Fresno County Officials Make Pay Cuts Tuesday

February 2, 2009 7:21:37 PM PST
The first wave of Fresno county employees to experience pay cuts and furloughs starts Tuesday. But whose salary will get lighter is not yet known.Eliminating job vacancies, reducing overtime and cutting positions are just some of the recommendations the county administrator is making to save money. Despite the news of pay cuts starting Tuesday one employee tells Action News she's doing everything she can to be a valuable asset to the county.

Public defender's office employee Armida Nichols has worked for Fresno County for 5 years. When she heard pay cuts were possible for all 4,000 employees she went to her boss with concerns.

"He's telling us to find ways to cut the budget to give him any ideas," said Nichols.

The pressure to save money became more serious Sunday when the State began running out of money for all 58-counties.

"We all have vested interests. We are all stake holders in this process," said Fresno county Administrator John Navarrett.

Navarrette said he is recommending cuts to all 23-departments. Fresno County faces a decrease in revenue for the next fiscal year. This year revenue totaled $298-million. 2009-2010 estimates put the revenue around $266-million ... nearly a $32-million loss.

"You can't make up that kind of reduction in one fell swoop. You have to plan you have to incrementally begin to ratchet down," said Navarrette.

Navarrette will not say which departments will see cuts right away but is telling managers to reduce spending and eliminate open jobs. Supervisor Phil Larson expects pay cuts to start Tuesday and continue for the next few months. Larson: "As you know the state has still not made their budget up and they're thinking their close but we've been told that for three weeks."

Meanwhile Nichols said she is willing to take a cut in pay and even a few days off as long as she keeps her job and benefits. "Thank god I have a job. Thank god I haven't been cut," she said with a smile.

County officials are expecting a crowded house Tuesday during their meeting. Employees have been invited to share their concerns and ideas with the supervisors.

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