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Carson to Lay Off 7, Cut Maintenance Service

July 14, 1994

Struggling to balance a $30-million budget for fiscal 1994-95, the Carson City Council this week voted to lay off seven part-time employees and reduce the maintenance of municipal property including streets and parks.

City Administrator Lawrence G. Olson warned that these cuts still might not be enough to keep the city financially healthy if state budget problems cause further reductions in city funds.

"This is a very fragile, delicate budget," Olson said. "There is virtually no room for either mistakes or problems on the revenue side or the expenditure side."

Olson said the budget approved Tuesday assumes that costs for the city attorney can be reduced by $180,000, and that other projected revenue sources remain the same.

The city also cut funding for a sheriff's department vehicle that patrolled the South Bay Pavillion. City officials said the mall should pay for its own security.

Cultural events such as the Jazz Festival, Cinco de Mayo, Martin Luther King Day and others will not be held this year. Instead, the city will hold one spring event, tentatively titled "Friendship Day."

Street sweeping and grass cutting, which used to be done every week, will be cut back to twice per month.

City employees, who have not had a pay raise in four years, will not get any increase this year either, although the council has proposed using surplus funds from the 1993-94 budget to give each employee a one-time payment of $500.

The laid-off employees worked primarily in the parks and recreation and maintenance departments. Although classified as part-time workers, many of them worked 40 hours a week and had been employed by the city for more than two years, said Councilwoman Lorelie S. Olaes.

Olaes asked the council to consider cuts in other budget categories such as supplies, professional memberships and conference travel in order to keep the part-time workers for one more year.

But the council passed the tightened budget 3-1, with only Olaes voting against it. Councilman Peter D. Fajardo was absent.

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