Wilmington to lay off police, firefighters

May 15, 2009 2:41:23 PM PDT
The chief of staff to Wilmington Mayor James M. Baker told the city council public safety committee Friday that 17 police officers and eight firefighters will be laid off July 1st.The move is expected to save $1.4 million and close the remaining gap in the FY 2010 budget deficit.

William S. Montgomery told Committee members that the Mayor is now forced to re-draft the FY 2010 budget proposal which he originally presented to Council last March containing no layoffs of City employees.

Montgomery said the new version will include a reduction of police officers and firefighters because they have refused to accept the Mayor's offer to preserve the jobs of all police officers and firefighters in exchange for receiving no salary increase for one year.

"They're putting this on the police and firefighters of this city and that's unfair," said Wilmington Fire Union President Kevin Turner. "It's the mayor who should be doing his job, making the hard decisions, to cut budget items in other areas of the city government and preserve all city employees' jobs."

Mayor Baker said in a statement that he is keeping his promise not to lay off any employees who accepted pay sacrifices.

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