City’s hiring freeze is thawedPublished 7:53pm Friday, June 28, 2013
When sales tax revenues for the city of Selma fell short in April by more than 20 percent, Selma Mayor George Evans announced his first step was to create a hiring freeze in all city departments. Tuesday, he rescinded that freeze due to the amount of vacancies created by key department heads retiring from or leaving their positions.
“We have had some vacancies occur, such as the tax and license director and permit director and as a result we have to replace these positions,” Evans said. “I rescinded the hiring freeze and wanted to fill those needed vacancies that require someone with expertise to carry out their responsibilities and duties.”
In April the city reported sales tax revenues were down more than $186,943 from the amount of revenue generated in April 2012.
The revenue shortfall comes after the city increased sales taxes by half a cent in February and imposed an increased lodging fee to benefit the YMCA of Selma in March.
The half cent sales tax increase was intended to go towards the discretionary fund and one-time raises for all city workers across the board.
“Hopefully our revenue will pick back up, keeping in mind that if it doesn’t pick up, those (still) are jobs we have to have filled. There is money in the budget for these positions,” Evans said, noting revenues have already picked up slightly in June. “We are not creating these positions; money is already in the budget for them.”
There are current vacancies in the tax and license department, the permit department and a position is open for the mayor’s administrative assistant.
The search has narrowed for the open position of the planning and development director, so Evans said that position could be filled shortly.