City lays off nine employees

Published 7:32 pm Friday, July 10, 2009

On Friday, the City of Bainbridge announced in a news release that it has terminated nine city employees as part of a reduction in force, which was attributed to a decrease in city revenue.

A news release issued by the city states: “As a response to reductions in City of Bainbridge revenue, reduction in force (RIF) has been issued by city administration. A RIF is action taken when a locality deems that financial circumstances or changes in workload make it necessary to reduce staffing in order to maintain the effective functioning of public services. As we continue to be confronted by extremely challenging conditions, nine City of Bainbridge employees were informed today of the administration’s intent to let them go as a result of the prolonged economic downturn.”

The employees affect are one position in Leisure Services, two non-sworn Public Safety positions, three positions in Public Works and three positions in the Utilities Division.

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The names of eight of the employees whom had been notified by the city as of press time were: James Blalock, Stanley Simmons, Ashley Ladner, Shirley Brooks, Pete Giannars, Vashone Williams, Charles Johnson and Norris Akins.

The employees affected will receive a severance package, as well as insurance benefits through COBRA Insurance, the news release said.

This year, for the first time in memory, the city will experience negative revenue growth. The current situation makes it critical for the city to maintain close scrutiny of its revenue stream, and to adjust budget expenditures accordingly, the news release said.

“The City of Bainbridge has made a committed effort over the past months to preserve its employee base and maintain the appropriate positions to best serve the community,” said City Manager Chris Hobby. “Unfortunately, after all other possible cuts have been made, we are faced with the reality that we must now reduce the number of full-time employees who work for the city. Please know that this decision did not come easily and was not made without exploring all other possible courses of action.”

The city will monitor expenditures and revenues on a month-to-month basis, and continue to meet the needs of the citizens of Bainbridge, Hobby stated.