City Manager Lee D. Garrity today announced a freeze on hiring, travel, most capital expenditures and other measures to reduce spending in response to the economic downturn.
In a message to all city employees, Garrity said, "City government budgets are feeling the same strains that each of us are feeling in our personal lives. Our expenses are up and our revenues are down. A preliminary analysis by our Budget office estimates that if the current trends continue, we could end this fiscal year on June 30, 2009, with a $2.4 million budgetary loss."
To conserve money, Garrity directed these steps:
- A freeze on all vacant positions and any positions that come open, with the exception of critical public safety positions.
- A freeze on capital purchases and leases. Police cars and fire trucks are exempted.
- A freeze on travel and training. Trips already scheduled will be reviewed for approval.
- A five-percent sequestration of discretionary operating spending.
- A restriction on purchasing authority limits. All purchases will require a review by the city manager's office.
- Administrative review of all service contracts.
In addition, the city will continue to follow measures recently implemented to conserve fuel.
"Departments have been advised that these measures could be in effect for the remainder of the fiscal year (through June 30, 2009)," Garrity said. "Our goal is to manage our finances so that we operate within our means. I have challenged our department heads to find creative ways to do this while minimizing any negative impacts on employees or citizens."