Layoffs still scheduled for Monday

Published 3:28 pm Thursday, November 1, 2018

The layoff of 68 employees in the City of Selma is still scheduled to take place at the close of business on Monday, according to City Council President Corey Bowie.

Bowie said he remains optimistic, but doesn’t think things will change.

“I continue to hope it doesn’t happen, but I don’t see the city retracting any letters,” Bowie said.

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Sean VanDiver of the city’s Personnel Department sent the official layoff notice on Oct. 15 via a 15-day notice. Mayor Darrio Melton met with department heads and city employees to notify them of citywide layoffs.

Melton couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday, but he said at the city council meeting on Oct. 23 that more layoffs could be coming. He attributed the decision for the layoffs after the city council passed a $17.4 million budget that didn’t account for the city’s outstanding debt.

“The layoffs will go deeper if we don’t pay our bills,” Melton said. “Between $1.4 and $1.8 million go out every month for payroll and expenditures, but we only have $800,000 coming in.”

At the last council meeting, Melton also said layoffs may not be avoided.

“When there’s no funding, you have to lay them off,” Melton said. “We’ll have issues with the Department of Labor if people are working without being paid.”

The council will have a finance meeting at 4 p.m. Monday at city hall to discuss the layoffs and ways to solve it.

“We’ll do everything we can to keep the workers from being laid off, but if it happens, we move on,” Bowie said.