Thursday, September 25, 2003

Monroe lops 3 positions in budget emergency



By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MONROE - Three positions in the public works department have been slashed as this financially struggling city tries to overcome a budget mess.

Only two of the positions currently are filled; the third slot has been vacant since the employee left in June, Acting City Manager William Brock said Wednesday.

The workers, general laborers, will be laid off effective Oct. 5. And a receptionist is being shifted from the administration to the public works department to further streamline costs and to save money.

Brock acknowledged the layoffs Wednesday, one day after City Council met behind closed doors on Tuesday to review a draft of the 2002 state audit they recently received but won't release to the public until next month.

Brock said the city will be cited by state auditors "for obvious budgetary and fiscal weaknesses," but declined to elaborate.

Monroe faces an estimated $1.2 million budget deficit in 2004, in part because of years of apparent financial mismanagement by two former city officials.

In addition to layoffs, there have been budget cuts and a proposed income tax increase.

E-mail jedwards@enquirer.com.




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