Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More Pink Slips at Ottawa City Hall

Ottawa city committee has green-lighted Mayor Larry O'Brien's motion to have city managers work on a plan to slash 500 full-time municipal jobs and cap staff count.

The corporate and economic services committee yesterday voted 10-1 in favor of the motion, which the mayor put forward as a way to look at cutting costs in the face of another property tax increase in the 2009 budget and an economic slowdown.

The city is looking to save about $100 million over three years, or $19 million to $57 million for the upcoming year, in order to keep the promised 4.9-per-cent tax hike target. City manager Kent Kirkpatrick is already planning to hand out 450 to 600 pink slips and cut programs as part of the cost-cutting measures, according to media reports.

However, the mayor's motion includes a plan to cap full-time equivalent staff at the current level of 13,590, with the 500 cuts to 13,090 to occur by the end of 2009.

The motion goes before full council next week, and if approved, city staff will work on a plan that will be included in the 2009 budget deliberations later this year.

Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien gestures as he leaves the Ontario Provincial Police detachment in Ottawa January 7, 2008. O'Brien was booked, photographed and fingerprinted on charges of trying to bribe an opponent to drop out of the 2006 mayoral race and of pretending to have influence with a minister in Canada's Conservative government.

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