Franklin County Council Slashing Jobs To Make Budget
By Katlyn Reece
(Brookville, Ind.) – Franklin County Council is considering cutting county employees as the county struggles to cope with a $1.5 million deficit.
Eagle 99.3 told you last month when the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance reversed its decision to allow the county to use $1.5 million in investment funds to reconcile the budget gap.
In a meeting March 11th, the Franklin County City Council discussed different ways to fill the hole in this year’s budget. Ultimately, council decided to cut several employees.
According to The Franklin County Observer e-mail newsletter, County councilmen Aaron Leffingwell and Daryl Kramer proposed cutting many full-time and part-time employees from county offices. Leffingwell and Kramer suggested cutting positions in the Area Plan Commission, the Extension, and the jail among other positions.
Councilwoman Becky Oglesby made a motion to put aside the job cuts for the time being. However, Oglesby’s motion did not pass with four members voting against her and two members voting alongside her.
Those in attendance did not support the suggested job cuts. The Observer reported that Sheriff Ken Murphy objected to the proposed cuts, saying that his office was already overwhelmed with abstracts, sheriff’s sales, court documents, and transporting offenders.
Murphy referenced the old adage “We have to do more with less,” but argued that “Pretty soon, you realize you’re doing less with less.”
Oglesby had originally proposed raising taxes. She argued that the property tax rate in Franklin County is one of the lowest in the state for its population. In order to raise the tax rate, she suggested that the county follow the Department of Local Government Finance’s appeal process.
Another suggestion Oglesby made was to exhaust the county’s rainy day fund of $750,000.
The council decided to spare full time jobs in the clerk’s office, the commissioners’ office and the treasurer’s office.
Other ways to cut costs will be discussed at Franklin County Council’s next meeting on Tuesday, April 1.