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Toombs Employees Meet
Thursday, 03 December 2009

December 3--  Toombs County employees met at the courthouse late Thursday to hear about proposed cuts in the county budget which will effect their pocketbooks.


Chairman Buddy West (at the podium) told them a decision had been made before the meeting to reverse an earlier proposal to cut Christmas bonuses this year.  He said the county will pay some $32,000 in Christmas bonuses this year.

However, the county is planning to reduce the amount of paid holidays from eleven to six in 2010 and there are no pay raises for employees in the new budget.

The cutback on paid holidays will save an estimated $120,000 and one employee asked if that burden would not be better shared among all the taxpayers as opposed to the county workforce.  Chairman West said taxpayers are already facing a one mil increase in their property taxes.

County Magistrate Chip Matheson said it appears the county always trys to make up funding shortages on the backs of its employees.  Commissioner Steve Brown disputed Matheson's statement.  He said the commissioners are doing all they can to avoid layoffs.

Several employees said the cuts will make it more difficult to meet living expenses and appealed to the commission not to take money out of their pockets.

Toombs County Sheriff Junior Kight reminded commissioners about the importance of employee morale and reminded them that many already work more than one job just to make ends meet.

Chairman West noted Toombs County has been in the red at the end of every year since 2006.  This year the county is borrowing money to meet payroll.  It has already borrowed $500,000 and expects to borrow another $250,000 in the next two weeks.  West said his goal is not to have this happen again at the end of next year, however, he also noted no one knows how the economy will be in the new year.

The commission will formally vote on the proposed budget cuts at its meeting Tuesday, December 8.  

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