Faced with across-the-board budget cuts, including furlough days and police staff reductions, Doraville City Council members are leading the way by slicing their own compensation.
The council will soon be voting on an amendment to the city charter to cut councilmembers’ pay from $1,200 per month to $700 per month. That is a $6,000 drop from their current annual compensation of $14,400.
This cut will save the city $36,000, beginning in 2012.
Luke Howe, Doraville’s mayor’s assistant, said the council is “looking at cuts across the board that include personnel adjustments and furlough days.”
“The council wanted to lead by example,” said Howe, whose own job, at one point, was under consideration for elimination by the council. “They cut their salaries first.”
The proposed ordinance amendment was on the council’s agenda for July 18 and a public hearing on the matter has been set for Aug.15.
Last month, to help counter a shortfall, the city council voted to set the tax millage rate at 9 mills, which is a 3.28 percent tax increase.
The council has mandated that all city employees be furloughed for five days by the end the year. This action is expected to save the city $80,000. The city’s department heads have been directed to schedule the furlough days to have the least impact on city services.
Under the plan, Doraville’s library will be closed during the week of Dec. 19 to furlough library workers.
A motion was approved to restrict the taking home of city vehicles to a 15-mile radius from employee offices for all workers except department heads, K-9 officers and on-call officers beginning in October. This is expected to save approximately $4,000.
From the city’s police department, the council eliminated 12 non-patrol employees and one code enforcement officer. The department’s fuel budget was reduced from $200,000 to $170,000.
Police Chief John King said the department is analyzing its operations to determine which employees can be cut without adversely affecting police services.
“It’s a major impact—cutting 16 percent of your workforce,” King said. “There’s going to be an impact. I just don’t know how much.
“The bottom line is the city doesn’t have the revenue it has had in the past,” King said.
The council also approved the elimination of two public works positions and one other position from any city department. All position eliminations are effective Oct. 1.
Other cuts include: travel and training budget, $47,500; governing body professional services, $28,500; and planning department, $15,000. Employee life insurance is now an optional benefit with the employee paying the premiums, according to the budget.