The cuts are being made to help plug a $25-50 million budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year. Donnellan will outline her proposed FY 2014 budget to members of the media on Wednesday afternoon. The budget is expected to include a mix of cuts and tax hikes.
On Friday, in a memo to county employees (below) obtained by ARLnow.com, Donnellan announced that the county is cutting 46 staff positions, including 20 that are currently filled. She also said that the county has instituted a hiring slowdown and that 20 employees have taken an early retirement package.
The county is working to place the 20 employees whose positions were cut in other open positions within county government, Donnellan said.
To: All County Employees
Re: Balancing the FY 2014 Budget
Date: February 15, 2013
I’m sure you are aware that we are grappling with a $25 million gap for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget.
As a County we have taken many steps to help close that gap, and I am proud of the way departments have embraced this challenge. To close the gap, we will need to use a combination of tax rate increases and spending cuts.
As a part of the spending cuts, we instituted a hiring slow down a few months ago, which limits the pace at which departments may fill openings. Another piece of the strategy was to offer an Early Retirement Window for eligible employees, and 20 employees participated in that program.
After much thoughtful discussion, we have made the difficult decision to cut 46 County staff positions. Unfortunately, of these, 20 are currently filled, and we are working to move these employees into other open positions. The department directors and I do not take this decision lightly; these are among the toughest decisions that we have to make. We are making every attempt to place those employees into other positions within the County. If we are, for some reason, unable to match an employee with an open position, the employee will receive a severance package.
These are difficult fiscal times. We are aware that over the last few years, we have asked you to do more with less – taking up more work when a colleague retires and isn’t replaced; addressing new and increasing service demands due to our growing population; performing administrative work in addition to normal job duties.
We are successful only because of the strength of our staff, and I am grateful for your continued dedication and service to our community.
Barbara M. Donnellan