Job-cutting Clark County budget moves ahead


A Clark County budget plan that would result in 82 workers being laid off and 126 vacant jobs getting slashed moved forward Tuesday.

The tentative budget was nearly identical to last week's version in that the proposed job cuts would save about $39 million.

One difference is that small offices such as constables and justices of the peace offered some cutbacks, totaling about $20,000.

Initially they penciled in zero, annoying Commissioner Steve Sisolak, who argued that everyone must chip in.

And while $20,000 is hardly enough to preserve one job, he appreciated the effort.

"At least they stepped up and did something," Sisolak said.

The budget reductions include the following: Henderson Justice Court, $15,000; Henderson constable, $2,000; the outlying constable, $1,650; and North Las Vegas constable, $1,000.

Commissioners will approve the final budget on May 16 so it can be sent to the state by the June 1 deadline.

The economic slump has left the county with a $100 million shortfall in its $1.2 billion general fund, which covers daily operations and is fed mostly with taxes and fees. The shortfall doesn't include the possible $125 million the county could lose from legislative actions.

Some of the $100 million hole would be filled partly with savings from job cuts and partly with a reserve fund.

Commissioner Larry Brown said county leaders again face the unenviable task of laying off workers.

He said some union employees were willing to accept reduced wages and benefits to avoid layoffs, while others have resisted.

University Medical Center employees rejected 2 percent pay cuts. And the county wrangled with firefighters for almost a year in bargaining and then arbitration before winning about $7.4 million in concessions.

"We are asked to be fair to all employees," Brown said. "It makes our job almost impossible."

Contact reporter Scott Wyland at swyland@reviewjournal.com or 702-455-4519.

 

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