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City Passes Budget, Cuts 30 Vacant Jobs

The city will enter its new fiscal year with a $49-million budget that includes no raises in taxes or fees.

City Manager David L. Rudat said he balanced the budget, which is less than 1% higher than last year’s, by cutting 30 vacant positions from the city payroll. No employees will be laid off, he said.

City Council members unanimously approved the budget after a public hearing this week where no one voiced an opinion about the document.

This year’s budget is the first of a three-year restructuring plan, Rudat said.

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Over the next few years, the budgets will include maintenance funds to repair long-neglected city buildings, a reduction of the number of middle managers and greater use of seasonal and part-time workers, he said.

Employees eventually will be taken off work furloughs, which have been in place since a 1992 budget crackdown, and returned to a 40-hour, five-day workweek. City employees now work 36 hours during a four-day week, with city offices closed on Fridays.

“It is my goal to provide the public with full 40-hour services sometime in fiscal year 1997-98,” Rudat said.

Special attention also will be given to providing better park service and restoring ball fields and other recreation spots.

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Councilman Dan Slater suggested cutting $2,000 from the $5,000 that the city contributes to the Miss Orange pageant every year, but his fellow council members dissuaded him.

“This person is a goodwill ambassador for the city,” Councilman Mike Spurgeon said. “It is a scholarship pageant, not a beauty pageant.”


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