Yukon City Councilman Jeff Wootton urged the city manager to rehire the employees recently laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic budget shortfalls.
“We must take care of the employees,” Wootton said at the end of the Tuesday night city council meeting.
City Manager Jim Crosby announced layoffs of 18 employees on Thursday, April 9. The city made 2% cuts to the current budget.
Wootton, at-large councilman, said he wants the city manager to find a way to put people back to work.
“I’m asking you to re-evaluate, find creative ways to maintain a substantial budget and be a leader for our people. We have been enlisted with the honor of protecting and improving Yukon,” Wootton said.
“I know it is a challenge but it is something I think we can do,” Wootton said.
Crosby said, “It bothered me probably more than anybody here to let anybody go or to have layoffs.”
Crosby said with the recent drop in oil value, and the depletion of rainy day funds and shortfalls, finances are unstable. Sales tax revenue is expected to be down.
“Every city in the United States has been hit by this and we are being hit by it. To what degree we don’t know. When we are going to come back to normal if there is a normal we don’t know but as I explained to the council previously is it is my hopes with the budget is as we reopen these items that we will be able to hire these people back. Right now all of their positions are in the July 1 budget if approved by this council.”
At the meeting Tuesday, outgoing Mayor Mike McEachern was honored for his years of service on the council and as mayor.
McEachern said he leaves the council with major challenges at a time of “a new low,” due to the pandemic and economic crisis. McEachern ended his last meeting with a moment of silence for all who have succumbed to COVID-19.
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