City Leaders Wrestle with Cutting Jobs

City Leaders Wrestle with Cutting Jobs
By: Arnold Wyrick

PINCKNEYVILLE, Ill. - City leaders in Pinckneyville, Illinois wrestle with how to erase $450,000 in red ink. 
Some of the ways they're considering balancing the town's budget is by cutting jobs and adding fees.
"We're talking about as much as 20 percent of the workforce having to be laid off on a temporary or maybe long-term basis.  And some of the services that we have provided for free, we'll have to charge for," said Pinckneyville Mayor Jim Holder.
Mayor Holder and his council members are considering charging folks who use city property on a regular basis, such as the ball fields and tennis courts.
"We don't want to put any more of a burden on people then what we have to, but the users can pay for what they use," Mayor Holder said.
The city has taken some financial setbacks in the past year.  Most notably the MUMS facility shutting down hit the city's coffers the hardest.
"Finances are difficult for all small towns especially in southern Illinois.  And Pinckneyville lost it's largest employer in March.  So, needless to say the revenues are not here that used to be here," Holder said.
One of the other proposals by Mayor Holder that's being considered by the city council is to cut the town's workforce back to the number of employees on the payroll in 1995.
"We'll start there and see if we can make it work, but the reality is our income in 2007 is lower then it was in 1995.  So I don't even know if we can make that work,"  Holder said. "We're going to analyze every department.  It's going to stand on it's own.  You make decisions based on the reality of need, instead of the want."