Fresno Gets Furloughed for the Holidays

December 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Conducting city business in Fresno for the next week and a half -- will be next to impossible. Most city employees will be furloughed starting Thursday until after New Years. The furloughs equal about a 2% pay reduction. For the public, city services will be reduced because most city employees will not be working the next 12 days. It's unpaid time off to help close a $28-million dollar budget deficit.

Alex Guillen considers himself lucky. He came to the utilities office Wednesday to turn on his water before the office closes for the next week and a half. Most city employees are furloughed beginning on Christmas Eve to January 4th. There are exceptions. Police and firefighters will still be on duty. Fresno's bus system will continue running and your trash will still be picked up.

But doing business at city hall will be impossible. Assistant City Manager Bruce Rudd expects to save $1.1-million by furloughing each employee 40-hours this year. Closing most offices at this time of year will most likely become permanent. Rudd said, "Until which time the economy begins to turn around, and we see an increase in revenues ... given what we see in the state, we are looking at a good 4-5 years. This may be standard operating procedure for quiet some time."

Sherrie Badertscher is a staff assistant in the city clerk's office. She and the rest of city employees will see their pay checks reduced about 2% every pay period. Badertscher said, "I think it's a good alternative to laying more people off. I would have liked to see more furlough time given to the employees so we didn't loose any employees."

The employees who are not furloughed the next week like fire fighters, they will take their unpaid time off later this year. The deadline to pay your utility bill has also been delayed until January 4th. You can still pay that bill online anytime.


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