, council, finance, law, parks, police, fire, trash collection, and other general government functions.

"I believe it's necessary. I wish to heck we didn't have to go down that road," Mr. Sarantou said. "Looking at this year and next, I just don't see any ability to have savings without losing people."

Alan Cox, president of American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 2058, did not rule out the possibility that the unions would grant concessions, but only if the sacrifices were accepted by all city employees, including the elected ones.

"We said emphatically that unless it's 100 percent participation, I would not ask our membership to do something above what other units might be doing," Mr. Cox said.

Contact Tom Troy at:


or 419-724-6058.

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