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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 3, 2003
CONTACT: Mary Charles, Communications Officer, (816) 513-1356

Replacement strategy for retirement positions announced

Seventeen of the 388 positions left vacant by the recent retirement incentive program will be the first to be restored under a plan announced today by City Manager Wayne Cauthen. The positions will be funded with the $1 million replacement pool that governs the replacement of all retirement positions supported by the general fund. Cauthen selected the positions upon review of the departmental strategic plans. The departments requested a total of 111 general fund supported positions be restored. The 17 positions to be restored were selected based on the following criteria:

the impact to programs if not restored
24-hour or minimum staffing coverage requirements
the need to provide adequate basic services.

“This is my first review of the current budget situation and I feel that during these critical summer months, these positions need to be filled based on the high demand for services such as public safety, weed control and code enforcement,” said Cauthen.

The 17 positions to be restored include the following:
Municipal Court – Bailiff (3)
Fire Department – Fire Investigator (2), Fire Dispatcher
Health Department – Nurse Practitioner
Neighborhood and Community Services Department – Maintenance Supervisor, Neighborhood Preservation Manager, Property Code Enforcement Officer (2)
Parks and Recreation Department – Maintenance Mechanic, Labor Leader, Equipment Operator
Public Works Department – Maintenance Mechanic, Equipment Operator (2)

The positions to be restored cost $500,000 annually. Cauthen plans to retain the remaining funds in the $1 million replacement pool to address other critical needs as they arise in the fiscal year, or to address any budgetary problems that result if revenues do not meet projections.

In addition to the allocation of the retirement replacement pool, Cauthen said he will direct the Office of Management and Budget and the Human Resources Department to begin restoration July 1 of all fully fee, grant or capital project supported positions that were requested but not already restored in the departmental strategic plans. Enterprise departments (Water Services, Aviation) can also begin restoration of 50 percent of their salaries lost as part of the retirement incentive program.

Cauthen also is taking the following steps based on the departmental strategic plans:

Hiring Freeze – All general fund supported departments will continue to submit newly vacant positions to the Position Review Committee to determine critical needs prior to replacement.

Voluntary Furlough – The voluntary furlough program will be extended for all City employees (except public safety employees) through fiscal year 2003-04. The program is voluntary and there is no minimum number of days required at this time.

Requested Reorganizations – Proposed departmental reorganization or restructuring will not be implemented at this time. The city manager will take additional time to complete review of current departmental structures and operations.

    
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