Elkhart Council passes budget with layoffs - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Elkhart Council passes budget with layoffs

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A major change in the 11th hour of the Elkhart Budget Battle, furlough days could be off the table.

Some Elkhart council members have been fighting against proposed furlough days from the start.

So Monday they voted on a different route, slashing eight city jobs instead.

Two of those positions are vacant right now.

The amendments came from Council Woman Mary Olson.

"If I have to look for efficiencies, I have to sharpen my pencil, and those do not come easily. It's taken its toll on me," says Olson.

The eliminated positions include the Mayor's executive assistant, a streets department supervisor and a building and grounds supervisor.

That, coupled with a cut in overtime pay would mean a savings of more than $425,000 for next year's budget.

So are furlough days off the table?

Mary Olson says, "I don't believe furlough days will be on the table anymore," says Olson.

She adds, "If you're looking for efficiencies, you don't make temporary efficiencies, you make permanent efficiencies."

It's a decision meeting mixed reviews from the public.

"Just like the people in the street department and fire department, and all these people... The city needs these people to do the job," says resident John Lindley.

Pam Kurpgeweit says, "It is really time to bite the bullet and make the cuts."

Mayor Dick Moore, of course, not pleased with the council's decision either.

He says the battle may not be over.

"I don't understand, I've never understood how you help an unemployed person, by unemploying another one," says Moore.

Right now, the Mayor says he will take a good look at the council's newly approved budget and his veto power isn't out of the question.

"There is a veto power and obviously I know that, so we'll have to take a look at that as well," says Moore.

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