2011-11-26 / News

Baltimore to layoff four employees

By Scott Rawdon

BALTIMORE – Baltimore Village Administrator Marsha Hall said village council members and administrators did everything they could to keep from laying off employees, but they finally had no choice.

The village will lay off several employees, including two police officers, as of Dec. 1. “We’ve known this for a while,” she said. “Everyone tried to figure out something,” from reorganizing to not filling positions when employees would leave. But, ultimately it wasn’t enough.

According to a press release from Baltimore Village Council President Judy Landis, “After extensive deliberation by (Mayor Robert Kalish), council, and administration, the Village of Baltimore’s Council has been forced to authorize the layoff of four village employees. The layoff will affect two police officers, one office staff, and one service worker and be effective Dec. 1, 2011.

“Layoffs became necessary due to reduced revenue and drastic increases in the cost of supplies, equipment, and fuel. As highly publicized, state revenue to local municipalities is decreasing and in some cases, such as tangible personal property taxes, being eliminated.

“Village officials and staff have spent the last several years implementing cost-cutting measures, including employee position eliminations, cost sharing with other government entities, and eliminating contracts for services such as building cleaning and mowing. This was done in an attempt to continue expected services and maintain already reduced employee levels. However, these reductions have not resulted in a large enough savings to offset the reduced revenue and increased cost of services.

“Because of these announced staff decreases, the following changes will be effective Dec. 1:

• The village office will be open to the public between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., with the office being closed between 12 and 1 p.m.

• Service department hours will be modified to 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in order to reduce overtime necessities during inclement weather. Future reductions in services, such as leaf pick-up, are yet to be determined.

• Hours of on-duty service by the police department will be affected. Residents and business owners should continue to call (740) 652-7911 for police service. A Baltimore officer will be dispatched if on duty. Otherwise, a Fairfield County sheriff’s deputy will be dispatched when one becomes available. All other policing programs are being evaluated for cost viability.

“Residents should be assured that the employees of the Village of Baltimore will continue to work diligently with the resources provided them to provide essential services.”

Police Chief Michael Tussey said he will have two officers left to patrol the street and the officer who works in the schools the majority of his time is good at least until the end of the school year.

“We hope to know more after the first of the year,” he said.

Hall said the officer who patrols the schools is paid for through grants as well as village funding, so the village can only have him as a patrolman when school is not in session or during emergencies. Auxiliary officers will be available as needed.

Baltimore’s four mills, fouryear additional police levy was soundly defeated Nov. 8 by 633 votes against the levy to 355 in favor.

Hall said the layoffs are regrettable, however, “We have nowhere else to cut,” she said.

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