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More bad news from that city income taxing paradise called Pontiac, Michigan. From Channel 4 Detroit:
Pontiac city officials agreed to send layoff notices to 54 employees, including up to 29 police officers, in order to balance the cityâ€™s $6 million deficit.
In addition to the layoffs, city officials are looking to ask Police Chief Valard Gross to take an early retirement and be rehired at a lower salary.
The city has also considered accepting an emergency state loan of $1 million, selling city property, turning the operation of the 50th District Court over to the state and privatizing more city departments.
City officials said they are hoping for more concessions from the unions to reduce the number of layoffs necessary during Sundayâ€™s closed session.
Mayor Clarence Phillips said they were able to avoid the worst case scenario of 82 layoffs and asking Gross to retire and be rehired, as proposed in one of the four city plans.
However, the process to layoff 54 employees will move forward on Monday.
Council member Art McClellan and Phillips said the process must begin because not enough revenue is coming in to cover the costs.
In addition to the proposed layoffs, the hard-hit police department stands to lose as many as 29 more jobs, not fill vacancies, and force the early retirement of three lieutenants, one sergeant, one detective and one assistant in November.
The city is also trying to privatize dispatchers in an effort to save up to $500,000.
Another alternative the city plans to vote on is a ballot proposal to ask residents if they want to eliminate minimum manning in the fire department. This would reduce the number of firefighters and eliminate firefightersâ€™ emergency medical services, but would free up money for the downsized police department.
The council is expected to vote on Thursday.
Every department in the city has been affected by layoffs over the past few years, but the police and fire departments have taken to biggest hit because they have the most employees, and the firefighters are protected from cuts by a minimum manning requirement in the charter of their contract.
A Pontiac police officer told Local 4 News that the city canâ€™t afford the repercussions if there are more police layoffs, and they now feel uncertain of their fate.
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